2019 Technical Advisory Committee Schedule, Agendas, and Recordings

The request was partially successful.

Dear New Brunswick City,

Under OPRA and the common law right of access, please provide copies of all Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting agendas and recordings for the year 2019, including the TAC's Minor Site Plan Subcommittee and and any other TAC subcommittees.

Please also provide the schedule of all TAC and subcommittee meetings this year.

Yours faithfully,

Charlie Kratovil

New Brunswick City

Hello,

I'm out of the office and will return on Wednesday, September 4th. If you need assistance please phone the Clerk's Office at 732-745-5041. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Leslie Zeledón

New Brunswick City Clerk

Shalon Bennett, New Brunswick City

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Kratovil,
The City of New Brunswick is in receipt of your request and we anticipate
a completed response by September 20, 2019.

Best Regards,

Shalon T. Bennett

Deputy Clerk

 

City of New Brunswick

City Clerk’s Office- RM 201

78 Bayard Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

732 745-5041 (phone)

732-745-5009 (fax)

Joe Catanese,

Dear Mr. Kratovil:
Kindly be advised that your request for documents, specifically Technical
Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting agendas and recordings, etc., is hereby
denied as the TAC meetings are non-public meetings, and any records of
those meetings are exempt from disclosure pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1,
whereby Inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative or
deliberative materials are exempt from disclosure. The TAC meetings,
including sub-committee meetings, are part of a process where draft
documents or other documents are used in the deliberative process.  The
TAC is designed specifically to be advisory and consultive in the early
stages of the review of draft documents prior to being finalized by an
applicant and submitted for review and approval before one of City’s
public boards. 
Thank you for your interest in the City of New Brunswick.
Regards,
 
Joseph J. Catanese
Assistant City Attorney

THIS MESSAGE AND ANY ATTACHMENTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, AND MAY BE
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Dear Mr. Catanese,

I respectfully disagree that the requested agendas and recordings are "exempt from disclosure" for a number of reasons, including your failure to consider or respond to my request for disclosure under the common law.

Further, I kindly ask you to please consider these facts and produce the requested records:
1) There is a Minor Site Plan Subcommittee (MSPS) that holds public meetings, and the city records them.
2) TAC agendas are finalized before the meeting take place, and the final versions are therefore NOT advisory, consultive, or deliberative merely because the related meetings may not have been open to the public.
3) For the past two months, I have been provided with paper copies of the TAC/MSPS agendas by the Planning Department without any problem, and there has never been a stated, logical reason for keeping them secret.
4) I am the only journalist interested in covering the TAC/MSPS and, as such, there is a strong public interest in the requested records being provided in full this requester, under the common law right of access.
5) At last night's Zoning Board meeting, the Planning Director indicated he had intended for the city to release all of the agendas and a recording of the August 21 MSPS meeting in response to my OPRA request.

I will need those records as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for providing them.

Yours sincerely,

Charlie Kratovil

Joe Catanese,

Charlie:
It seems that I was given some conflicting information.  I will schedule a
meeting with the appropriate city employees and will give you a better
answer by Friday.
Joseph J. Catanese
Assistant City Attorney

THIS MESSAGE AND ANY ATTACHMENTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, AND MAY BE
PRIVILEGED. If this message was misdirected, the City of New Brunswick
does not waive any confidentiality or privilege. If you are not the
intended recipient, please notify us immediately and destroy the message
without disclosing its contents to anyone. Any distribution, use or
copying of this e-mail or the information it contains by other than
an intended recipient is unauthorized and illegal. The views and opinions
expressed in this e-mail message are the author's own and may not reflect
the views and opinions of the City of New Brunswick unless the author is
authorized by the City of New Brunswick to express such views or opinions
on its behalf. All email sent to or from this address is subject to
electronic storage and review by the City of New Brunswick. Although the
sender operates anti-virus programs, it does not accept responsibility for
any damage whatsoever caused by viruses being passed.

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Joe Catanese,

12 Attachments

Charlie:
My apologies for any confusion.  Mr. Dominguez has clarified his position
regarding the release of the TAC Meeting Agendas and the Minor Site Plan
Subcommittee records you requested.  The attached documents are being
provided in response to your request as it relates to those items.  
To the extent that there are or were recordings of the Technical Advisory
Committee that were not intended to be public such as those meetings that
were intended to be part of the advisory, consultive and deliberative
process before an application becomes final, and is therefore submitted to
the appropriate public body, those records will not be released as per the
previously stated exemption.  In regards to your claim to a common law
right to those documents the City of New Brunswick believes that the
release of draft plans, or any records of discussions of draft plans may
have a chilling effect on the open discussion that theTAC encourages at
that stage of the process.  The fact that an application and the final
draft of the plans are submitted to the  Zoning or Planning Boards for
consideration, and that process allows for public review and comment,
should be sufficient to allow you to report as a journalist on any project
that has been submitted for final approval to one of the aforementioned
boards.     
Joseph J. Catanese
Assistant City Attorney

THIS MESSAGE AND ANY ATTACHMENTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, AND MAY BE
PRIVILEGED. If this message was misdirected, the City of New Brunswick
does not waive any confidentiality or privilege. If you are not the
intended recipient, please notify us immediately and destroy the message
without disclosing its contents to anyone. Any distribution, use or
copying of this e-mail or the information it contains by other than
an intended recipient is unauthorized and illegal. The views and opinions
expressed in this e-mail message are the author's own and may not reflect
the views and opinions of the City of New Brunswick unless the author is
authorized by the City of New Brunswick to express such views or opinions
on its behalf. All email sent to or from this address is subject to
electronic storage and review by the City of New Brunswick. Although the
sender operates anti-virus programs, it does not accept responsibility for
any damage whatsoever caused by viruses being passed.

Dear Mr. Catanese,

Thank you for your response. Please be advised the 3.20.19 TAC agenda is not included. The file labeled as such is actually a duplicate of the 4.17.19 TAC agenda. Please see if you can get me the March agenda.

Thanks very much.

Yours sincerely,

Charlie Kratovil

Joe Catanese,

1 Attachment

Mr. Kratovil:
Please see the attached document.
Joseph J. Catanese
Assistant City Attorney

THIS MESSAGE AND ANY ATTACHMENTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, AND MAY BE
PRIVILEGED. If this message was misdirected, the City of New Brunswick
does not waive any confidentiality or privilege. If you are not the
intended recipient, please notify us immediately and destroy the message
without disclosing its contents to anyone. Any distribution, use or
copying of this e-mail or the information it contains by other than
an intended recipient is unauthorized and illegal. The views and opinions
expressed in this e-mail message are the author's own and may not reflect
the views and opinions of the City of New Brunswick unless the author is
authorized by the City of New Brunswick to express such views or opinions
on its behalf. All email sent to or from this address is subject to
electronic storage and review by the City of New Brunswick. Although the
sender operates anti-virus programs, it does not accept responsibility for
any damage whatsoever caused by viruses being passed.

show quoted sections