Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Borough seeks up to $339.79 for audio tape of a single meeting

The Borough of Englewood Cliffs (Bergen County) wishes for me to pay up to $339.79 for the audio recording of a December 8, 2010 Borough Council meeting.  The Borough posits that the meeting was recorded on audio tape and that since the Borough now uses CD technology, it needs to use a private vendor, at $135 per hour, to duplicate the 2.5 hour meeting recording.

My OPRA request, the Borough's response and my reply to that response are on-line here.

John Paff


  1. Englewood Cliffs pays the Borough Attorney $100 per hour. As a taxpayer, I would like to know why duplicating an audio tape costs more per hour than the Borough Attorney's services.

  2. E-mailed reply from Acting Borough Clerk:

    Mr. Paff, I apologize if my answer was vague.

    We have standard size 2 x 4 audio cassettes that were used in 2010 and part of 2011. In order for me to provide you with a copy of such tapes, I need to have the tapes sent out for copying. We can have them copied onto another cassette or compact disc (the choice is yours). There is no additional charge imposed by the borough for copying. We are passing on the cost that company charges us, to you.

    If you would like to hear the audio cassettes in the office, you are most welcome to make an appointment and we will accommodate you, during our work hours. As for your question regarding the tape speed, I have no knowledge on that subject.

    Please note, your OPRA was not clear as to which audio you requested. I have two meetings - Caucus and Regular for December 8, 2010.

    Thank you,
    Lisette M. Duffy