To the Editor:
As the Chairman of the Berkeley Heights Communications Committee, I thought it is imperative to set the record straight about the Communication Committee’s accomplishments over the past few years. The Committee is made up of volunteer residents and business owners from the community and our goal is to encourage and enhance communication to the residents about activities happening at Town Hall and around our community.
- The Committee researched and hired a professional videographer to film the multiple Municipal Redevelopment Hearings. Those hearings appeared on the Township’s television station and are currently on the Township Website. Video copies of these hearings have been placed in the Township Library and are available from the Township Clerk.
- Monthly, we produce The Mayor’s Roundtable, a 30 minute show that features the mayor and relevant guests discussing current issues, summarizing town council meetings and answering citizen questions. It is shown on the Township television station, streamed on the Township website and also streamed on TAPInto.
- Volunteers on the Communications Committee receive many calls from Town Hall to post time sensitive governmental information for our residents on the website. It gets done! Also, our volunteers provide their time to film Township events and they are streamed on the Internet or shown on the Township TV Station.
- Prior to The Mayor’s Roundtable , we produced a weekly news show called This Week in Berkeley Heights that featured the Township’s elected officials discussing Township initiatives. This show appeared on the Township Television Station and was available On Demand, via the Internet. The committee volunteers and students from the GL High School brought this show together.
One of our biggest projects to date has been researching and upgrading our town’s website. Our volunteers have researched and publically communicated our findings on what we think will be an upgraded and integrated system to communicate to the residents. There are many steps we have to overcome: compliance, financial, vendor due diligence, State Bid Thresholds, attorney review and fiduciary matters. At a minimum, these must be addressed before expending Township funds to provide an updated Municipal website. We have done our due diligence and met with other municipalities and government website vendors for best practices. The Committee is working through these items in the best interests of the Township residents and in compliance with all municipal rules. We currently anticipate launching the updated website in the 1st quarter next year.
Information is power. We encourage and welcome Bill Machado and Rina Franchino (Democratic Candidates For Township Council) to come to our meetings and understand the facts about the Communication Committee. This is not about politics; it is about doing what is right for Berkeley Heights. Communicating and transparency is the cornerstone of our committee. We are proud of what we have accomplished and continue to ensure we communicate to the residents of Berkeley Heights.