Tag Archive: Collingswood

On Progressives Fighting Progressives (and the call for “unity” in Collingswood and Cherry Hill)

Every word of this is important. And if you disagree, we want to hear from you, too. The struggle for a better New Jersey Democratic Party, and local parties, is real. – Promoted by Rosi Cross-posted at the Local Knowledge Blog. …
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Book Festival

This Saturday is the Collingswood book Festival. I know this site isn’t to advertise events or products. I want to tell you about this event because it’s important to New Jersey.

The festival is down Haddon Avenue, a main thorofare. The town actually shuts down a main street to support book sellers, publishers and authors. Businesses are still open, but there are no cars on the road.

The authors and publishers are mostly local. There aren’t many chances to see so many authors from your own neighborhoods gathered in one spot. Some of the authors are published on small presses that aren’t carried by big bookstores. This is a chance to see those local authors and their books. The publishers such as Plexus, print books about New Jersey.

What a way to promote your own state and it’s artists.  

Nothing is Ever a Total Loss. It Can Always Be Used As A Bad Example

promoted by Rosi

There’s a lot of talk about consolidation and shared services as a way to address New Jersey’s budget crisis.  Some baby steps have been taken in areas such as public safety, county-wide purchasing, and library services.

While consolidation and sharing of services is a noble goal in the abstract, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.  Case in point:  the Woodlynne Police Department.

Woodlynne is a tiny one-quarter square mile borough tucked between Camden and Collingswood.  Four years ago, in an effort to save money, the borough disbanded its police force, sold off its squad cars and other assets, and outsourced police protection to Collingswood.  Like almost all public service agencies, the Collingswood Police Department had severe fiscal challenges, and in 2009 started to cut back on police patrols in the Woodlynne borough.  This soured the relationship between the two municipalities, and eventually they agreed on an amicable divorce – Woodlynne would resurrect its independent police department.

The borough of 3,000 residents hired about a dozen officers who were laid off from their police jobs in surrounding municipalities, and hired a former Camden police chief as their Director of Public Safety at a $60,000 annual salary.  The new Woodlynne Police Department started operation this past Sunday.  Much of the equipment such as bulletproof vests, guns, and forensic devices was recycled or donated from other departments or the state, although the borough did invest in two brand new squad cars.

I’m not qualified to comment on whether this insourcing initiative is good or bad for the citizens of Woodlynne.  It’s possible that the lure of home rule, clash of personalities, or insufficient service from Collingswood all contributed to this reversal.  What’s important here, though, for the rest of the state is to capitalize on Woodlynne’s and Collingswood’s experiences and apply those lessons learned to future cost-cutting efforts.  The New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety should interview the principal parties and document what worked, and what didn’t.  The Department should establish a repository of lessons learned from this and similar efforts – those that succeed as well as those that fail.  And those lessons need to be part of the planning process for future consolidation efforts and sharing of services.  By systematically exploiting mistakes of the past, we have an improved chance of ensuring a better future.

My solution to Governor Christie’s neglect? STEP UP! DO SOMETHING!

If you’re in Collingswood anytime soon, go check out  the library.  Then glance up and marvel at the craftsmanship and dedication that went into the  shiny brand new ceiling.  And then spare a thought for the people who made that progress happen: the members of Garden State Equality, whose south Jersey headquarters is located a few short block away.

In light of Governor Chris Christie’s drastic budget cuts to libraries, it’s up to the community to “step up” and fill the gap caused by an administration whose values and priorities do not include things like local libraries or food banks. (Click the link.  I dare you.)

Garden State Equality volunteers re-furbish Collingswood Library

In this photo, members of the gay rights group Garden State Equality give their our weekends to community service projects that recognize Gov. Christie’s neglectful ways.  

Video: Clinton Stumps for Corzine in Collingswood

We live blogged the Clinton Rally in Collingswood earlier today and here is video of the President Clinton’s speech. He spoke for 16 minutes, so here is part 1:

I’ll put part 2 of his speech and other photos below the fold. The capacity of the room was 1100 and I was told they reached capacity. It was just Governor Corzine and President Clinton at this one, Senator Weinberg joined them for their 2nd event in New Brunswick tonight.

More of this, please

Collingswood is looking to develop a transit village around the PATCO commuter rail station currently located in the town:

“This location is a great location,” Mayor Jim Maley told the developers, who packed a room in the Community Center on Thursday. “Our station already gets more foot traffic than any other station.”

The borough and the Delaware River Port Authority announced last month they are seeking a developer to build a “transit village” on the nine-acre site.

Transit villages are high-density, mixed-use developments built near mass-transit stations in hopes of attracting residents who want urban conveniences in a small-town setting.

Thursday’s meeting was intended to give potential developers a chance to learn more about the project.

In New Jersey, as in many other states, we face the classic chicken-or-the-egg conundrum as it relates to commuter rail and other mass transit. For the most part, people don’t find the routes convenient– either because there aren’t enough, or the stations aren’t in good, convenient locations– so they choose to drive to work instead, thus reducing utilization rates and future investment in rail based on those rates.

However, Collingswood’s move here is a good one, provided the development is properly managed. Let’s hope it’s successful.