Courage to Connect NJ Highlighted in the New York Times
“We shared a fire inspector, a health officer, a construction officer and police communications, and we had a part-time C.F.O.,” said Ms. Genovese, who founded Courage to Connect NJ to promote consolidation. “We shared services with 14 other towns, and it just took a fractured structure and fractured it even more.”
Ms. Genovese’s group plans to release a guide in January for towns interested in consolidating under the 2007 New Jersey law.
Supporters of consolidation say that so many entities mean too many high-priced town managers, school superintendents and other bosses, and that competition for those talents drives up their salaries. Bob Stocker, one of the organizers of the effort to absorb Merchantville into Cherry Hill, points to another concern: towns that are too small to afford professional managers.
“We did away with the borough manager, and now the school principal is also the superintendent,” Mr. Stocker said. “We’ve already harpooned all the whales. There’s no way to stay independent and maintain services without much higher taxes.”
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