I have threatened to sue the Ridgewood Village Council (Bergen) unless it speeds up its release of both executive and public meeting minutes.  As of now, the Village is improperly suppressing minutes from public meetings held as early as March 2009 and executive meetings held as early as November 2008. 

My letter to the Mayor and Council, that contains a draft of the lawsuit I intend to file, is on-line here.   The Village Council is expected to discuss my threat during executive session at its Wednesday, October 28, 2009 meeting.

The minutes that I have gathered so far, plus a table that shows which ones I’m still seeking access to, are on-line here.

An October 23, 2009 article that appeared in the Ridgewood News is on-line here.

Update: November 14, 2009

Ridgewood Village somewhat improves its minutes release policy

On October 27th, posted my threatened lawsuit against the Ridgewood Village Council (Bergen) for taking too long to release both its executive and public meeting minutes.  Since then, the Village lawyer has informed me of the Village’s new policy regarding minutes publication and I have replied.  My original threat of suit, supplemented by the lawyer’s response and my reply are on-line here.

Basically, a lawsuit may still be needed because a) the Village’s new policy is based on a flawed premise–that minutes have to be “approved” before being publicly released and b) the policy regarding release of redacted closed session minutes–if I understand it correctly–permits a delay of six months or more between a closed meeting and the release of the redacted minutes of that meeting. I’ve invited the lawyer to call me next week to explain, clarify and revise the new policy.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]