2011-09-28 / Front Page

TV or not TV? That remains the question

BYMARK ROSMAN Staff Writer

MANALAPAN — Did you see the Manalapan Township Committee’s Sept. 21 town hall meeting on the municipal access cable television channel?

No, you did not, and that will apparently remain the case as long as the current Republican majority on the governing body remains in control of the municipality.

Under a format that has been followed for more than a year, the regular agenda meetings of the committee are taped and then broadcast on the Cablevision and Verizon Fios systems. There are one or two regular agenda meetings per month.

However, regularly scheduled town hallstyle meetings that the committee holds are not being taped for broadcast.

At the regular agenda meetings, a list of business items is discussed and voted upon by Manalapan’s elected officials. Public comment may be made about items that appear on the agenda, as well as about issues that are not on the agenda.

Officials have said the town hall meetings are informal and do not have an agenda. They have said residents are welcome to attend a town hall meeting and address their elected officials on any topic about which they may have concerns.

During the Sept. 14 meeting of the governing body, resident Ray Kalainikas asked the committee to tape and broadcast all of Manalapan’s town hall meetings. In 2011 there were two town hall meetings scheduled, on May 25 and Sept. 21.

A majority of the committee members told Kalainikas they are not in favor of taping and broadcasting the town hall meetings.

MayorAndrew Lucas said the town hall meetings are less formal than a regular agenda meeting and are not taped.

Deputy Mayor Ryan Green said he does not believe the town hall meetings should be taped.

Committeeman Jordan Maskowitz said some residents are not comfortable coming forward to discuss an issue at a public meeting they know is being taped for broadcast.

Maskowitz said those residents are more likely to raise their concerns at a town hall meeting that is not being taped for broadcast. He was not in favor of broadcasting the town hall meetings.

Committeewoman Michelle Roth told Kalainikas she believes that the governing body’s town hall meetings should be taped for broadcast.

Committeeman Don Holland did not comment on the matter.

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