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1/15/2007 and 2/5/07

Mendham: Town Stuff: The Next Council Meeting: 1/15/2007 and 2/5/07
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 07. on Saturday, January 13, 2007 - 10:16 pm:

quote:

Ordinance#1-07. Ordinance #1-07 establishes a fee of $50.00 for a hard copy of the new Borough master plan and $10.00 for a digital copy on a compact disk.




"Public comment" Questions to be asked of the Borough Council at the Tuesday January 16th meeting.

As is the pattern of the Borough Council you are once again going to consider, through Ordinance #1-07, illegally inflating the fees charged the public, for public documents. I would inquire if any council members have read the Open Public Records Act or done any investigation regarding what the courts have ruled on the subject of appropriate fees. Beyond this ordinance being a violation of the law, there's good reason to wonder why the council would ever consider, regardless of legality, charging more than actual cost to provide any public document. In my opinion, this ordinance is a disgrace as a proposal, and a constitutional obscenity as approved law. At minimum, the council should provide copies of the material to the public library, and advise the public that they may freely access the material--for perusal or reproduction--there. For the record, I would inquire what it cost per-copy to have the master plan printed? I will also state for the record, that on my less than state-of-the-art computer equipment, it takes less than 60 seconds to copy the less than 30 MB of files that comprise a digital copy of the master plan to a blank 25 CD. Even though the Open Public Records Act explicitly prohibits charging for labor costs, at your fee structure, your obliging the public to pay "public servants" some $500 an hour for the low-skilled labor of copying a few computer files. Slightly altering a common cliche-- I would ask What Would Thomas Jefferson Say?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 07. 146... on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 10:49 pm:
Thomas Jefferson would say, "How much time and taxpayer dollars are spent locating and reproducing public information for people who can't, or won't attend public meetings." Many people hire lawyers or planners to obtain and decipher such infromation. This price sounds like a bargain. We can only imagine the time lost for frequent requests such as these.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 2....... on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 7:59 am:
Thomas Jefferson would say, "How much time and taxpayer dollars are spent locating and reproducing public information for people who can't, or won't attend public meetings."

As I've never heard any historian theorized that Benjamin Franklin ever tried to get Thomas Jefferson committed to an insane asylum, I don't think your gas... guess fits within the realm of reasonable possibility.

Many people hire lawyers or planners to obtain and decipher such infromation.

but most people would rather have the right to legally hunt lawyers with a bow and arrow.

This price sounds like a bargain.

I'm sure the business association would love to have your name and address.

We can only imagine the time lost for frequent requests such as these.

In the first place, I would bet the requests are not too frequent... and if its to much trouble for the retarded public servants... why not, as suggested, compile the information once and give it to the public library for distribution...

The information is now provided on this web site for free-- In html, or the town PDF files can be accessed from the bottom half of this master plan page. ...or if you show up at my door, during my business hours, with 25 I give you a copy of the towns $10 C D.

You would think a "public interest" government would be satisfied ripping the taxpayers off for $100,000 to produce this mediocre junk... I think it certainly qualifies as insult-to-injury to illegally, and obviously now unnecessarily, overcharge the public for the information.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 117... on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 12:13 pm:
How much labor is being wasted in passing ordinances to set the price for information that should be provided to the public for free?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 2....... on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 2:11 pm:
Somehow I made a mistake regarding the date of the meeting (So the question did not get asked))... it was last night, the 15th, in spite of the holiday. No matter, I guess, as ordnances must be introduced at a meeting previous to being passed-- so the issue will still probably be on the agenda February 5th (only one meeting in February).

...you would think Mr. "show up for the boring meetings (where specifics are seldom discussed) or you're not a citizen" would have corrected my error.

Also of note, they are now publishing the PDF files on the Borough website... I think this makes the $10 fee for the 25 CD all the more preposterous.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 2....... on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 7:13 pm:
They did make some positive changes to the ordinance last night. The excessive hard-copy fees remain unchanged, but they have reduced the fee for a copy of a CD to $1 ...good enough pig flying. This should save me about $70 or $80 a year off the price of was paying for audio copies of council meetings.

I am likely still going to push for a justification for the $50 fee... as people without computers deserve access at a better price than that. I also might make a renewed effort to get the Township to be rational now that their fee for digital information is 25 times more excessive then the borough's.

quote:


SECTION 1. Chapter 102, Fees, Section 102-4, Fees for copies of public documents, of the Code of the Borough of Mendham, is hereby amended with respect to the fees for Section 102-4(A)(5), Pamphlets/Reports, to read as follows:
Type Fee (each)

Master Plan $50
Environmental Resource Inventory $25
Master Plan Reexamination Report $10
Land Use and Zoning Ordinance $30

SECTION 2. Chapter 102, Fees, Section 102-4, Fees for copies of public
documents, of the Code of the Borough of Mendham, is hereby supplemented with
respect to the fees for Section 102-4(B), Electronic records, to read as follows:

(1) Audiotape reproduction of public meeting: $1.
(2) Conversion of paper record to electronic form: as set forth in Subsection A(1) above.
(3) Conversion of electronic files from one software product to another: actual
cost of conversion.
(4) Audiotape of police communications:
(a) Tape: $1 per tape.
(b) Disk or CD: $1 per disk/CD.
(5) Copies of videotapes associated with court discovery: actual cost of
duplicating.
(6) Computer-generated records: as set forth in Subsection A(1) above.
(7) Records on disk or CD, CD-to-CD or disk-to-disk reproduction: $1 per
disk/CD.
(8) Digital photographs: $1 per disk.
(9) Electronic copy of the master plan (Disk or CD): $1 per disk/CD


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 2....... on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 2:18 pm:
"Public comment" Questions to be asked of the Borough Council at the febuary 5th meeting.

