Friday, April 17, 2015

Scary Alternatives for Struggling Towns

Last week Governor Christie signed into law "The Water Infrasture Protection Act" which allows the sale of municipal water and municipal sewage treatment plants to private entities. 
Three things you need to know about this law. 

Our small inefficient towns are struggling to stay afloat. This law allows towns to sell our assets to a corporation and its shareholders that 'We the taxpayers' have built and maintained for years. 

Okay... Will the private companies put service over profit?

The law also takes away the provision that 'We the taxpayers' will be able to vote on the sale. If you do not like the idea you will have to petition (very quickly) to let the people decide. 

Okay... So where is the local control?

The third thing you need to know is now the Board of Public Utilities no longer has ANY oversight on how much of the purchase price and transaction costs will be passed on to 'You the taxpayer'.

Okay...Local government win, private business wins, and 'We the taxpayers' lose. 

Selling our municipal assets and privatization will soon threaten your town.  It is already happening in mine. 

Consolidation vs. Privatization 

You choose. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What is So Scary about Municipal Consolidation?

Maybe we have hardened ourselves to the fact that nothing will change in NJ. We are known for our high property taxes, defined by our highway exits and corruption that gives us the name 'Soprano State'

Our high property taxes are a result of having hundreds of small, inefficient local governments and everyone has to pay for them. We are a 'Home Rule' state, so we have Mayors who will fight tooth and nail for their fiefdoms. We have residents who continually say their town is run much better than the next town over....until they move. 

But the number 1 reason NJ has made little progress on reducing the number of towns through municipal consolidation is fear of change and fear of loss of local control. 

But fear also makes us unable to move or think differently. We become paralysed.  So we are like deer in headlights. And we have enough deer in NJ. 

Maybe we enjoy complaining and paying exhorbinant property taxes because we're 'Jersey'.