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Monday, August 31, 2015

Fairfield Committee asked to consider its non-compliance with JIF rules and its outdated Disorderly Conduct code at September 15, 2015 meeting.

August 31, 2015

Linda M. Gonzales, Clerk
Fairfield Township
via e-mail to  clerk@fairfieldtownshipnj.org

Dear Ms. Gonzales:

During our August 28, 2015 conversation at the municipal building, you described the process for a citizen to follow for having a topic added to an upcoming Committee meeting agenda: The citizen should submit a written request to the Clerk who will then ask the Mayor and Administrator, either one of whom may approve the request.

I ask that two matters be added to the September 15, 2015 meeting agenda.

1. Fairfield's non-compliance with the JIF's and MEL's rules requiring written policies, training and other processes intended to lower Employment Practice Liability (EPL) claims.

I have described the problem and solution in a blog article.  I specifically request that the Committee, at its September 15, 2015 meeting, authorize funds for Solicitor Carr to bring the Township into compliance as soon as possible.

2. Legal review of Code Sections 3-3 (Disorderly Conduct) and 3-8 (Loitering).

While I understand that the Township Code is presently being re-codified, there are some troubling provisions in the code that should be repealed or revised so that they don't carry over to the re-codified code.  Of specific concern are Code Sections 3-3 (Disorderly Conduct) and 3-8 (Loitering).  3-8 is preempted by state law in its entirety as are many of the provisions in 3-3.  Just by way of example, the "public peace, safety and morals" prohibitions in Section 3-8.2(c) include "drunkenness."  Local drunkenness prohibitions were specifically preempted when New Jersey's Alcoholism Treatment and Rehabilitation Act, N.J.S.A. 26:2B-1, et seq. (“ATRA”) became effective on May 9, 1977.  Specifically, I ask that the Committee direct Solicitor Carr to test Code Sections 3-3 (Disorderly Conduct) and 3-8 (loitering) for validity and report his findings to the Committee and the public.

Thank you very much for your kind attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

John Paff

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