Correction Notice Of One Point In “Borough Closes Business” Article
By Saul Qersdyn
Published: October 4, 2013
As it is the policy of Roselle Park News to be responsible in the reporting of matters concerning Roselle Park, this newspaper willingly addresses all inaccuracies or omissions that appear on this web site. In the pursuit to maintain the readers’ trust and enhance the newspaper’s credibility with residents, Roselle Park News not only does its utmost to prevent errors before a news article is published but to also correct them afterward whenever they occur. Even though this newspaper has a clear record of placing notices of corrections on a page solely dedicated to such matters (link), I feel it necessary to not only present this particular correction but to also provide an explanation in this instance.
The article “Borough Closes Business Down By Revoking C.O.” has been amended to clarify the fifth point of paragraph 16 which starts “Then there are the two articles by the Union LocalSource . . .” which reads as follows:
“As residents noted, after requesting documentation through OPRA requests, borough attorney Richard Huxford did eventually address the issue in a letter to the owner of Easy Fitness with Jeannie on Dec. 7, 2012, following with additional letters Jan. 14 and Feb. 1″ – In an OPRA request filed by Roselle Park News for correspondences filed from November 2012 through September 2013, no letters were provided for any of the three (3) dates listed.
The bullet point has been amended to accurately read:
“As residents noted, after requesting documentation through OPRA requests, borough attorney Richard Huxford did eventually address the issue in a letter to the owner of Easy Fitness with Jeannie on Dec. 7, 2012, following with additional letters Jan. 14 and Feb. 1″ – In an OPRA request filed by Roselle Park News for correspondences filed from November 2012 through September 2013, no letters were initially provided for any of the three (3) dates listed. A second clarification request from Roselle Park News to the Borough Clerk’s office on the matter resulted in receipt of the aforementioned dated letters although it cannot be determined if these letters were delivered to Jeannie as she stated that she had never seen them nor are the letters on file signed.
There are three main issues which I will address here:
- First is the reporting that these letters were not provided to Roselle Park News during its initial OPRA request. This is factual, accurate, and true. There was no intent on the newspaper’s part to exclude these letters from the report as those correspondences would simply have been included when first reporting on the matter as has been done now. These correspondences do not impact the other pieces of information and was simply cited as only one of seven (7) points regarding the articles by Union LocalSource – the six (6) other points stand as originally reported by Roselle Park News.
- Second is the initial exclusion of such documents in the Borough’s response to the newspaper’s OPRA request. Unequivocally, I state that I do not believe there was any malicious nor deceptive intent on the part of the Borough Clerk’s office when initially responding to the OPRA request. In discussions , it appears that there was a simple – yet rarely made – clerical error with regard to the letters not being included in the municipality’s response. I mention this because in the midst of everything associated with the situation regarding “Easy Fitness With Jeannie” I do not want to have what, to my knowledge, was a simple oversight – which in my numerous interactions with the Borough Clerk’s Office has never occurred before – be misconstrued for anything other than an unintentional omission which was immediately addressed and responsibly handled in a professional manner once brought to the appropriate party’s attention.
- Lastly, Jeannie stated that she never received any of the letters cited. A review of the correspondences show that they were all specified as mailed via First Class Mail, not Certified Mail nor Registered Mail as with other correspondences sent to the location at 293 West Clay Avenue. There is no record of either the mailing or receipt of such correspondences but denial of such correspondences by Jeannie would not be beneficial to her since they clearly provide the extent of the municipality’s intent that the Borough Attorney referred to having summonses issued for the violations – not having the C.O. revoked. As stated in the original article, that case is still pending yet a revocation of the C.O., which the summons is based on, was already acted on before the case could be heard. Furthermore, the letters provided did not have any signatures, as others provided to Roselle Park News, which means that officially there are no letters on file that were duly signed and mailed. I make no conclusion with this information other than to point out that perhaps a review of the municipality’s mailing protocol could be conducted to prevent such non-verifiable legal documents from occurring in the future.
In conclusion, as a newspaper, these steps were taken to specifically clarify and explain this amendment so as not to make this single editable point – and Roselle Park News – a distraction from the issue. Hopefully, this will prevent the tactic of ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’ – so to speak – where attempts are made to refute an entire article based on a single matter that was beyond the newspaper’s control and which was clarified immediately.