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MAYOR'S NEWSLINE

July 2008

Offices: 222 West State St.
Trenton, New Jersey 08618
609-695-3481 Fax 695-0151
E-Mail mdarcy@njslom.com
www.njslom.com
 

IMPORTANT EVENTS
For contributions to the Mayors’ Newsline, please contact Karen E. Venditti, CMP, Editor at kvenditti@njslom.com or (609) 695-3481, ext. 118

July 4
Independence Day
July 27
Korean War Veterans Day

INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Annual Conference Changes
Elected Official Hall of Fame
Editorial on Rural Policing
checkmark
Email Retention

FROM THE PRESIDENT
By Robert L. Bowser, Mayor, East Orange City

2008 is proving to be very challenging year for municipal government and your League.  As we come to the midpoint and pause to look both back and ahead, we realize there are numerous critical issues that have coalesced simultaneously to create unprecedented pressure on Home Rule and local government.

-The State budget
-School funding needs
-Drastic cuts in CMPTRA
-Cuts in State funding of State Police
-COAH 3rd round numbers
-Mandates
-LUARRC – the consolidation commission
and
-The U.S. economy

Perhaps this is the perfect storm for municipal government.  It will certainly be a watershed year that will set a tone for the near future.  As mayors, we often manage multiple competing issues.  At this time, I ask you to redouble your efforts to read League correspondence.  I ask you to make a commitment to follow these issues and act on behalf of local government.    

Going forward we must not falter on these issues, any one of which could produce devastating effects on our communities.  The League will continue to be your eyes, ears and early warning.  But only your commitment, communications, and actions can cause a change, stop a threat, or advance our cause.

EXECUTIVE BOARD

OFFICERS

ROBERT L. BOWSER, President
  Mayor, East Orange
TIMOTHY MCDONOUGH, 1st Vice President
  Mayor, Hope Township
JAMES ANZALDI , 2nd Vice President
  Mayor, Clifton City
LOUISE CURREY WILSON 3rd Vice President
Committeewoman, Montgomery Township

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

DONALD C. ASAY
  Mayor, Mannington Township
CORY BOOKER
  Mayor, Newark (Ex-Officio)
RANDY BROWN
  Mayor, Evesham Township
CHUCK CHIARELLO
  Mayor, Buena Vista Township

GUISEPPE "JOE" CHILA
  Mayor, Woolwich
DANIEL N. CORANOTO
  Deputy Mayor., Hampton Twp.

DAVID DelVECCHIO
  Mayor, Lambertville City

JOHN JOHN DEAN DeRIENZO
   Mayor, Haworth Borough
FRANK J. DRUETZLER
  Mayor, Morris Plains Borough
MICHAEL FRESSOLA
  Mayor, Manchester Township

JERRAMIAH HEALY
   Mayor, Jersey City

MARTIN MARKS
  Mayor, Scotch Plains
JANICE S. MIRONOV
  Mayor, East Windsor
ARTHUR R. ONDISH
  Mayor, Mount Arlington Borough 

GARY PASSANANTE
  Mayor, Somerdale Borough
DOUGLAS M. RAINEAR

  Committee Member, Upper Deerfield  Twp.
GERALD J. TARANTOLO
  Mayor, Eatontown Borough
JOSEPH TEMPESTA Jr..
  Mayor, West Caldwell Township
JANET TUCCI
  Mayor, West Long Branch Borough
BRIAN C. WAHLER
  Mayor, Piscataway Township
SUZANNE M. WALTERS
  
Mayor, Stone Harbor Borough
RUDOLPH J. WENZEL, JR.

  Mayor, Washington Twp. (Bergen)
Executive Staff
WILLIAM G. DRESSEL, Jr.
  Executive Director

Michael J. Darcy, CAE,
  Asst. Executive Director

     

93rd ANNUAL CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
-Contact www.njslom.org  

The League web site has housing and session schedule information available to view and download.

Click on www.njslom.org and go to the link for 93rd Annual Conference to get housing forms and a preliminary schedule of topics that will be covered in League sessions. You can also view an early list of exhibitors. Prepare a “must visit” list of vendors.   

When scheduling your time at the Annual Conference, don’t forget to attend the Consulting Period which has been re-scheduled to Tuesday November 18 from noon to 2:00 p.m. where you can speak one-on-one with hundreds of consultants and State agency representatives. Also, be sure to schedule the League Business Meeting on Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the Sheraton Hotel.

