The Highlands Pancake is house is set to reopen, and as such, the Highlands Council is set to offer a new resolution about possible future communication taking place in the Highlands Pancake House. Their fear is, they may receive of 3 to 4 hours a day of phone calls to the Borough from residents overhearing conversations from other diners in the Highlands Pancake House about what is going on in Highlands and want clarification on what is official communications from the Borough of Highlands. Simply, they just want to mitigate the fact that residents might confuse the Highlands Pancake house with an Official Highlands Communications outlet. So if residents are in the Highlands Pancake House eating breakfast and overhear conversations from elected officials, employees or volunteers, that unless those folks specifically state otherwise, those conversations might be somehow interpreted as “official communications” from the Borough of Highlands.
The proposed resolution shall read:
BOROUGH OF HIGHLANDS
COUNTY OF MONMOUTH
A Resolution Concerning “The Highlands Pancake House”, And any conversations Therein, Or, In Any Breakfast Establishment within the Borough of Highlands, N.J., By Elected Officials Of The Borough Of Highlands As Well As, Other Officials, Employees, Agents, Representatives And Volunteers,
WHEREAS, the restaurant “Highlands Pancake House” has been established on Bay Avenue in Highlands, NJ, and, as of the date of preparing this Resolution, has had thousands of local Highlands patrons; and
WHEREAS, elected and other officials of the Borough could be approached by residents and employees concerning information overheard therein said restaurant which may not true nor accurate; and
WHEREAS, as a result, it is necessary to clarify that the “Highlands Pancake House” is not an official media outlet of the Borough of Highlands; and
WHEREAS, the governing body recognizes that individuals possess a First Amendment right to comment and converse in any restaurant; and
WHEREAS, the governing body further deems that it is necessary to adopt protocols for its elected officials, other officials, employees, representatives and volunteers, so that statements overheard in any restaurant by those individuals are not misinterpreted as official statements of the Borough of Highlands; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any elected Borough official, or other Borough official, employee, agent, representative or volunteer, including appointees to boards, commissions, committees and or subcommittees, who wishes to speak within the “Highlands Pancake House” over breakfast, lunch or any other meal, as well as, in any other similar breakfast establishments, which are currently established or may be in the future established, shall state out loud, before speaking that any comment, conversation or statement from that individual is a statement, comment or conversation of that individual only and does not represent an official statement, comment or communication on behalf of the Borough of Highlands.
When speaking to residents over the proposed new resolution, the reaction was mixed. One stated they felt it was “a violation of [their] right to free speech, and [they] should not have to preface breakfast conversation with a disclaimer, stating what [they are] about to say is not an official Borough statement.”
Another resident did not feel the resolution was infringing at all, stating, “I mean really, if they [the restaurant owners] just changed the name of the restaurant to something besides ‘Highlands’ pancake house this actually wouldn’t be an issue.”
The above post is an April Fool’s Day post. The Highlands Pancake House is not opening in the near future, the Highlands Council is not planning on introducing a resolution against speaking in breakfast establishments without disclaimers .. (yet). And no residents were interviewed for the comments about the fictitious resolution.