On June 15, 2010, I checked the meeting minutes of the Glen Ridge (Essex County) Borough Council and found that the Council always uses the same, vague resolution when it goes into executive or closed session. The boilerplate resolution states: “The Mayor And The Borough Council of The Borough Of Glen Ridge shall convene in ‘Executive Session’ to discuss Legal and Personnel matters in accordance with the [Open Public Meetings Act.]”
I wrote to the Mayor and Council on June 21, 2010 urging them to provide more detail in their resolutions so that the public and press in attendance can better understand the issues that are being privately discussed. I attached a “model” resolution that I had drafted and asked them if they would consider using it instead of their present resolution.
I recently learned that the Council met on June 28, 2010 and agreed, going forward, to use my “model” form of resolution. The draft minutes from the June 28, 2010 meeting state, in pertinent part:
EXECUTIVE SESSION RESOLUTION
Administrator Rohal reviewed the letter from John Paff regarding executive session resolutions. Mr. Paff correctly points out that the resolution should specifically note the reason for the executive session. The Borough will be using the model resolution which Mr. Paff provided for all future executive sessions.
I have placed my letter to Glen Ridge and my “model resolution” on line here.
Readers who would like to urge their own municipal councils, school boards or other government bodies to improve their closed session resolutions should feel free to borrow the language from my letter and resolution.