93rd ANNUAL LEAGUE CONFERENCE
ONLINE REGISRATION
-Contact www.njslom.org

Local officials will be able to register for the 93rd   Annual League Conference online, beginning August 1. In addition to paper registration, officials will be able to go to the League web site. Take advantage of this new and easy way to pre-register for the Conference in  Atlantic City, November 18-21. Full registration information will be sent to all Municipal Clerks during the first week of August 2008.

 

IMPORTANT CHANGES IN ANNUAL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
-Contact www.njslom.org

The Consulting Period on General Municipal Topics traditionally held on Thursday of the Conference week, is now held Tuesday, noon to 2:00 PM.  The location remains the same on the second floor of the Atlantic City Convention Center in Hall A.

The League educational sessions normally held on Thursday at 3:00 PM will now start at 2:00 PM.  Please note this change in your plans.

Be sure to check the League Conference web page for periodic updates and much more information.  http://www.njslom.org/93rdconf/93rd-conf-main.html

.

MAYORS HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS
-Contact Michael Darcy ext. 116 or mdarcy@njslom.com

The League is accepting nominations for the 2008 Mayors’ Hall of Fame. To qualify, a mayor must be serving in at least their tenth cumulative year for the silver level or twentieth year for the gold level. Mayors who rotate into office can qualify after holding the office of mayor for ten years.

Qualifying mayors will be inducted into the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Mayors’ Hall of Fame during the Mayors’ Luncheon at the Annual Conference Wednesday, November 19 in Atlantic City. For nomination forms and more information about the Mayors’ Hall of Fame, visit the Mayors Corner at www.njslom.org or contact the League.

Looking to Hire?
Looking to Buy or Sell?
-Contact Sue Delany SDelany@njslom.com
Or http://www.njslom.org/classifieds_jobs.html

The League has restructured its classified advertising.  Municipalities, counties and State agencies are invited to place help wanted and second hand merchandise ads on the League web site.  With thousands of hits to the web site, the magazine classified ads are now phased out and all ads will appear on-line.  Starting in August, the new costs are $55 for the first 50 words and $5 every ten words thereafter. 

RESULTS OF EFFORTS TO RESTORE
STATE FUNDING
-Contact Jon Moran extn 121 or JMoran@njslom.com
http://www.njslom.org/2009-budget-main.html

A general agreement among key State policy makers led to the introduction of a final budget bill in the Legislature late Tuesday, June 17. The bill will build on the Treasurer’s proposed May 13 changes, which added $15 million to CMPTRA for certain smaller municipalities, while reducing the SHARE and Extraordinary Aid programs by $14 million. The bill adds $10.8 million to CMPTRA for municipalities with a population of less than 10,000; $9.8 million to CMPTRA for those over 10,000; $6 million for REAP; and it would reduce the rural police liability by about $8 million. You can access a summary of the bill at:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/09Budget/ScoringSheet_June%2017.pdf

Thank you to all the mayors who worked so hard to drive home the League’s concerns with the preliminary budget proposal.  We sincerely hope that this year’s budget will mark a turning point and that we can again return next year to an emphasis on meaningful and sustainable property tax relief.

Policing Small Towns: New State Plan is Highway Robbery
Contact - Hon. Joe Venezia, Mayor of Estell Manor

Legislation was passed in 1921 to create a State Police Bureau to serve and provide policing service to small rural municipalities that could not afford to pay for their own police departments. Since that time, the New Jersey State Police has grown in both size and scope. For many years, it has been nationally known that the State Police are the most elite and best State Police in the nation. However, because the population in New Jersey has exploded since 1921, so has our State Police grown. No longer are they only serving rural areas. They have a Marine Police unit, Major Crimes unit, Division of Gambling Enforcement, Homeland Security unit, Community Policing unit, as well as their involvement with the election process and crime lab, just to name some of their detail units.

Unfortunately, the state is now trying to play hardball with the small rural communities, telling us that we will now pay approximately $330 per household. The state is looking to collect $20 million from 89 towns. There are six rural towns here in Atlantic County. While the state in general has exploded with growth, I know the six towns in Atlantic County have not. Five out of the six are very quiet towns. Estell Manor and Port Republic have the lowest crime rate in Atlantic County, and with Estell Manor being 53 square miles, we may be the lowest crime rated town in New Jersey. The State Police patrol where crime activity occurs. So what would my town be paying for in return for a low State Police presence? State Highway 50 runs through my town. The state asking us to pay them to patrol their own highway amounts to nothing less than highway robbery. Not to mention the state owns more than 54 percent of our city.

