NJ OPRA shortcomings

10/4/2007 Update:

Here’s Cablevision’s news report about the recent OPRA Study. 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason is interviewed.

10/1/2007 Update:

Here’s a summary of Mitchell Pearlman’s analysis of Open Government in NJ.

Additionally, here are the three Hobokenite’s that were involved: 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason, Dr. Suzanne Piotrowski, Ph.D., and Cori Poff.

“The Governor must make clear to his agency heads that they are expected to ensure that a culture of maximum openness and transparency is maintained within their respective agencies, and that each agency head will be held accountable for effective implementation,” Pearlman said.

Realistically changing the culture from secrecy to transparency requires more than slogans at the top, Pearlman said. Government employees and contractors alike must not only be trained in freedom of information laws, but know “they’ll be evaluated, retained, promoted or disciplined” based on their performance, he said.

Download Mitchell Pearlman’s whole press release here.



Read all about what expert Mitch Pearlman has to say about New Jersey’s Open Government Records Act. No surprises here.

Executive Summary and Full Manuscript available for download.

Open Government expert releases report on shortcomings of NJ’s systems for public access to records

“In light of New Jersey’s reputations for scandal and corruption and elevated interest in transparency, Mitch Pearlman, a Connecticut attorney with international and domestic expertise in open government and former executive director of Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission presents his “best practices” analysis of New Jersey’s Open Government Records Act (OPRA) and Government Records Council (GRC) in a study commisioned by the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG).”

NJFOG is a non-partisan group committed to protecting and expanding public access to government records and meetings while respecting the legitimate privacy rights of individuals in New Jersey.

Three Hobokenites were involved with putting this together.

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[quote comment=”47025″]Mike Russo, a massage therapist who lives in subsidized housing, is the head of our city’s finance committee.[/quote]
I’m wondering how much longer he’s going to get a pass on living in Church Towers while making “workforce housing” the #1 priority in the city. That was all he talked about on Weds. Getting the mercury site back from Raia by any means necessary.

What I think is going on there is he has his father’s vengeful streak and will want to embarrass Raia into selling out at no profit or making a profit that basically makes him a pariah as a candidate “for being against workforce housing” forever.


I’m glad Beth is up there digging into the budget. It’s not easy and she deserves a lot of credit.

With people like Beth and Peter Cunningham on the council remind me why Mike Russo, a massage therapist who lives in subsidized housing, is the head of our city’s finance committee.


Beth was fantastic. That was the best moment in a council meeting this year. The whole public present was disgusted with Cammarano. Bob Duval said it all: reprehensible.


Bravo Beth. Stand your Ground!

You have called out those fools especially Councilman Cammarano who talks about fiduciary responsibility??? What has he or the other council members done to this point? What will the council do when other members of the public start filing similar lawsuits? Sit back and posture while the legal fees escalate? Get on the ball Pete!

Tama Murden

Re 4., then 6.-7. Absolutely agree.

And to use Sunnybrook’s phrase (5.), I’d suggest “…in an underhanded fashion…. Shame. Shame.” applies to much of the obdurate City government. NOT to Beth Mason.

Produce the requested records & all the patronage slackers & siphoners will be exposed for what they are.