It’s Sunshine Week! Understand your Right to Know!

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It’s Sunshine Week! Understand your Right to Know!
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To be an engaged citizenry we must be an informed citizenry. This is a key tenet of our democracy, and gets to the very core of what NewBrunswickPress.com is all about.

We launched NewBrunswickPress.com to make sure Hub City residents are getting the news they need to participate in community decision making. Which is why we’re pleased to join the Sunshine Week celebration by bringing our readers some simple tips for accessing local public records.

Where can I get public records?

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First, determine which local government agency you would like information from.

If you want records about municipal government, including the housing and parking authorities and other boards and commissions, then you will need to contact the New Brunswick City Clerk at 732-745-5041 or visit City Hall at 78 Bayard Street and request an “Open Public Records Act Request Form,” aka “OPRA Form.”  

If you want Police Reports or Accident Reports, or other records from the New Brunswick Police Department, contact the Police records custodian at (732) 745-5212 or visit the station at 25 Kirkpatrick Street.

Requests for county records, should be made with the County Clerk, Elaine Flynn email the OPRA Form to countyclerk@co.middlesex.nj.us or visit the County Clerk's office at 75 Bayard Street.

What types of records can I request?

With a few exceptions, you have access to any paper, drawing, map, plan, report, or other document that has been made, maintained, or kept on file in connection to official business of the government. This includes copies of the municipal budget, government contracts, planning board applications, minutes of meetings, ordinances, and resolutions.

Some of the exceptions to the law are personnel records; records that are deemed “consultative, deliberative, or advisory; or documents relating to pending litigation. A full list of exemptions can be found here.

How much do public records cost?

For photocopies of paper records, letter-sized pages are .05 cents per page and legal-sized pages are .07 cents per page.  If you request information on a CD the  public entity is only allowed to charge the “actual cost," previous court rulings have set "actual cost" as $1.

I filed my request, now what?

Certain public records must be made available immediately on request, including:

  • Budgets (Not inclusive of working documents) Bills, Vouchers, and Contracts Collective Negotiation Agreements (Final) Individual Employment Contracts Employee Salaries and Overtime Information
  • Approved Minutes, Ordinances & Resolutions (Not Drafts)

For all other requests, the records custodian has 7 days to comply or deny your request.

If your request was denied, you may seek free mediation from the Government Records Council.

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New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - February 23, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing Is going on Winter Break, returning Monday, March 5


OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

 NEWARK - The Archdiocese of Newark is somehow making national news, after Cardinal Joseph Tobin sent out a tweet Wednesday that raised one or two eyebrows. Tobin tweeted "Nighty-night, baby. I love you," Hmm, people asked. Now who ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 22, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - If New Jersey raises the sales tax back to 7 percent, will anyone notice? That's the big question from New Jersey Policy Perspective, which questions last year's gimmick that cut the sales tax rate to 6.625 percent. NJ 101.5reports that tax cut equates to $2 a week in "savings" for middle-class families. Meanwhile, this ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 21, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE HIGHWAY - Authorities were frantically looking into a "mystery tar" that appeared suddenly on cars driving along I-295 in South Jersey, causing tires to gel with the road. They quickly realized that a stretch of the highway in Salem County was smeared with liquid asphalt, leaked from a tanker and causing dozens of cars to get ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 20, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - Jittery parents are sending their jittery kids to jittery schools this morning, as classes resume after a President's Day weekend filled with wall-to-wall news coverage about gun safety. School districts statewide have been reporting threats - all thankfully not credible - as district leaders are on the highest alert. East Brunswick, for ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 16, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

E STREET - While a tired nation is demanding gun control (yet again), Springsteen guitarist Stevie Van Zandt is having none of it. No stranger to political opinions, the New Jersey icon tweeted "What happened to us? We are averaging 2 school shootings per week AND WE DO NOTHING ABOUT IT!" Many tone-deaf politicians on Capitol Hill ...

The Jaffe Briefing - January 15, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - As state lawmakers are set to announce a bill at 11 a.m. to decriminalize pot - an issue that has consumed the Statehouse -  the Record is reporting on an often-ignored issue: the state's ridiculously antiquated liquor laws. For example, supermarkets in the state can only have up to two liquor licenses, stemming ...

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Sat, February 24

Plainsboro

Project Feeder Watch

Green Home & Garden

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Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

New Jersey Audubon's Plainsboro Preserve, Plainsboro

Family Adventures - Early Spring: Emerging ...

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Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

Edison High School Auditorium, Edison

Free community viewing of "Bag It"

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Trees Have Sex? Rutgers Researchers Have All the Answers

February 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A few years ago, Rutgers researcher Jennifer Blake-Mahmud was working on a botany project in Virginia when colleagues pointed out a striped maple, a common tree in the understory of mountain forests from Nova Scotia to Georgia. 

 

“They told me, ‘We think it switches sex from year to year, but we don’t know why,’ and I said, ...

Rutgers Union Rally Planned Friday for $15 Minimum Wage

New Brunswick, NJ - On Friday, February 23, student groups, a coalition of Rutgers unions, and representatives from campuses across the nation will hold a rally and march on College Avenue to demand a $15 minimum wage.

The action, initiated by the Rutgers chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and the Rutgers American Association of University Professors - American Federation of ...

RU Students Rejoice: Starbucks Reopens at The Yard@College Avenue

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - In what many consider to be the biggest news of the day on the Rutgers University campus, the Starbucks at The Yard@College Avenue has once again reopened.

Officials with the New Brunswick Development Corp. reported this morning that the popular coffeehouse is open "for good."

The Starbucks at The Yard@College Avenue, located at the corner of College ...

Valeski: Placing Police Officers in Schools was Planned for Two Years

February 21, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - In the midst of a media firestorm Tuesday, Dr. Victor Valeski, East Brunswick Superintendent of Schools, fielded questions from local and national journalists regarding the placement of armed police officers inside each of the district's K-12 buildings.  The move seemed to many as a "knee-jerk" reaction to the fear generated by the massacre of ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

OPINION

Letter to the Editor: Low-Income Families Who Need Safe Cribs Have Nowhere to Go

February 15, 2018

One recent email came from a pastor in East Orange, sharing the struggles of a young couple who have no safe place for their baby to sleep.

Then, there was also a phone call from a Newark hospital, making its fourth request in two years, as well as a frantic text from Puerto Rico, for a family who lost everything in the hurricane.

They all pleaded for the same thing: A safe crib for a ...

Somerset Patriots Sign Frontier League All-Star RHP Randy McCurry

February 17, 2018

The Somerset Patriots have announced the signing of right-handed relief pitcher Randy McCurry for the 2018 season.

“I’m excited to play in the Atlantic League this year,” said McCurry. “It’ll be a transition for me but I am ready to face some really good competition and help the team win.”

McCurry enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and ...