Dear Woodbridge Township,

Under OPRA and the common law right of access, please provide copies of:
1) the resolution adopted for Re-Warding Commissioner compensation,
2) copies of all "scenarios" (maps) submitted to the Re-Warding Commission for consideration, including but not limited to those submitted by Remington Vernick Engineers, Re-Warding Commissioners, and members of the public,
3) copies of all correspondence, including email messages and attachments, sent from the Municipal Clerk to Thomas Lynch, or from Thomas Lynch to the Municipal Clerk, between December 16, 2020 and January 26, 2022, regarding the following topics: wards, ward boundaries, maps, scenarios, Re-Warding, and/or the Re-Warding Commission,
4) copies of the final ward boundary map adopted by the Re-Warding Commission.

Please confirm you have received this request, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you kindly.

Yours faithfully,

Charlie Kratovil

MITCH, JOHN, Woodbridge Township

Dear Mr. Mitch,

Thank you for confirming receipt of my OPRA request. Please be advised the correct dates for item #3 are between December 16, 2021 and January 26, 2022.

Yours sincerely,

Charlie Kratovil

MITCH, JOHN, Woodbridge Township

WBRESPONSE, Woodbridge Township

1 Attachment

Woodbridge Township OPRA #13338

Responsive Documents (Items 1 & 3) Attached.

NOTE: 

2):  In accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, the definition of a Government
Record shall not include inter-agency or intra-agency advisory,
consultative, or deliberative material, therefore 2) is denied.

4):  No responsive documents for period December 16, 2020 and January 26,
2022.

 

 

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Dear Mr. Mitch,
Thanks for your response. I am somewhat confused.

Perhaps I am missing something, but it does not appear that your response includes the resolution requested in item #1 (the resolution adopted for Re-Warding Commissioner compensation). I see the resolution from a decade prior, but none for this current iteration of the Re-Warding Commission.

Regarding item #2 ( copies of all map submitted to the Re-Warding Commission for consideration), I am asking you to reconsider this denial of access. I don't believe the Re-Warding Commission retained counsel, and unfortunately the folks at Remington Vernick Engineers are not attorneys, nor are they well versed in the OPRA. Additionally, even if you find these records are exempt under OPRA, they should be released to me under the common law right of access. I am a journalist who has been covering Middlesex County for over a decade, and as you know, I am also engaged in government and politics specifically in Woodbridge. Records provided previously pursuant to these requests show that you stated in a January 7 email to Mr. Lynch that you had shared all three alternative maps with the "local chairs," presumbaly the leaders of the two major political parties, each of whom are individuals who do not serve on the Re-Warding Commission. It's fundamentally unfair to release these maps to some individuals but not others. As such, please reconsider the denial and release the requested records to me under OPRA and/or common law.

I received some but not all of the records requested in item #3 (email correspondence). Specifically, I received messages, but the attachments to one of the messages were not provided. Providing those attachments (the three alternative maps) would satisfy this item, as well as the prior item (provided there are no additional alternative maps beyond the three identified in the January 7 email from Mr. Lynch).

Finally, your response to item #4 is perplexing: "No responsive documents for period December 16, 2020 and January 26, 2022." Those dates were from my initial request (and were later corrected), and they pertained to item #3 only. Item #4 is a request for "copies of the final ward boundary map adopted by the Re-Warding Commission." It's been more than three weeks since the commission adopted a map, and still to this day, the substance of this important decision is known only to those who were given access to the three aforementioned alternative maps (i.e. the local chairs and anyone that they may have shared those maps with). Yours truly, and other interested individuals, have been left without knowledge of the ward boundaries that were adopted on January 12. Every day that goes by is another day that the political establishment is able to extend their advantage by planning for the upcoming election cycle, while the general public, and potential challengers, still do not know the substance of the decisions rendered by the Re-Warding Commission. Please swiftly produce the ward boundary map adopted by the commission.

