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November 8, 2012

Re:  I.    FEMA Intergovernmental Friday Conference Call CANCELLED
       II.   GRC issues OPRA Guidance in wake of Hurricane Sandy
      III.   National Guard Personnel Activated for Storm Response May Qualify for Assistance

Dear Mayor:

I.          FEMA Intergovernmental Friday Conference Call CANCELLED

The third FEMA intergovernmental conference call scheduled for Friday, November 9 has been cancelled.  We will advise you if and when another conference call is scheduled.

II.        GRC issues OPRA Guidance in wake of Hurricane Sandy

The Government Records Council issued an OPRA Alert regarding Hurricane Sandy’s impact on OPRA.  A citizen’s right to access government records is not suspended under OPRA in the wake of a natural disaster.  However, OPRA contains provisions which will assist records custodians in fulfilling OPRA requests, even in extreme scenarios such as natural disasters.

Record custodians can:

  • Obtain an extension of time to fulfill an OPRA request by responding to the requestor in writing stating that an extension is needed.  The custodian must send the extension notice within the statutorily mandated time period for response to the records request. (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5.i)
  • Deny an OPRA request based on the fact that the request would substantially disrupt the operations of an agency.  The law requires that the records custodian must first attempt to reach a reasonable solution with the requestor that accommodates the interest of both the requestor and the agency, and only if the accommodation fails may the custodian deny the request (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5.g)

 

III.       National Guard Personnel Activated for Storm Response May Qualify for Assistance

The National Guard State Family Readiness Council (http://www.nationalguardsfrc.org/), a 501(c)3 organization established in 2004 to evaluate and award grant applications for New Jersey Army and Air National Guard members who have seen a significant reduction in family income due to their mobilization and deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism, has established a new grant category. Many members have been called to State Active Duty in support of Superstorm Sandy and although being paid for doing so, have seen a significant reduction in their pay because of those duties.  To alleviate that shortfall, applications are now being accepted for grants to provide financial relief for these brave citizen soldiers from our communities.

If any of your municipal employees have been activated to serve due to Sandy, or if you can include this information in communications with local employers and the general public, please pass this on.

Applications may be completed and submitted through the National Guard Family Activity Center specialists located at McGuire Air Force Base, the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base and armories located in Lawrenceville, Somerset, Riverdale, Woodbury and Toms River, New Jersey.

Contact is available 24/7 at the following phone numbers.

  • McGuire Air Force Base - Doug Ridgeway 609-385-6251
  • Atlantic City Air National Guard Base - Jean Perry 609-385-3683 or

      Mike Hughes 609-338-9812

  • Lawrenceville - Jane Hackbarth 609-802-6911
  • Somerset - John Hales 609-802-6921
  • Riverdale - Bernard Simms 609-668-5282
  • Woodbury - Michelle Daisey 609-802-6924
  • Toms River - Maria Morro 609-341-6579

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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