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Dear Members and Citizens:I started monitoring the RDP several years back, as I was not happy with the reasons my home and business were in the RDP. I found that there was not a strong enough support system and if the RDP was going to continue, I was going to get involved. After becoming a board member, it became very apparent that there was a problem with the board itself. There was constant arguing between the Board President and Board Members. I became President to try to bring the board together and organize the RDP office. This all takes time; rules needed to be revisited and established with time lines for all of this.Let us not forget we did not have a full staff in the office for over a year since the full-time Manager left. We had to hire a new assistant for the office, who has done a wonderful job in organizing our computers, forms, and business information; there were many businesses that were not in our computers or had gone out of business and were still on our roster. We spent most of our time fixing the records. We had to visit office buildings to find out what businesses were in the buildings. All this takes time and we only had a part time staff.All OPRA requests have always been sent to the Borough Clerk. It is unfortunate that the OPRA request that we received resulted in a lawsuit. Our office replied to an email; they were instructed to contact the Borough Clerk. The problem seems to be that, even though we returned the email within less than 1 hour of receiving it, the plaintiff DID NOT receive this email with instructions. The plaintiff also faxed a wrong company for the OPRA request, somehow knew that the fax went to the wrong company, but did not resend the fax to the fax number that is on our website, but somehow did not receive the email back with instructions. For some reason our proof of answering the email was not proof enough.

We will be revisiting our procedures and making recommendations to protect our office. The office did as we have always done and directed the requestor to contact the borough clerk. There were no secrets, no hiding of information.

Since I have become president we have been repeatedly OPRA requested for the same information from a few individuals and the information has been provided for each of these requests once received by the Borough Clerk. It has always been the practice of this organization to answer all the requests in a timely fashion. This is very costly however as we are paying money for an assistant to do the same OPRA requests repeatedly. It takes time away from us from doing the things we are supposed to be doing, which is Promote Rutherford.

Yes, I understand that only a few property owners are paying an assessment…. I am one of them. We would like to bring people to Rutherford and see the streets full again. We are a commuter town and we should be advertising, as we have wonderful restaurants, merchants and professionals. Our community has reached out us to bring back the wonderful feelingwe once had in this town. I know that feeling is not gone because we see it every time we bring people to downtown and you see the faces of their children.

Let us all stop the misinformation that is going around. Stay informed. I have nothing to hide, nor does the RDP. There needs to be a compromise and I will work with our Board to continue to move forward. I want to thank the Board for standing behind me. They are very hard working volunteers who are trying to promote Rutherford so we can all be proud.

Respectfully,

Barbara Obiedzinski
President

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1 Comment

    • An inllteigent point of view, well expressed! Thanks!

      Kaycee
      February 9, 2016, @ 4:31 pm Reply

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