[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Winslow 6-26-07 as Ord. No. O-19-07. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There shall be a Minutes Review Committee (MRC) consisting of the Township Administrator, the Township Clerk and the Township Solicitor, whose job shall be to periodically review the minutes of closed sessions of the governing body and make recommendations to the governing body as to which minutes should be made public. The MRC shall have no power and shall not be a "public body" within the meaning of the Open Public Meetings Act.
The MRC shall meet on an as-needed basis, but at least annually. Meetings of the MRC shall be as scheduled at the convenience of the MRC members by the Administrator.
Prior to each meeting of the MRC, the Township Clerk shall prepare a list of all closed session minutes that have not been made public. The list and the minutes listed shall be made available to the MRC at their meetings.
Recommendations to make minutes public shall be on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration both the interest in maintaining confidentiality set forth in N.J.S.A. 10:4-12 and the interest in prompt disclosure set forth in N.J.S.A. 10:4-14. The applicable guidelines set forth in Section 2-4 of this chapter may be considered as a general standard.
The decision to make public the minutes of any closed session shall be made only by the governing body, and shall be based on a finding that public disclosure of the matters discussed at such closed session will not be detrimental to the public interest. In making this finding, the public body shall take into consideration, but need not agree with, the recommendation of the MRC and the basis for the recommendation as set forth in Section 2-1 D. of this chapter. In cases where more than one (1) matter was discussed in closed session, the governing body may elect to make public only the minutes pertaining to certain of those matters, and to keep the rest of the minutes confidential. Should the minutes contain any material entitled to protection, the governing body shall redact the protected matter, provided that all materials required by law to be contained in the minutes shall be set forth.
Minutes which are made public shall not thereafter be treated as confidential, but may be seen and copied by any person in the same manner as minutes of open meetings.
The following general guidelines pertaining to the purposes for closed meetings set forth in N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(b) may be considered in recommending and deciding when to make public minutes of closed sessions:
Matters required by law to be confidential. When the need to preserve the secrecy of the confidential information discussed no longer exists; provided, that material entitled to court protection shall not be disclosed.
Matters affecting the right to receive Federal funds. When disclosure would no longer impair the right to receive funds or cause funds already received to be forfeited.
Matters involving individual privacy. Such matters shall not be disclosed except as ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction, or with the written consent of all of the individual(s) concerned.
Matters relating to collective bargaining agreements. When the collective bargaining agreement has been made and ratified.
Certain matters involving public funds. After the transaction involving the public funds has been made.
Matters affecting public safety and property. When disclosure will no longer impair the safety and property of the public or the conduct of any investigation.
Litigation, contract negotiation and certain privileged matters. As to litigation, when a final decision has been rendered and all rights of appeal are exhausted; as to anticipated litigation, when the statute of limitations has expired as to all such claims or a binding settlement precluding litigation has been made; as to contract negotiation, when either the contract has been made and is binding on all parties or if not made, when negotiation is terminated; as to matters falling within the attorney-client privilege, at such time, if ever, that disclosure would not violate the attorney's ethical duties.
Employment matters. When the employment decision has been made and all rights to litigate or appeal are exhausted, provided, that material entitled to court protection shall not be disclosed.
Deliberations after hearing in penalty matters. After the decision to impose or not impose the penalty has been made and all rights to litigate or appeal are exhausted; provided, that material entitled to court protection shall not be disclosed.