Below is the audio recording from the Borough Council meeting held last night (7/9/2020) via Zoom. Apologies in advance if children and/or dogs are heard in the background.
There are a few things that I need to point out before you get to the audio. The first is that in spite of how the Borough published notice of this meeting, they were denying residents the ability to connect to the video stream. Anyone that connected in this way was asked to disconnect, and to call back in via phone. Anyone that connected via phone had the Mayor read out their phone number and insist that everyone identify themselves. For the protection of the privacy of those attending, I *HAVE* edited the recording to remove more than the first digit or two of each number, since I have decided to post the entirety of the video, so that you can hear how the beginning was handled.
It also needs to be pointed out that this meeting has failed OPMA compliance on three counts. First, as always, insufficient notice. The Retrospect printed notice last week, but there has been nothing from the Courier-Post, and contrary to what the Borough Solicitor (as well as Mayor and Council) want you to believe, *both* are required by law. Second, the meeting did not start at the time that it was scheduled to begin. Residents had to wait around for about forty minutes while Council fought with software that they’ve been using for months, for this purpose, in order to connect and make quorum. Lastly, the published notice indicated that the meeting could be joined by following the link provided. As was demonstrated last night, this was false.
The final thing that I want to make you aware of before letting you get to the actual meeting is that there has been a change to how the Mayor and Council are ignoring residents during the Public portion of the meeting. Right before it began, Mayor Chukwueke announced that they will be following a 40-year-old code that limits how much the public can speak, but he either didn’t understand it, or was incapable of reading it aloud correctly (in spite of Councilwoman Feliciano’s later comment to Mr. Goodwin stating that the Mayor could read it to him again if he didn’t understand it). The Mayor said the following things:
(1:51:21) – “No person shall converse on any subject for more than 5 minutes. No person shall discuss the same subjects more than once.”
(1:51:48) – “A Councilman may make a motion to adjourn at any time during the meeting. A motion to adjourn is always in order, but must be carried by the majority.”
(1:53:36) – “… and each time anybody wanna speak, it has to be for one minute.”
Based on this, no one is allowed to talk about any subject for longer than 5 minutes and cannot come back around and talk about it once they’ve done so. Further, he is stating that Council can make a motion to adjourn the meeting, regardless of whether or not the Public has had its say. He then turned around and said that anyone wanting to speak has 1 minute to do so. Timestamps have been included so that you can hear it for yourself if you don’t want to go through the whole thing).
Now, without further ado, here is the audio from the meeting (note that the actual meeting starts around 40 minutes in, and the Borough’s official recording starts just before the Public portion):