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Chamber Sponsors Event to Promote Local Government Efficiency

By Scott Goldstein

"New Jersey is at a seminal moment where our citizens can't afford what we are offering. Taxes are too high and regulation is too burdensome for business," said Brian Clymer, a former state treasurer during the Whitman administration. His comment crystallized why a group of experts convened October 22, 2010 for the Government Efficiency and Best Practices Forum, sponsored by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey League of Municipalities.

Panel members - see caption below
(l to r)  John McCormac, Brian Clymer, Sam Crane, James DiEleuterio
Lori Grifa
Lori Grifa

The event, held at the Forsgate Country Club, explored ways for local governments in New Jersey to adopt best practices and operate more efficiently. It included state Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa, New Jersey League of Municipalities Executive Director William Dressel and two panels – one featuring former state treasurers Clymer, Sam Crane, James DiEleuterio and John McCormac.

The other panel featured Lou Goetting, cabinet secretary to Gov. Chris Christie; Thomas Kelahar, mayor of Toms River; Thomas Neff, director of the Division of Local Government Services at the state DCA; and Robert Podvey, a member of the NJ Chamber Board of Directors and president of the Newark law firm Podvey Meanor, Catenacci, Hildner, Cocoziello & Chattman.

“The recession has provided us an opportunity to define a new normal in our private finances and it’s providing New Jersey an opportunity to define a new normal for our government finances,” said Crane, treasurer during the Florio admistration.

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey League of Municipalities are promoting the governor’s “took kit” legislation package, particularly the bills on arbitration reform and civil service reform, designed to reduce costs for local governments.

“We would like local governments to have the tools to end the double-digit property tax increases that have given new Jersey’s it’s high-tax reputation," said Michael Egenton, senior vice president at the New Jersey Chamber. “We are working with the governor and the Legislature to get it done.


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