There's still no decision about camera restrictions at public meetings in Phillipsburg.
The second reading of a Phillipsburg ordinance that would limit the use of video recording equipment inside council chambers has been tabled until Sept. 4.
During public discussion, Phillipsburg resident Louis Cartabona told council he believed the notice for Tuesday’s hearing violated state law. He said the advertisement omitted the hearing date and did not appear in the correct paper, making it void.
Town attorney Richard Wenner called a five-minute recess to review the announcement, and council subsequently acknowledged the missing date. Wenner said council provided The Express-Times with complete information and received confirmation that the ad ran as intended, so he could not explain how the hearing date escaped publication.
This prompted resident Tom Bush to ask if anyone checks the announcements for accuracy, speculating that existing ordinances may actually be invalid because of insufficient notice. Wenner said he would review past notices at no charge to the town.
The ordinance in question seeks to allow no more than two video recording devices inside Town Council meetings. Those two cameras must be noiseless, have independent power sources, and operate without additional lighting. Cameras must remain at the back of the room for the duration of the meetings and must not record residents.
Blogger and videographer Blaine Fehley is circulating a petition to amend the ordinance. He says he has about 50 signatures, but hopes for more than 300.