Edison, NJ – A recently created Water Advisory Panel will not have its meetings open to the public or televised on Edison TV, according to the Township.
Many Township meetings, including meetings by Township Council, Board of Education, Library Board, Zoning Board, and Planning Board are televised or otherwise available online. A growing number of residents are also broadcasting these meetings on social media.
But the Water Advisory Panel will not be subject to the same public scrutiny. As of October 17, the meeting dates, meeting agendas, and meeting minutes have not been posted on the Township’s website.
“Our Water Advisory Committee’s goal is to assist the Administration make informed decisions about a new water utility. Its discussions should be robust and its members should feel free to voice their ideas without concern about criticism or second-guessing, which would be counterproductive to the brainstorming process,” Business Administrator Maureen Ruane explained.
The advisory panel, which will help the Township provide water service for 12,000 South Edison residential and commercial customers, was created after Edison voters resoundingly voted in favor of a referendum requiring the Township to retain ownership and begin the operation, management, control, and maintenance of the Township’s municipal water system.
Appointed to the Water Advisory Committee are: Business Administrator Maureen Ruane; Administrator of Planning and Strategic Initiatives Melissa Perilstein; attorney Joseph Baumann Jr.; Council President Alvaro Gomez; Councilmen Ajay Patil and Robert Diehl; and Edison residents Keith Hahn, Anthony DeAmorin, Tarendra Lakhankar and Biral Patel.
While the Committee’s meetings may not be open to the public, Ms. Ruane stated that ultimately its recommendations and the decisions made by the Administration will be disclosed.
“The Committee’s recommendations and the Administration’s decisions will be made public and acted upon in public. Residents and stakeholders will have opportunities to offer their ideas and suggestions about how Edison can best create a new utility and provide water service to 12,000 residential and commercial customers,” Ms. Ruane said.