As previously reported here on FAA News, the Lakewood Industrial Commission played games this week, apparently purposely to ignore public comments during their regular meeting which is subject to the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act.

A day or two prior to their meeting, the LIC posted to the Township website their "draft agenda" which stated that "Public Comment during the meeting emailed to:..." meaning that public comments should be sent in during the meeting.

According to emails obtained by FAA News several members of the public submitted public comments regarding a very time sensitive topic - the Township Committee's proposed ordinance to permit banquet halls as an accessory use in schools in all zones which permit schools (see our first report on this proposed ordinance here).

These comments were submitted, in accordance with the instructions on the draft agenda.

Surprisingly, at the beginning of the meeting, LIC Executive Director Steven Reinman announced that the emails would not be read because "emails needed to be sent in 8 hours prior to the meeting"!

Turns out that shortly before the start of their meeting, the LIC posted to the Township website a "final agenda" which changes the rules to say "Emailed Public Comment (time-stamped 8 hours prior to the meeting) to..."

It appears that the LIC purposely played major games in order to ignore and suppress these public comments regarding this very time sensitive topic as they preferred to "not get involved".

As previously reported here on FAA News, this is unfortunately not the first time the LIC has been busted playing games to ignore public comments.

The LIC has thus far refused to explain their games. However, Mayor Ray Coles has stepped up to the plate.

At yesterday's Township Committee meeting, a member of the public asked Mayor Coles for his input regarding this problem with the LIC.

Mayor Coles responded that he spoke to Steve Reinman and he notified him that the Township Committee accepts public comments during their meetings and the LIC should be able to do the same thing.

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