The following is a Letter to the Editor. It has not been edited in any way.
As someone familiar with the provisions of the Open Public Meeting Act (OPMA), I was very concerned about Freeholder Kate Gibbs comment at the July 12, 2017 meeting regarding executive session. For those who may not know, OPMA protects the rights of citizens to have notice of, and attend, meetings at which any business affecting the public is to be discussed or acted upon. In order for the Freeholders to enter into executive session, there are three conditions that have to be met: 1) The discussion must be of a confidential nature, such as personnel matters, contract negotiations or litigation matters; 2) a resolution must be passed during an open public meeting approving the closed session; and 3) the resolution has to state the matters to be discussed, with enough information that an interested party can identify the topic. For example, just saying “contract negotiations” isn’t enough; the resolution should include the specific contract being negotiated. The point of executive session is to protect the confidentiality of certain discussions, not to allow the governing body to hold private discussion on any topic they wish.
See News Happening?