TOMS RIVER, NJ – Councilman Terrance Turnbach, one of two Democrats on the Township Council, while approving a 50 home development with two “meeting halls” in North Dover expressed his frustration with Councilman Dan Rodrick for discussing the matter before the public on Tuesday.
“We prepare for these meetings well in advance,” Turnbach said. “If I ever had questions with the ordinance, I brought forward in advance. Every question you ask Mr. Rodrick is fair, but I wish in advance, you would bring these questions forward.”
Rodrick said he did and called Turnbach’s claim false. Turnbach was referring to subcommittee meetings and closed executive session meetings.
“I raise these issues and you made a false claim,” Rodrick said. “You said the same thing about the budget, but I brought up both of these in the executive session.”
The Toms River Council has been under scrutiny over the types of discussions board members have been hiding behind closed doors in executive session meetings, which are not protected by executive session protections afforded by law.
“Bringing these matters before the public is our responsibility, you might not feel it’s right to air our dirty laundry, but the public deserves to know if you’re bothered by that, I don’t know what to tell you other than that’s the way it is.”
“This council does not want the public to know what’s going on,” Rodrick said.
The matter before the council was in response to a lawsuit, lost by new township attorney Gregory P. McGuckin, who was also absent from the meeting. It was the third meeting since being hired to a nearly $500,000 public contract. It was also the third meeting McGuckin missed.