My city of Estell Manor is targeted as a Pinelands preservation district because of the vast amount of water our city has from the Cohansey Aquifer. As the state is considering putting a referendum question on the ballot this year to create a tax on water, perhaps Estell Manor should put a tax on the state for preserving our drinking water that much of New Jersey enjoys. After all, Trenton keeps talking about what it fair.

Speaking of being fair, will the shore communities pay for the Marine Police patrols? Will Camden, Newark, and other larger cities who have their own police departments pay for all of the State Police patrols in their cities? Will Jersey City pay for the Homeland Security units in their city? Will any town that utilizes the services of the State Police Crime Lab pay for evidence sent there for analysis?

What Trenton is doing to my town and the others is banditry and illegal. Is Trenton willing to break the law to squeeze us? Commit extortion? I proposed a solution last year to the Attorney General: Create a surcharge in all municipal courts for all guilty verdicts. That surcharge should be called a State Police Assessment Fee. Put this fee on those who create the need for police services, instead of those that do not. Trenton does keep all traffic fines. Local municipalities do not. We have been paying all along.

Trenton should also eliminate the nearly 1,000 political patronage jobs, in which those no-show employees receive in excess of $100,000 not including their benefit package. That would save more than $100 million dollars that could be shaved off this year's budget, plus the millions for surcharges from the courts.

If my last two sentences were inserted into the Goldman Sacs Financial accounting practices, perhaps Trenton would take notice.

E-Mail Retention – A Municipal Challenge
-Contact Dr. Morris Enyeart, League Web Advisory Service
Enyeart@CityConnections.com

In these days of ever-tightening municipal budgets, there is a tendency to overlook the e-mail retention requirements outlined by OPRA. While NJ Statutes do not specifically mention e-mail, it is clearly a government document as defined by OPRA and more municipalities need to have a defined process for retention of these public records.  See the GRC Guidelines at www.njarchives.org/links/circular-letter-03-10-st.html.

Given competing needs for allocating municipal budget dollars among all of the services provided, it is not reasonable to assume that funds will be redirected from basic services provided by police, fire and public works to purchase and install a full-blown enterprise records management system to manage e-mail retention. In reality, there is no “one size fits all” solution for municipalities. However, some action to comply with the OPRA regulations and avoid litigation costs associated with non-compliance needs to be taken.

While having an in-house mail server may be a step in the right direction, it is more costly and may not be any better than having it on an outsourced, third party server. In many cases it may even be worse.

One of the most significant steps toward compliance would be for elected officials and other municipal staff to stop using private email accounts for municipal business. Additional steps such as periodically archiving emails into a centralized, searchable folder will also go a long way to minimizing the risk and cost. Although an E-Discovery System would be better, there are less expensive alternatives to purchasing an enterprise E-Discovery System.

A speaker’s panel discussed these and related issues during an educational session dedicated to electronic records retention at last year’s NJLM Annual Conference. You can view/download the presentations from that session at www.cityconnections.com/articles.html.

The League is working with the DCA and other organizations to help create additional educational sessions regarding e-mail use, retention and other topics.

A Special Announcement From:

NJLM EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, INC. IN CONJUNCTION
WITH THE NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
PRESENTS A STATEWIDE CONFERENCE

“Understanding and Implementing the
New Jersey School Funding Formula”

Friday, September 19, 2008
9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Middlesex County Community College
2600 Woodbridge Avenue Edison
COST: $35.00

This day long event will provide an educational overview of the revised school funding formula to both educational and municipal leaders (Mayors, Superintendents, Business Administrators, School Board Leaders, Chief Financial Officers, etc.) to review key changes with regard to the funding formula and other related legislative budgetary initiatives including the tax levy cap law and the CORE property tax reform initiative.

In order to get the most out of this program, we suggest that the Mayor extend an invitation to your school superintendent and school board members.  This program will feature presentations by Educational and Municipal school funding experts from The Department of Education and Department of Community Affairs who will offer you the necessary information you will need to understand the new laws affecting school funding and budgeting.

 For more information, see the League School Funding Law Update page at http://www.njslom.org/school_funding_main.html

 

Mayor Jun Choi, Edison, Trustee
NJLM Educational Foundation

Louise Wilson, President
NJLM Educational Foundation
Committeewoman, Montgomery
NJLM 3rd Vice President

 

  

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  FAX: (609) 695-0151