A bill sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Troy Singleton that would include Monmouth and Atlantic counties in the state pilot program that makes it easier for municipalities in participating counties to enter into shared services agreements was passed by the full Senate Monday. The bill would make Monmouth and Atlantic counties the sixth and seventh counties in the program.
“While many towns and cities across the state have taken steps to cut costs through shared services, the Legislature provided additional tools under a pilot program enacted several years ago that included five counties,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Making Monmouth and Atlantic counties part of this program will ease the process for towns and cities that want to share professionals where it makes sense, and reduce taxpayer costs.”
The bill, S-1586, would add Monmouth and Atlantic counties to the list of counties permitted to operate under the pilot program. The bill authorizes the sharing of services for a municipal clerk, a chief financial officer, an assessor, a tax collector, a municipal treasurer or a municipal superintendent of public works without regard to the strictures of tenure rights that persons who hold those positions may have.
“Sharing services is a smart and effective way in which local governments can work to save taxpayer dollars,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Now, the pilot program will include one-third of New Jersey's counties. This would allow even more municipalities to collaborate with their neighbors to find innovative ways to cut costs and reduce redundancies."
In 2013, New Jersey implemented the “Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act” with the purpose of removing impediments to the sharing of services in order to provide more efficient, and less costly local government services. Currently, five counties are designated as “pilot counties” under the law: Camden, Morris, Ocean, Sussex, and Warren counties.
The bill was released from the full Senate by a vote of 39-0.