County Freeholders Pass Pair of Transparency Resolutions
One was proposed by the Republican chairman, and one was proposed by a recently-elected Democrat.
The Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a pair of resolutions dealing with transparency at their meeting Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 15 in Atlantic City.
The first resolution launched the “Atlantic County Legislative Public Records Portal” and was proposed by Republican Frank Formica. The second proposed agenda, ordinances and resolutions be posted in full on the county’s website, and was co-sponsored by Democrats Colin Bell and Charles Garrett.
“It’s something I’ve talked about for two years and it’s a nice complement to the Legislative Portal,” Bell said prior to the passage of his resolution. “This allows the public to see what we see. It’s the first step toward opening things to the public so they understand the process.”
Bell was elected to the board in November, and made greater transparency in county government part of his campaign platform.
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, Hammonton and Galloway.
Freeholder Alex Marino suggested an addendum to the resolution that stated the proposed resolutions and ordinances would be posted on the website once approved on Friday, but Board Chairman Frank Formica that the county must first consult with its legal department to make sure proper redactions are made prior to posting.
The first resolution authorized the posting of ordinance that had been scanned into the county’s system electronically over the last five years. The portal will provide 24-hour a day, seven day a week access to the public. The county has published agendas electronically since 2005, and have included the meeting minutes on their website since 2008.
Both resolutions were passed unanimously.