Senate Passes Bill To Encourage Shared Services
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. November 29, 2012
The New Jersey Senate has passed a measure encouraging towns to share services.
The legislation calls for cuts in state aid to towns that refuse to follow a state commission’s recommendations on ways to reduce costs by sharing services.
The New Jersey League of Municipalities opposes that idea. Executive Director Bill Dressel also objects to amendments to the bill that would require towns without civil service rules to comply with them if they share services with a town that has the civil service system.
“This actually impedes local government’s ability to manage personnel effectively. It’s going to drive up costs.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney doesn't see the civil service rules as an impediment.
“Civil service rules apply but that doesn’t prevent you from scaling back and scaling down to get you to where you need to be to be efficient.”
Sweeney says previous efforts to reward towns for sharing services haven’t worked and they need to be pressured into becoming more cost-effective.
“Unfortunately this is a home rule state and under home rule no one likes to change. Taxpayers can’t afford this government anymore. It’s too expensive. It’s too cumbersome. There’s too much overlap.”