Regionalize and Shared Services

Plans would promote merging towns to save money

The rough outlines of some of the plans intended to chip away at New Jersey's property tax burden became clearer Wednesday as lawmakers discussed bills that would promote merging towns and consolidating government.

Much of the focus remained on a proposal being pushed by Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr., R-Monmouth, to create a special commission that would recommend municipal mergers, but a key lawmaker called for a tweak that could alter the bill's impact.

Rescue teams bulk up

A Paterson tenement collapses and firefighters are unsure how many people are trapped inside. They do their best to get to possible survivors, but a paucity of search and rescue equipment hinders their efforts. They're forced to watch and wait helplessly as vital minutes pass before assistance arrives.

The scenario was a very real possibility for firefighters in the Silk City, in Hackensack, and in West New York -- pretty much all of North Jersey, with the state's search and rescue team based in Lakehurst.

But a fleet of shiny new rescue trucks unveiled Thursday at Liberty State Park in Jersey City will help change that, authorities said. The trucks -- neatly arranged in a crescent in what once was the shadow of the Twin Towers -- will be used by a new Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Strike Team aimed at responding quickly across the region.

Date set for meeting on police-merger plan

The civilian leaders and chiefs of the eight municipal police departments in southern coastal Monmouth County, which Belmar proposes merging into one force, will meet Sept. 12 in Spring Lake to discuss the idea.

Belmar Mayor Kenneth E. Pringle and Police Chief Jack Hill are the architects of the plan to combine the forces of Belmar, Brielle, Lake Como, Manasquan, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights and Wall into a South Monmouth Police

Assembly Speaker aims to scale back size of government

Assembly Speaker aims to scale back size of government.  Proposes shared services, reforms for property tax relief to aid N.J. residents.  Proposes shared services, reforms for property tax relief to aid N.J. residents.   The proposals include:

Encourage shared services

Encourage shared services
StarLedger Editorial
Monday, April 10, 2006

With money tight in the Statehouse and in town halls across the state, elected officials at all levels of government are looking for ways to economize. An obvious one is to share services.

But let's be realistic: In a state where mayors and town council members consider home rule as distinctly New Jersey as the Turnpike and the Pine Barrens, convincing them to relinquish control over anything won't be easy.