Earlier today, the State’s Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization and Consolidation Commission (LUARCC) issued its first Annual Report. The Report is available on the LUARCC website at http://www.nj.gov/dca/affiliates/luarcc/publications/.
This Report will be supplemented by the statutorily required “two year” report, about which the Governor spoke in his State of the State speech. (See our letter at http://www.njslom.org/ml011309-STATE-OF-STATE.html.) In that speech, the Governor indicated his desire for “concrete recommendations on cost saving from ‘shared services and consolidations’ to be submitted by the Consolidation Commission no later than March 31st.”
In less than a year since its organization, the Commission, which was created to discover more cost efficient means of delivering vital local services, has made great progress. But it appears that the ‘concrete recommendations’ requested by the Governor will not include specific calls for consolidations, mergers or service sharings. They will, instead, call for patience to allow the Commission to proceed in a thoughtful and professional manner, respecting the magnitude of its charge.
In point of fact, extensive research conducted by Commission member Bob Casey, Executive Director of the New Jersey Municipal Management Association, points away from consolidations as a means of saving property taxpayers’ money. Instead, it appears that the Commission’s early decision to study a realignment of specific service delivery responsibilities may prove much more beneficial to the people of our State.
We will keep you posted on LUARCC studies and recommendations. For further information, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.