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**CNBNews Tips and Snippets: New Gloucester City Police Chief; Board of Ed Meeting Notice Fixed

 

by William E. Cleary Sr.

 

The City of Gloucester has a new police chief. Former police Lieutenant Brian Morrell assumed the position today, Police-chief-hatJanuary 22. Although he hasn’t been officially sworn in, he is the ‘Top Dog’. 

Asked when that swearing in ceremony will take place, Morrell said,

“I’m not sure when that will happen. But I would guess it will be at either the January or February council meeting.”

The position of police chief in Gloucester City has been passed around over the past few weeks because of people retiring. In December, Chief George Berglund retired, and shortly thereafter, the acting chief, Deputy Chief Ken Eller stepped down. Berglund had 26 years on the force, six of those as chief. His salary was $115,000 annually according to the 2014 N.J. public employees DataUniverse list, which is the latest list available.

Eller’s salary, according to the same list, was $111,000 annually. Eller began his career in 1990. Police in N.J. can retire after 25 years of service. 

The 37-year-old Morrell began his career with the Gloucester City Police Department in January 2000. He was promoted to sergeant in January 2005 and to lieutenant in November 2009. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from Rutgers. According to the public employees DataUniverse list, Morrell's 2014 salary was $104,610.

Morrell was asked if he had any new ideas/plans for the department.

“As far as any special plans, we're definitely going to become more involved in community oriented policing.  We need to get everyone in the community involved in solving the city's problems/issues.”

“We've had body cameras since November of 2015. It was something that Chief Berglund started and Chief Eller continued to pursue until they were purchased last year. “ 

Morrell graduated from Gloucester City High School and currently he is a resident of Haddon Heights.

The Gloucester City police department consists of 29 police officers, including administrators. The annual budget for the department is $4,204,623.

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MISTAKE CORRECTED: A special meeting notice of the Gloucester City Board of Education has to be re-advertised in the newspaper because of mistakes in the original legal notice. The notice only contained the date and time of the meeting and its location. What was missing was the purpose of the meeting along with notice of any formal action that may or may not be taken.

The Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), N.J.S.A. 10:4-8(d) states in relevant part that: “Adequate notice” means written advance notice of at least 48 hours, giving the time, date, location and, to the extent known, the agenda of any regular, special or rescheduled meeting, which notice shall accurately state whether formal action may or may not be taken.  (emphasis supplied)

CNBNews contacted McDonnell about the mistake but was unable to get the matter rectified. As such CNBNews contacted John Schmidt, of the N.J. Open Government who in turn notified McDonnell that the Board was not in compliance with the statute.

Schmidt’s email states in part:

I viewed the online notice of a Special Meeting.  http://gcsd.k12.nj.us/Documents/Jan2016Meeting.pdf This does not comply with the requirements of the OPMA, specifically N.J.S.A. 10:4-8(d).

 The notice does not state the reason for the closed session, nor does it state whether a formal action may or may not be taken. 

 Please be advised that I will file suit in Camden Superior Court if the Board does not take corrective action to hold a meeting in accordance with the laws of the state of New Jersey.

McDonnell said the Board will post a corrected advertisement. She told Schmidt she was out of the office and a staff member sent the flawed advertisement to the newspapers.

Revised Meeting Notice:    

Notice is hereby given that the Board of Education of the City of Gloucester, Camden County, New Jersey will hold a “Special Meeting” on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, at 5:30 PM  at the Media Center of the Mary Ethel Costello, 520 Cumberland Street,  Gloucester City, New Jersey regarding personnel matters.  The board will go into closed session.  Action will be taken.

BildeEDITOR’S NOTE: CNBNews asked McDonnell if we could be added to the email list of people who receive notice of special board meetings.  The purpose of the request was to keep the public informed.

McDonnell, in turn, wrote:

The office Administrative Assistant, who sends out meeting notices to the official newspapers, said she will only send to the Gloucester City News  and the Courier Post as approved by the BOE.

 

 

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