Promoted by Rosi
Cross Posted on New Jersey Newsroom and PolitickerNJ
Sharing services between local communities is an obvious and pragmatic approach to stabilizing our taxes and maintaining a high level of municipal services our residents have come to expect. As a result of decreasing tax revenues, a new statutory law capping taxes at 2%, and increasing pressure on local governments to provide services they aren’t equipped to deliver, new ideas and reforms need to be discussed and adopted. In my hometown of Haledon we have six bordering communities – Paterson, North Haledon, Wayne, Prospect Park, Hawthorne, and Totowa – all of which have their own police forces, their own Department of Public Works, and a slew of other duplicative services. Now is the time to begin the dialogue of shared services to increase our purchasing power, lower our costs, and, most importantly, pass along necessary property tax relief to our families.
The task of bringing together seven Mayors, seven sets of locally elected officials, and numerous community stakeholders in any potential shared services agreements is daunting. That is why I am proposing the creation of a shared services task force – under the umbrella of the Passaic County Improvement Authority – to begin the necessary work of hashing out meaningful, cost saving shared service agreements between our communities. If we can begin the dialogue on sharing services now, during an economically challenging time, when our economy rebounds we will be better positioned to pass responsible local budgets offering new investment in updating our infrastructure, investment in our schools, and lowering our tax bills.
Once the task force is established the committee would undertake the task of sifting through the seven local budgets, identifying areas where services could be shared, and developing framework agreements to pass those proposals into law. It is nonsensical that we are not pooling our purchases of basic commodities used by every community; we are not receiving the best possible rates for goods we are all purchasing. Because of this we are wasting taxpayer dollars when better arrangements can be achieved with some local cooperation.