NEWARK, NJ - The Newark City Council deferred an ordinance on Thursday that would no longer require the mayor to publish executive orders in newspapers and would instead make the city post them online.
The amended measure would still require Mayor Ras Baraka to file executive orders he signs with the city clerk within three days. The orders could also then be obtained by the public through a formal records request.
City officials have cited the cost and time savings of not having to publish the notices in newspapers, which can range from 25 cents to $1 per line depending on circulation. The ordinance also cites publication as an ineffective use of public resources.
Most executive orders are for title changes or labor agreement salary adjustments but can also be used for personnel appointments, committee placements and setting administrative directives or policies.
So far, there is no timetable for how long the mayor has to publish the orders online or when the ordinance will come back to the council for a final vote, Councilman At-Large Carlos Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez, who previously expressed reservations about the ordinance, said on Thursday the compromise reached would require all of the mayor's executive orders to be available on the city's website. He cited what the city considers the cost savings of the measure and time saved on no longer having to format the orders for publication in print.
"It puts a lot of stress on the council on the clerk and everybody else involved," Gonzalez said.
The council is expected to vote on final passage of ordinance once it is amended at one of its meetings in September.
The state does not require executive orders to be publicly advertised like meetings, bids or foreclosures are. The city still advertises executive orders due to a local ordinance dating back to 1986.