Letters to the Editor

Opposition to Open Government Shines Spotlight on Raritan Twp.

To the editor:

Raritan Township’s resolution opposing enhanced open government inadvertently shines the spotlight on itself.

With bipartisan co-sponsors, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg - a champion for open government - crafted bills S1045 and A2699 to expand open and transparent government. These increase public participation rights earlier in the governmental process, specifically in committee meetings now exempt.

Sign Up for E-News

The Raritan Township Committee cited mendacious excuses, such as “unnecessary, unpopular, burdensome to staff, time-consuming, expensive” and the like. Employee assignments and workloads are expenses to serve the public …not to be cited as an obstruction to it.

The state’s Sunshine Law is needed for the public’s effectiveness in fulfilling its role in a democratic society. Shrouded government restricts knowledge, interest, concern and participation. Elected officials are cognizant that this minimizes citizen interference and facilitates government control.

Previously, Weinberg introduced legislation to restrict officials’ exploitation of new technologies - such as wireless and virtual communications - that compromise the letter and spirit of the Sunshine Law. Disingenuously, the League of Municipalities constructed a generic resolution in opposition. The League’s pattern is to lessen citizens’ rights and increase government control. Because League membership fees are funded by taxpayers, we are actually paying for our own disenfranchisement! This must be addressed further.

Early participation is necessary to prevent corruption; here is a common ploy. Officials create an appearance of open mindedness. A façade of diverse residents are empaneled for research and advice. Unbeknownst to others, all panelists share the officials’ intended outcome. Biased research is presented and recommendations adopted, often at the same open meeting. Constituents could not know the committee was formed around a pre-determined agenda.

Shame on Raritan Township and other municipalities that vote to impede open, transparent, honest and forthcoming government. Municipalities that are genuinely open should voluntarily expand their transparency beyond the minimum required by law.

Remember when voting; these officials are not acting to represent their constituents - but to further empower themselves.

Please visit TheCitizensCampaign.org.

Janet Piszar, Chatham

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Flemington/Raritan

Upcoming Events

Mon, November 20, 2:30 AM

Flemington Free Public Library, Flemington

Movie at Flemington Free Public Library

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, November 24, 10:00 AM

The Red Mill Museum Village, Clinton

Clinton's Festival of Trees

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, November 25, 1:00 PM

Lone Eagle Brewing, Flemington

Greyhound Meet and Greet

Giving Back

AtlantiCast: Episode 007

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll see how Atlantic Health System is driving innovation and finding new ways to solve tomorrow’s health care challenges, find out how a near tragedy on the tennis courts was averted thanks to some world-class training and technology at Chilton Medical Center and meet the 70 cancer doctors you need to know about – plus much ...

An Election Won, But at What Cost?

November 17, 2017

To the editor:

Prior to the Nov. 7 elections, I wrote to congratulate Delaware Township committee candidates on running a clean race. Unfortunately, the seemingly earnest guarantee made to me by one Republican candidate turned out to be an empty promise. Less than a week before the election, the Republican candidates used the same sleazy tactic they had employed in the 2014 election, when they ...

Clinton's Festival of Trees

November 20, 2017

CLINTON, NJ - This Festival of Trees annual holiday favorite returns to the Red Mill Museum Village here on Friday, Nov. 24 just in time for the holiday season.

The Festival features a beautiful display of decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces that are available to win through the raffle.

The Festival opens the day after Thanksgiving, which is also the same weekend as the Clinton ...