1) While some constructive changes have been made to Ordinance #1-07 since its introduction, I would still challenge the council to justify the reasonable changes not made. Regardless of technical legality, charging more than actual cost to provide any public document is in my opinion a shameful practice that reasonably implies nefarious, and unconstitutional purpose. Through what rationale does the council-justify charging what the law describes as the "not to exceed maximum" per page copying fee, when even the town's own lawyers charge 15 times less for the same service? I would inquire what it cost per-copy to have the master plan printed? how many copies were produced? and, has a copy been provided to the public library?


2) As council members may recall, some two years ago the public passed a referendum allowing the school board to transfer some $2 million from a capital reserve fund, to the expansion fund. The referendum was proposed with the explicit promise that the transfer would implicate "no tax impact" clearly indicating that capital projects defunded by the transfer would be canceled, and not merely refinance through increases in the annual operation's budget. It is my understanding that the regional school board has not cut any capital spending as promised, and that the voters and taxpayers have in fact been defrauded by the regional school board.

As your legal counsel has verified, you have a range of investigatory, and oversight authority, that no doubt includes the right to at least challenge the Board of Education through correspondence to provide you, and the public, a clear statement defending the legality of their actions (define what capital projects were canceled). I would inquire if the council has any concern regarding the Regional Board of Education's refusal to ever publicly disclose what capital projects were canceled to fund the $2 million transfer... and if the council intends to take any action whatsoever to help prevent this apparent defrauding of the voters and taxpayers?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 07. 116... on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 11:03 pm:
Gary,
For Gods sake, stop complaining you asshole and get involved yourself. Run for town council you jackass or stop bitching about everything. It's getting really old

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 07. 2....... on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 9:07 am:
For Gods sake
Maybe for Goldilocks if she asked just right... but not for your sadistic God until he [it] freezes over my big fat black ass.

stop complaining you asshole
and if I asked you to do the same... your response would be what?

and get involved yourself.
You can't even hold up to the horrible "tyranny" of me expressing an opinion on a message board... yet I'm to believe you will be happy living under my rule as grand poobah.

Run for town council you jackass
Beside the numerous practical impediments [described in few places on this message board]. I just don't think I am a big enough jackass to win the necessary "vote for my sign", signage contest.

stop bitching about everything.
On your new American flag, would you put those inspiring words above or below the Red, White, and Blue swastika

It's getting really old
But Apparently, no where near as old....dead and forgotten, as Jefferson's ideals.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 32... on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 4:27 pm:
Possibly you could inquire the following: Does Ms. Stanton wear panties to council meetings and, if not, how is it that she is able to always give the impression that her pants are all bunched up ?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 07. 2....... on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 4:41 pm:

quote:

[Mayor] Question No. 1 I thought we answered that pretty thoroughly at the last meeting... and its out lined clearly in the ordinance... we are really just charging... breaking even on this whole process.

[Borough Attorney] right... that's correct mayor... a with respect to the master plan there is 195 pages and a the question is... is it reimbursement for our cost... it's a good question in the sense that... that is the law however... as you said we responded by... 195 pages even under what is permitted by law, if we were to charge what was permitted by law, that would take us to $56.25 on a per page basis... if we were to copy.... so at $50 we felt that this was fair and adequate under the circumstances.

[Mayor] #2 ...and I think you also answered that pretty thoroughly... and a ...we've said before the school board is a whole separate entity... and we really have nothing, no control over the school board whatsoever.

[Borough Attorney] right, at the last meeting I answered the question from a legal perspective..... unless there is any other comments... with respect to that ...that's a follow-up to that.

[Mayor] Ok any other comments.... hearing none I will move for approval of vouchers



Cutting through the Orwellian evasion-speak here again are the explicit questions asked, and the "council's" answers.


Through what rationale does the council-justify charging what the law describes as the "not to exceed maximum" per page copying fee, when even the town's own lawyers charge 15 times less for the same service? [no answer provided]

I would inquire what it cost per-copy to have the master plan printed? [no answer provided]

how many copies were produced? [no answer provided]

has a copy been provided to the public library? [no answer provided]

I would inquire if the council has any concern regarding the Regional Board of Education's refusal to ever publicly disclose what capital projects were canceled to fund the $2 million transfer? ... [no answer provided]

and if the council intends to take any action whatsoever to help prevent this apparent defrauding of the voters and taxpayers? [no answer provided...well maybe an implied NO]

A perfect fascist 6, for fascist 6 [7 including the mayor] ... your elected government is making a mockery of the United States Constitution, and just about everything our founding father's attempted to create. On the bright side, when I finally get to make my case before a jury -- these unresponsive "responses" to my simple questions are going to provide obvious evidence of discriminatory treatment, and malicious intent to suppress constitutionally protected rights.

As for the Borough attorneys self-contradictions and ludicrous ineloquence... Unfortunately, lawyers can't be held legally accountable for their wrong, inarticulate, or incomprehensible, advice... ultimately, in court, you the taxpayers will be held accountable for the fascist fool's you hired (voted for), and the fascist idiot they hired as an attorney. Essentially, hiring someone to say what you want to here-- to rewrite the constitution and laws the way you want them to be written-- is no excuse under the law, for breaking the law.


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