N.J. Senate move to pressure towns into sharing services

The New Jersey Senate has passed a measure encouraging towns to share services.

The legislation calls for cuts in state aid to towns that will not follow a state commission’s recommendations on ways to reduce costs by sharing services.

The New Jersey League of Municipalities opposes the idea. Executive director Bill Dressel also objects to amendments to the bill requiring towns without civil service rules to comply with them if they share services with a town that has the civil service system.

“This actually impedes local government’s ability to manage personnel effectively,” Dressel said Thursday. “It’s going to drive up costs.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney doesn’t see the civil service rules as an impediment.

“Civil service rules apply, but that doesn’t prevent you from scaling back and scaling down to get you to where you need to be to be efficient,” he said.

Sweeney says previous efforts to reward towns for sharing services haven’t worked and they need to be pressured into adopting more cost-effective measures.

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