BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ For the first time since Bernards Township municipal offices closed in March, Tuesday's scheduled Bernards Township Committee meeting will be open to the public, according to the June 23 online agenda.

The meeting is scheduled the day after township offices are due to reopen to the public on Monday, June 22. However, the reopening will continue to be in compliance with state precautions to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus that remain in effect. For example, all persons entering municipal offices must wear masks and socially distance.

Tuesday's scheduled Township Committee meeting also will adhere to state Gov. Murphy's executive order no.152. Indoor gatherings will be limited to 25 percent of the room capacity, with no more than 50 people, according to the meeting notice from the Bernards municipal clerk's office.

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All meeting attendees must wear face coverings and remain six feet apart. Among other matters to be addressed will be discussion on whether the township should establish a Human Relations Advisory Committee.

Those who wish to continue viewing the meeting remotely can either view the meeting online livestreamed by clicking on the "Watch a Meeting Live" icon on the home page of www.bernards.org, or viewing the meeting on local access television stations. Those television stations include Optimum/Cablevision channel 15, and Verizon FiOS TV channel 35.

Public comment for the June 23 Township Committee meeting will be accepted in-person and via e-mail to municipalclerk@bernards.org, as it had been at the virtual meetings.

System crash in May moved meetings to YouTube

Along with navigating the restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus, the township suffered another virus attack in mid-May, when a cyber attack on the Bernards Township network also crashed the Bernards Township website. 

The partially restored system meant that the meeting held in late May and earlier this month could only be streamed live on YouTube.

In answering questions sent via email from the public at the late May "virtual" Township Committee meeting, officials said that the township had Cyber Liability Insurance to respond to the ransomware attack. As of earlier in June, the investigation into the cyber incident was continuing.