Former Bergen Assignment Judge, Peter E. Doyne, Receives Byron Baer Public Service Award

Judge Doyne’s decisions were so in favor of open government that, since he retired, two of his decisions have been reversed by the Appellate Division and several others are on appeal. He is certainly deserving of this public service award. -NJFOG

The Bergen Dispatch
By Paul Nichols
January 13, 2016

On Wednesday evening, Bergen Grassroots presented the 5th Byron Baer Public Service award to the Honorable Peter E. Doyne.

Previous awardees, NJ State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Matthew Boxer, the only State Comptroller New Jersey has ever confirmed, were joined by Judge Linda Baer for the presentation of the award.

Judge Doyne reflected on his 22 years as a state judicial leader and on how he has understood the mandate for government openness in key NJ statutes, especially those originally authored and fostered by Byron Baer, a long-time leader from Bergen County in the NJ State Senate.

In New Jersey, most government meetings begin by citing the Senator Byron M. Baer Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA). Baer, one of Bergen County’s own political leaders, guided OPMA through the legislature in 1975. In 2006 the law was both amended and renamed in honor of the 37th Legislative District lawmaker.

Baer served 21 years in the New Jersey General Assembly and 12 years in the State Senate holding diverse senior positions in both legislative bodies. Baer’s hallmark legislation passed in 1975 and is known as the state’s “Sunshine Law.” Baer was also the co-sponsor of parallel open government legislation, the Open Public Records Act, passed in 2001.

The Byron Baer Award for Public Service is given annually to recognize the different ways in which leaders have made and continue to make major contributions in the ongoing struggle to achieve open and responsive local governance.

Previous awardees include then State Comptroller Matthew Boxer (2012), citizen advocate Paul Eisenman (2013) and Senator Loretta Weinberg (2014). Participating in the ceremony for Judge Doyne.

(The article is online HERE.)