How To Contact Borough Hall
● By Anonymous
Want to reach out to your elected representatives at Borough Hall? The best way to be heard, according to Mayor Patrick "Bud" O'Hagan, is to use the telephone.
Call the main Borough Hall number at 201-445-5720 during regular business hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday, except during the summer when the office closes at 3pm on Friday. Leave a message with the office secretary, who will contact the person you wish to speak with, relay your message, and ask them to return your call.
"This is the fastest way for us to do things," the mayor said.
However, if you call the main number to talk to another department within the building, the secretary will give you the phone number for that department, and ask you to call that number. While you can be transferred from one department to another, doing so ties up that line for the duration of your call, and the main number is only one phone line.
At the Aug. 8 meeting, a First Street resident asked the council if it could provide email addresses and contact information for the council on the borough's "new and improved" website to make it easier for residents to communicate with their elected representatives.
"The Board of Education all have email addresses and it makes it very easy to communicate," she said. "If I have an idea for fundraising or see an article about something another district is doing, I can email it to the Board President and he gets back to me."
Currently, the only emails available for borough officials are the Borough Clerk-Administrator, who's email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the mayor, who's email is email@example.com.* Council President Nancy Peet also makes her personal email address — firstname.lastname@example.org —available for public use, a practice Borough Attorney Robert Regan advises against. Using a personal email account for official borough business potentially subjects the entire account to the Open Public Records Act.
The public inquired as to whether council members could be given an official email address. When the borough switched the website to midlandparknj.org, officials were not given email addresses to go along with the new domain. Email accounts are easily obtained and relatively inexpensive. Godaddy.com offers 100 business email accounts with unlimited storage for about $300 a year.
"Not everyone is able to pick up the phone during the work day to call borough hall when it is open for business," a Godwin Avenue resident told the mayor. "Sending an email [instead of calling] makes more sense these days."
Peet welcomed the suggestion of having an official email address and asked that one be made available to her if possible. Meanwhile, the mayor said the public should email him and he will print out, copy and distribute the email to other council members.
*Correction: The mayor's email was misstated in a previous version of this article. The correct email address is: email@example.com.