Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NJFOG - Citizens’ Rights to Government Information Subject of South Jersey Seminar March 23


Citizens’ rights and obligations under New Jersey’s Open Public Records (OPRA) and Open Public Meetings Acts (OPMA) will be the subject of a seminar March 23rd at the Clementon Community Center, 165 Gibbsboro Road from 11:30 am to 5 pm.

The seminar is sponsored by the NJ Foundation for Open Government, a state-wide organization which advocates for transparency in government, educates residents in their rights and how to get information and data using the laws and files court actions to force compliance.

“We focus on Municipal Governments and Boards of Education where some of the worst abuses of withholding information from the public occur,” said Walter Luers, an attorney who is President of the Foundation.  “Government, in our view, functions best in the bright light of day and we try to help citizens shine that light on their governments,” Luers said.   The foundation has participated in numerous suits against governing bodies for violations of the Open Public Records act.

Two panel discussions will be held followed by audience questions.  The fee of $10 on line and $15 at the door covers lunch and refreshments.  The cost to students with valid student ID is $3

Hon. Samuel Cianfarini, Committeeman West Deptford Township will be recognized for his work in promoting and advocating for open government.  Two Citizen Awards are to be announced.

1:15-2:30: PANEL 1. Open Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act from a Government Perspective. This panel will discuss OPRA and OPMA issues from a government perspective and the challenges they face.  Moderator: Walter M. Luers, Esq.
Panelists:  Anthony H. Ogozalek Jr, Esq. of Beckman, Roth, Ogozalek and Perez, Gibbsboro, NJ Solicitor: West Deptford Township, Clementon Housing Authority Assoc. Counsel: Burlington County Board of Social Services Honorable Richard Direnzo, Councilman Haddon Heights Borough Ginny Murphy, Vice President Washington Township Board of Education (Gloucester County) Vice President Gloucester County School Board Association New Jersey School Board Association Board of Directors, Member

2:35-3:45: PANEL 2.  Open Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act from a Public Perspective. This panel will discuss case law and issues facing the public in regards to OPRA and OPMA.  Panelists: Walter M. Luers, Esquire; John Paff, Citizen Activist; Krystal Knapp, Professional Journalist

4:00-5:00:  Question and Answer about OPRA/OPMA, group discussions.

To participate in the seminar register at Njfog.org or call 908-894-5656