Montclair’s BID Remains a Public Agency

The Montclair Center BID's appeal has recently been declined by the New Jersey Supreme Court, The BID remains a "Public Agency".

NJ Supreme Court declines to hear appeal in Montclair BID OPRA dispute.

The Supreme Court of New Jersey declined on Friday to hear and therefore lets stand an Appellate Court’s ruling declaring the Montclair BID is a “Public Agency”. and, therefore, subject to the OPRA laws.

Fridays decision not to hear the appeal means a June 2014 ruling by the Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division siding with the Plaintiff, Scott Kennedy, remains intact.

The Montclair Center Corporation had just assumed it was not a Public Agency and therefore the nearly $500,000 in public funds it receives from the Township of Montclair would not be subject to the same exposure and scrutiny other Public Agencies and their operations are subject to.

Aerial view of the Montclair, NJ
Aerial View of the Montclair Central Business District. Image Courtesy of Studio042 Photography

The Open Public Records Act, OPRA, was enacted to ensure there is complete transparency in how public funds are used and how the administration of public offices are executed. The taxpayers and citizens of New Jersey have the right to fully understand how and when their funds are used.

Scott Kennedy, a local business owner and founding member of the Montclair Center Corporation (also known as The BID) filed suit after The BID, through its Executive Director, Luther Flurry, in December of 2012 stated that they were not subject to the OPRA laws.

The BID, created by the Township of Montclair by ordinance in 2002 and which is funded through a special assessment along with the local property taxes in an amount now approaching $500,000 per year, declared that their records were not subject to the OPRA laws.

The case Scott Kennedy v. Montclair Center Corporation, Business Improvement District, was successfully argued by Richard Gutman, Esq.

Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division DOCKET NO. A-4591-12T2.

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