Mayor Rose Heck has issued a public notice announcing major changes to the municipality's rules governing those who record the proceedings of public Hasbrouck Heights Borough Council meetings, Community News reported.
The notice bans the use of any audio or video recording devices that requires connection to an electrical outlet at all times during the course of any mayor/council meetings. Heck said the reason for this change is to prevent people from tripping over electric cords. In addition, recording devices attached to tripods or stands can only be used within Council Chambers' public seating areas—and Mayor Heck said she reserves the authority to ban the use of tripods and stands at all should public areas be too crowded, the article said.
The public notice made a note of emphasizing that the point of the restrictions is not to stop people from using hand held battery powered audio or video recording devices—if they are discreet. However, if their use becomes obtrusive or disrupts proceedings, the mayor can ban such use.
Former council member and recent Democratic candidate Carol Skiba spoke against the mayor's announcement, calling the restrictions the Republican mayor's way to keep "residents in the dark and make them ignorant voters."