Gopal, Beach Bills to Promote Shared Services Advance

Trenton – In an effort to further consolidate local government services, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee approved two bills to promote shared services within the state.

“Shared services are a valuable tool to reduce costs for local governments and streamline services for residents,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Especially as we work to address current budget shortfalls, we should be doing all that we can to increase efficiencies in local government and facilitate the sharing of services between municipalities.”

The first bill, S-1252, would authorize the sharing of a municipal court administrator between municipalities located in Atlantic, Camden, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Sussex and Warren counties under the “Common Sense Shared Service Pilot Program Act.” In the case of a shared service agreement, a tenured municipal court administrator could be dismissed to implement the agreement.

“The Shared Service Pilot Program has been incredibly beneficial for Camden County, allowing municipalities to consolidate offices and spend money more efficiently,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “I am grateful we are expanding the program and look forward to seeing how this new shift will benefit municipalities around the state.”

The second bill, S-2725, would revise processes related to the assessment of real property in counties that operate under “Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program.” Monmouth, Gloucester, and Burlington counties are currently part of the demonstration program.

The bill would improve the property assessment functions and allow for more services to be delivered remotely, including internal inspections and appeal hearing services.

Both bills were released from committee by votes of 5-0.