Colin Bell Seeks Transparency on County's Website
The county's newest freeholder wants to see resolutions and ordinances posted on the county's website.
Atlantic County’s newest freeholder is working immediately to make the freeholder board more transparent.
Freeholder at-large Colin Bell announced on Thursday, Jan. 10, that he has introduced legislation requiring the board to post the full text of all proposed resolutions and ordinances on the freeholders’ website before each meeting.
Currently, members of the public can only view the upcoming meeting’s agenda, while the freeholders have access to the full text of resolutions and ordinances, Bell said.
“This legislation will fulfill one of my major campaign promises, which is increasing transparency in county government,” Bell said in a release issued on Thursday. “Freeholders are already provided with these documents electronically and with a few clicks of the mouse, the public can be given access to that same information.”
Bell said municipalities in the county have been posting the information he’s suggesting the county post on their websites for years. County municipalities that post ordinances and resolutions include Margate, Ventnor, Egg Harbor Township and Hammonton.
A vote on the measure is expected to take place at the freeholders’ meeting in Atlantic City on Tuesday, Jan. 15.
“I invite every member of the public who is concerned about this issue to attend the meeting at make their voices heard,” Bell said.
Bell was elected in November’s general election, and sworn in at the reorganization meeting on Jan. 2. He is one of two Democratic freeholders, along with Charles Garrett. Garrett co-sponsored the legislation introduced by Bell.
“At no additional cost to taxpayers, we will now provide 24-7 access to information on our website that will lift the veil of mystery over the operations of the Board of Freeholders,” Garrett said. The more informed the public is, the greater accountability and responsiveness we will have in county government.”