Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis' administration will now bar township employees from attending meetings of small committees of the township council.
In a letter to township council members this week, Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said the mayor has decided township employees should not attend the committee meetings of three council members, and questions about township business should be submitted in writing.
"I can't ask the council president any questions in public because he refuses to answer," said Acropolis. "What I decided to do was to have everything put in writing. If the council has a question about a project being done, put them in an e-mail and we'll answer them for you."
Council President John Ducey said Thursday that the move is "not in the best interest of the taxpayers."
"It would be nice if council members had equal access to our township employees and professionals, because that is how work gets done," said Ducey."For [the] Business and Finance [committee], various discussions take place. Scott Pezarras attended and gave information. We have no other access to him. It would only hurt the citizens of Brick, because we're going to be making decisions without input as to what the effect is."
Councilman Dan Toth also voiced concerns about the decision, including the fact that township secretaries would presumably no longer be able to take meeting minutes.
"We want to be compliant with the mayor's wishes, but we also have to make sure the taxpayers aren't negatively affected," he said.
Acropolis defended his decision on the committee meetings, as well as his decision to require requests for information from employees to be submitted in writing. He said previously, it was not known what type of discussions were taking place between employees and council members. Putting requests for information and responses in writing will help in that regard.
"That way we have evidence as to what, exactly, is being said," said Acropolis.