In a March 27, 2012 letter, Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini, Jr. took the Trenton City Council to task for not making “available to the public written minutes of [Council] meetings for a substantial period of time.”
Citing N.J.S.A. 10:4-14, Bocchini told the Council that going forward, minutes “should be made ‘promptly available’ to the public and noted that a 1986 court decision defined “promptly available” as meaning within two weeks after the meeting.
As for the Council’s backlog of minutes from previous meetings, Bocchini asked the Council to provide him “with a timetable when minutes from past meetings will be complete and available to the public.”
Bocchini’s letter is on-line here.
I wish to thank Trenton resident Jim Carlucci for bringing this matter to the prosecutor’s attention and for sharing Bocchini’s letter with me. It’s not often that a county prosecutor enforces the Open Public Meetings Act. Bocchini’s letter is refreshing and may help convince other prosecutors around New Jersey to take action on complaints about tardy disclosure of meeting minutes.