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March 12, 2010

Re:  Three Issues
I.   Women in Government Day
II.  Executive Order 17 Privitization of Services
III. Time of Decision
                                                                                               
Dear Mayor:

I.  WOMEN IN GOVERNMENT DAY

Earlier today, over 100 officials attended our second annual Women in Government Day event in Princeton. They were privileged to hear speeches by Attorney General Paula Dow and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. In addition, special Leadership Awards were presented to elected and professional women who have excelled in public service. And this year’s Distinguished Service Award was presented to the Municipal Court Administrators Association of New Jersey.

We are pleased to note that NJN News will feature a segment highlighting the event and Women in Municipal Government.  The segment will air tonight at 6:00, 7:30 and 11:00 p.m. and available on line after the broadcast at www.njn.net/news/

Our Women in Municipal Government Co-chairs, Haddonfield Mayor Tish Colombi and Newark Council President Mildred Crump, want to extend their thanks and appreciation to Speaker Oliver and General Dow, whose presentations benefited all attendees. We also want to extend our appreciation to League Legislative Analyst Lori Buckelew, who organized this year’s event, and to Administrative Support Specialists Suzanne DeLany, and Shirley Cade, Executive Assistant Becky Wright, Subscriptions Coordinator Tom Fratticcioli and Bookkeeping and Budget Specialists Marie Johnson and Gayle Krygier.

If you are interested in becoming involved with the Women in Municipal Government Committee please contact Lori Buckelew at 609-695-3481 x112 or lbuckelew@njslom.com.

II.  GOVERNOR CREATES TASK FORCE TO STUDY PRIVATIZATION OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES

Yesterday, Governor Christie issued his Executive Order #17, which creates a “New Jersey Privatization Task Force.” The Task Force will consist of five members, to be appointed by the Governor. Regarding the scope of the Task Force’s work, the executive Order states:

The Task Force is charged with developing recommendations for the Governor for a comprehensive approach regarding the privatization of State and local services in light of the State's current fiscal condition. In developing its recommendations, the Task Force shall carefully consider the current fiscal emergency, the necessity of achieving reforms and savings in Fiscal Year 2011, the State's long-term economic interests, and this Administration's commitment to ensuring that the State's resources are managed responsibly for the benefit of the citizens of New Jersey. The Task Force shall focus on a number of critical issues, including: (a) which government functions are or may be appropriate for privatization; (b) current legal and practical impediments to privatization; (c) ensuring that the scope and quality of services is not inappropriately diminished; and (d) such other matters as may be referred to the Task Force by the Governor.

Further:

In formulating its recommendations pursuant to this Order, the Task Force may elicit public input from individuals, organizations, community groups, and other interested parties.

 The Task Force may report to the Governor from time to time and shall issue a final report to the Governor setting forth the Task Force's recommendations pursuant to this Order no later than May 31, 2010. The Task Force shall expire upon the issuance of its final report.

The Governor chose former Congressman Dick Zimmer to Chair this group. Chairman Zimmer has reached out to the League and promised to involve us in this process. We will keep you posted on the work of the Task Force and on opportunities to provide input.

III.  TIME OF DECISION

Yesterday, by a vote of 26-8 the State Senate passed the bill eliminating the time of decision rule, S-82.    We commend Senators Bateman, Beach, Beck, Connors, Gill, Gordon, Turner and Weinberg who voted in opposition to the bill

Four Senators (Buono, Cunningham, Ruiz and Smith) were present but abstained.  It is our understanding that these abstentions were, for the most part, based on the Senators’ respect for concerns raised by the local officials.

We now turn our attention to the Assembly, where A-437 and S-82 are scheduled for votes on Monday.   Please contact your Assembly representatives and ask them to oppose A-437 and S-82.

Because of the speed in which the bill is moving, we also suggest reaching out to the Governor’s Office to express opposition to A-437 & S-82.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director


 

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