October 17, 2013
Re: Governor Signs the Common Sense Shared Service Pilot Program into Law
Today, Governor Christie has signed into law S-533, “The Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act”. The law, which takes effect immediately, implements a pilot program and will only apply to municipalities located in Camden, Morris, Ocean, Sussex and Warren Counties.
S-533 is intended to promote and effectuate the sharing of a service and would permit a governing body to remove a tenured municipal clerk, chief financial officer, tax collector, municipal treasurer, tax assessor or municipal superintendent of public works to effectuate a shared service agreement deemed to be in the interest of the economy and efficiency of the municipalities. Under the pilot program tenure rights cannot prohibit municipalities from entering into shared services for municipal clerk, chief financial officer, tax collector, municipal treasurer, tax assessor or municipal superintendent of public works. However, the municipality must select for employment one to the two existing employees.
In order to enter into such agreement, which must include the estimate anticipated cost savings, the municipality must provide to all affected employees that are party to the agreement a copy of the agreement at least two weeks before the adoption of the resolution and a public hearing has been held. All persons interested in the agreement shall been given the opportunity to present comments or objections concerning the content of the agreement. During the public hearing the governing body must provide an overview of the terms of the agreement and the estimate cost savings. In addition, at least two weeks prior to the public hearing a copy of the agreement shall be made available to the public.
The term of the agreement must be at least two years but no more than ten years. If within the first two years the agreement is cancelled the tenured municipal official dismissed shall be reappointed to their former position and regain their tenure status.
If a tenured official, within the pilot county, is dismissed “in the interest of economy or efficiency” to effectuate a shared service agreement the municipality does not need to follow the removal of tenure official procedures. However, in addition to the requirements outlined above, the municipality must provide the tenured official a written copy of the shared service agreement and a letter stating that the position is being eliminated for reasons of economy or efficiency as the result of a shared service agreement.
S-533 is another tool that will provide municipalities more flexibility and increased opportunities for shared services. We thank the Governor and the sponsors, and in particular we thank Senator Norcross for addressing some of our initial concerns with the legislation.
If you have any questions or need additional information please do not hesitate to contact Lori Buckelew at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481 x112.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.