Editor's Note: This letter was submitted to TAPintoBarnegat/Waretown yesterday morning and was mistakenly not published then. The author copied us on the remarks he sent for the Public Commentary section of the Township Committee meeting.
Good Morning Mr. Mayor and Township Committee Members,
My concern is being read to you today by someone other than myself because you still choose to not conduct virtual meetings. I am curious as to why this continues since both the zoning and planning boards provide this option. Virtual meetings have also been conducted by the school board for their board and various committee meetings with much success. As it stands now, the 10am meetings every other month realistically only provide a select group of the community the opportunity to attend in person. This is something I brought up at the February 2018 meeting, to then Mayor Caputo.
I realize Mr. Dasti has recently stated at previous meetings that the township is in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act but I wonder why in a time of such uncertainty and constant rule changes by our Governor, which in my opinion tend to contradict themselves, the committee isn’t doing more to reach out to our community. On June 22, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 156 which allows for indoor gatherings at “25% of the capacity of the room in which it takes place, but regardless of the capacity of the room, such limit shall never be larger than 100 persons or smaller than 10 persons.”
Our neighboring town, Township of Ocean, has followed this order and will hold an in-person committee meeting on July 9th. The Barnegat Township School Board held an in-person meeting on June 23, 2020. Is there a plan in place to begin in-person meetings that the residents can attend? If not, when do you expect to have a plan in place? You are our community's governing body, and we deserve to be heard in our own voice, not relegated to having someone other than ourselves read our concerns to you in hopes that our point is clearly made.
Thank you for your time.