As always, thank you for your time and attention to this matter. Please don't hesitate to call me at 732-993-9697 if I can help clarify any of these requests.

Yours sincerely,

Charlie Kratovil

Charlie Kratovil,

Follow-up response received 2/8/22 @ 11:54am

 

From: MITCH, JOHN <[Woodbridge Township request email]>
Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 11:54 AM
To: Charlie Kratovil <[email address]>
Subject: OPRA REQUEST

Charlie,

 

                I received today your email response from last Thursday
regarding your OPRA request for Re-Warding records.  I hope to respond to
you later today or tomorrow at the latest.  Thanks for your understanding.

 

John

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WARNING:
Email received by or sent to Township officials is subject to the Open
Public Records Act [OPRA]. This means that absent some specific privilege,
all such communications are considered a public record and are subject to
publication and/or dissemination to the public upon request.     

Charlie Kratovil,

1 Attachment

Follow-up response received 2/8/22 @ 2:27pm

 

From: MITCH, JOHN <[Woodbridge Township request email]>
Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 2:27 PM
To: Charlie Kratovil <[email address]>
Subject: Resolution

Charlie,

        I am not sure why the attached Resolution wasn't in the email last
week; my apologies.  The one that was included in the response was for the
purpose of sharing a sample Resolution that we used 10 years ago so clerks
who never did this before had a template to follow if they wanted.  I will
reply again later or tomorrow at the latest with other records you are
requesting.

John

PRIVACY NOTICE:
This e-mail, including attachments, may include privileged, confidential
and/or proprietary information, and may be used only by the person or
entity to which it is addressed. If the reader of this e-mail is not the
intended recipient or his or her authorized agent, the reader is hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is
prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the
sender by replying to this message and delete this e-mail immediately. 

WARNING: Email received by or sent to Township officials is subject to the
Open Public Records Act [OPRA]. This means that absent some specific
privilege, all such communications are considered a public record and are
subject to publication and/or dissemination to the public upon request.

Charlie Kratovil,

3 Attachments

Follow-up response received 2/8/22 @ 3:03pm 

 

From: MITCH, JOHN <[Woodbridge Township request email]>
Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 3:03 PM
To: Charlie Kratovil <[email address]>
Subject: Woodbridge Re-Warding Commission

Charlie,

 

                Attached are the three plans that the Woodbridge Board of
Ward Commissioners reviewed as well as corresponding charts.  Alt1 is the
plan that was approved (Final) by the Board and submitted to the Secretary
of State for certification.  I trust that this addresses the records that
you requested.  If you believe I have missed something, please let me
know. 

 

[1][IMG][2]Woodbridge_2020_Alt1[2].pdf

 

[3][IMG][4]Woodbridge_2020_Alt2[1].pdf

 

[5][IMG][6]Woodbridge_2020_Alt3[1].pdf

 

 

John

 

PRIVACY NOTICE:
This e-mail, including attachments, may include privileged, confidential
and/or proprietary information, and may be used only by the person or
entity to which it is addressed. If the reader of this e-mail is not the
intended recipient or his or her authorized agent, the reader is hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is
prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the
sender by replying to this message and delete this e-mail immediately.

WARNING:
Email received by or sent to Township officials is subject to the Open
Public Records Act [OPRA]. This means that absent some specific privilege,
all such communications are considered a public record and are subject to
publication and/or dissemination to the public upon request.     

References

Visible links
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2. https://1drv.ms/b/s!Auzfz27LClr8kVlkVA4e...
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Charlie Kratovil,

1 Attachment

“Alt Scenario 1” map

 

 

Charlie Kratovil,

1 Attachment

“Alt Scenario 2” map

Charlie Kratovil left an annotation ()

One of the three options/maps considered by the Woodbridge Re-Warding Commission ("Alt Scenario 3") was too big to email.

As such, all three "scenarios" are being made available by New Brunswick Today at the following link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1...

It's worth noting these items were released approximately seven hours after the publication of the following article: https://newbrunswicktoday.com/2022/02/08...