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Restricting Public Participation at our Mayor & Council Meetings

On Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 6:30 pm, the Mayor & Council will vote on adopting proposed Ordinance-18-20, which would restrict public participation at the monthly Mayor & Council meetings. Details on the proposed ordinance are below as well as how to join the meeting by video or phone. Click here for the full meeting agenda.


Meeting attendance information:

Video: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1495923340

Phone: +1(773)2319226, Meeting ID: 149 592 3340


Despite two new Council members joining the Council in January 2021 (Atlas & Floria-Callori) and two current Council members who will be leaving the Council at that time (Santomauro & Chiaia), the current Council will vote on whether to adopt new rules that would have the effect of restraining public speech by residents at public meetings, something that generally violates the free speech guarantees of both the U.S. Constitution and New Jersey Constitution.


Specifically, proposed Ordinance O-18-2020 would (and yes, it really does say all of this):


- Make it unlawful for any resident to address or question any council members individually at the public meeting;

- Authorize the Mayor, in his sole discretion, to prevent (by request) multiple residents from speaking on the same issue;

- Authorize the Mayor, in his sole discretion, to prevent (by request) multiple residents from addressing the Council;

- Authorize the Mayor, in his sole discretion, to prohibit dialogue by residents with the Council and administration;

- Authorize the Mayor to silence any resident upon request;

- Prohibit any remarks deemed (presumably by the Mayor) personal or profane, loud or abusive, or irrelevant to public business; and

- Deem handclapping disorderly conduct (and, therefore, prohibited).


Transparency and vigorous public participation is the only way to ensure good governance in our Borough. Make sure you attend the meeting (conducted by video) to let your opinion be heard.

Contact us at team@northcaldwellnow.com

www.northcaldwellnow.com

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