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December 6, 2010

Re:      League Testifies before Assemblyman McKeon’s Committee

Dear Mayor:

Earlier today the League presented testimony before Assemblyman McKeon’s Environment and Solid Waste Committee on impediments to shared services between civil service and non-civil service municipalities and the impact of the pending 2% tax levy cap on the Reserved for Uncollected Taxes.


Edward Coleman, West Orange Chief Financial Officer; Janice Mironov, League 2nd Vice President and Mayor of East Windsor; and Greg Fehrenbach, League Interlocal Services Coordinator

Anthony Mercantante, Administrator Township of Middletown; Eldridge Hawkins, Jr, Chairman of the League's Management Reform Committee and Mayor of Orange; Greg Fehrenbach, League Interlocal Service Coordinator; and Samir Elbassiouny, Mayor of Washington Township (Warren County).

Orange City Mayor and Chair of the League’s Management Reform Committee, Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., Washington Township (Warren County) Mayor Samir Elbassiouny, League’s Interlocal Service Coordinator Greg Fehrenbach and Middletown Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante presented testimony before the committee on the challenges of civil service and non-civil service communities sharing services.  Mayor Hawkins stated “sharing services between local communities is a necessary approach to stabilizing our taxes and maintaining a high level of municipal services our residents have come to expect.  As a result of the cuts in state aid and a new law capping taxes at 2%, new ideas and reforms need to be discussed and adopted.” 

Mayor Elbassiouny was able to provide the Committee with a unique perspective as the lead agency, and non-civil service township, in a shared service agreement with a neighboring civil service community of Washington Borough for police department.  Mayor Elbassiouny described in detail the circumstances surrounding the merging of the two Police Departments.  Mayor Elbassiouny noted that with an open mind and dialogue shared service agreements could work, but that, if the law had required Washington Township to become a Civil Service department he would not have considered the agreement in the first place. 

In addition to the testimony on the impediments to shared services between civil service and non-civil service municipalities, East Windsor Mayor and League 2nd Vice President Janice Mironov and Greg Fehrenbach presented testimony on the impact of the pending 2% tax levy cap on the Reserved for Uncollected Taxes.  Mayor Mironov detailed the urgent need for cap relief for the Reserved for Uncollected Taxes and property tax appeals.

We thank Assemblyman McKeon and the members of the special Environmental and Solid Waste Committee for holding the hearing.  We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to discuss some the impediments to shared services between civil service and non-civil service municipalities and the impact of the pending 2% tax levy cap on the Reserved for Uncollected Taxes.  We are grateful for their consideration of reform, so that we can continue to deliver vital local programs and services, while keeping a lid on property taxes.

We also thank Mayors Mironov, Hawkins and Elbassiouny, as well as Mr. Mercantante and Mr. Fehrenbach, for taking the time to come to Trenton to share their thoughts on these issues.  Their testimony benefits all New Jersey municipalities. And for that, we are all grateful.

If you have any questions on these matters, contact Lori Buckelew at 609-695-3481, ext. 112 or lbuckelew@njslom.com.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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