By CAROL COMEGNO
The nonprofit group that operates the Battleship New Jersey Memorial and Museum has announced it will resume public meetings in June.
The Home Port Alliance has decided to have its public meetings on a quarterly basis now that it is reducing the number of board of trustees sessions since the ship opened to the public in October.
Alliance co-chairmen Patricia Egan Jones and state Sen. John Matheussen, R-Gloucester, said in a joint statement that they welcome public input. The state and several public agencies contributed millions of dollars to get the ship back to New Jersey and open it as a floating museum on the city waterfront, he said.
However, some alliance meetings will remain closed, Jones and Matheussen said.
Public sessions had been suspended since last fall when the ship opened. Board officials said they were partly busy with the opening and scheduling new programs.
The alliance held monthly public meetings last year after elected Democratic and Republican officials called for open meetings because of public financing and people's interest in the battleship. The state's Sunshine Law does not require nonprofit groups to conduct business in public.
The public meetings this year will be June 5, Sept. 4 and Dec. 4. The times and venues will be announced later, although most meetings are expected to be at night.
In addition to funds from public agencies, the alliance also relies on individual donors, foundation money, corporate contributions, admissions and events to help meet the museum's estimated $5 million yearly operating cost.