Officials Push Bill to Devote Money to Storm Response Planning

by Brenda Flanagan, Correspondent for NJTV http:// Pounding surf still frays some nerves down the shore as hurricane season spins into high gear with Gaston generating mid-Atlantic waves so powerful, they’re creating dangerous rip currents along Jersey beaches. The National Weather Service recently revised its 2016 hurricane forecast and now predicts more storms of higher intensity. Parts of Louisiana still molder under floodwaters resulting from so-called “1,000-year rains”. Jersey lawmakers fear catastrophic consequences here, too. “I think the key to this is being prepared for the next...
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NJ Counties Scramble to Implement New Bail Rules

by Corinne Ramey, reporter for the Wall Street Journal August 9, 2016  -  5:30 a.m. ET January deadline looms for compliance with new legislation meant to speed up the pre-trial process A massive overhaul of New Jersey’s bail system aimed at unclogging county jails and courts is spreading fiscal angst across the state. January is the deadline for counties to comply with rules designed to speed up pretrial procedures and nearly eliminate money bail. The requirements stem from legislation signed in August 2014 by Gov. Chris Christie and a state constitutional amendment approved by voters s...
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Legislative TTF Debate Continues as Construction Projects Stall

by Michael Aron, Chief Political Correspondent for NJTV “I’m supposed to be meeting with the governor sometime this week and hopefully we can come to some kind of agreement,” Senate President Steve Sweeney said. Sweeney would like to get a bill passed this week, before the two political conventions begin, but doesn’t sound optimistic. “We’re nowhere right now,” he said. “We’ve put some compromises together that we’re going to offer the governor and hopefully he’ll have an open mind. If he doesn’t agree with what we’re offering, is willing to offer something back. If it’s just, ‘...
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Lawmakers Yet to Come Up with Plan on How to Contend with Now-Stalled Road Projects

by Raven Santana of FIOS 1 For news video please click on the source: NJ_07-05-2016_InfrastructureProjects_RavSan_7PM.mov On Thursday, June 30th, Gov. Chris Christie ordered New Jersey officials to plan for a shutdown of state road projects. This, after democratic lawmakers failed to agree with him on how to address the state transportation fund's borrowing authority, which expired Friday. So what does that mean for people here in the Garden State? Without a resolution, county road resurfacing and reconstruction on bridges like Springfield's Mountain Avenue Bridge would be halted. “This...
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PROFILE: His Group Looks Out for Interests of State’s 21 County Governments

by John Reitmeyer of NJ Spotlight Head of NJ Association of Counties hits the road to hear local concerns – and hits the hallways of State House in Trenton. Who he is: John Donnadio, executive director of the New Jersey Association of Counties. Why he matters: Donnadio, 49, is leader of a group that represents the interests of all 21 county governments in the State House in Trenton. He and other members of the organization regularly testify during legislative committee hearings, explaining how a proposed bill would affect county governments and property taxes. And, as lawmakers have been ...
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County Government Works – New Jersey’s Efficient Regional Form of Government

Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-Bergen) recently introduced legislation that would dissolve county government and require the State and municipalities to perform the functions of the State’s only true regional form of government. Although we commend the Assemblyman for putting forth a proposal to reduce the State’s multiple layers of bureaucracy and overwhelming property tax burden, this legislation does not take into consideration the fact that neither the State nor its 565 municipalities have the resources available or subject matter expertise to provide the essential services delivered by cou...
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Should County Governments Be Eliminated?

by Kevin McArdle, NJ 101.5 In New Jersey, there are three levels of government: state, county and municipal. But there is a move in Trenton to study the notion of eliminating county government, to determine if property taxes can be reduced by removing one of the three layers. “I want to start the process of how we could possibly dismantle county government in New Jersey in an effort to save taxpayers money,” said Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-Haskell). “Big government is expensive government. We have three payers of it.” Legislation sponsored by Auth and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Summi...
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Antiquated Law Costing NJ Counties and Towns Money

by Kevin McArdle of NJ 101.5 Doing things electronically is cheaper, faster, and far more efficient, so why is it that in 2015, towns and counties in New Jersey are still paying their bills using paper checks shipped through the mail?  The answer may surprise you - they're not allowed to do it any other way. "Under current law all local governments have to use antiquated paper checks to pay their bills," explained John Donnadio, Executive Director of the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC). NJAC is helping lead the effort to change state law to authorize all local governing bodies to ...
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How High Can They Go? Prosecutor’s Officers Salaries Rival County Exec’s

by Michelle Brunetti Post, Staff Writer for the Press of Atlantic City  New contracts for the unionized sergeants, lieutenants and captains of the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office bring the pay for superior officers close to or above that of the county executive and administrator. County Executive Dennis Levinson makes $141,930, and County Administrator Jerry Del Rosso makes $130,924.  The two have responsibility for oversight of all county government. Captains in the Prosecutor's Office make $138,550 this year, and their salary will rise to $152,962 in 2020, the final year of the superi...
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County Officials Push to Keep Local Pensions Out of State Mess

by Nicholas Huba of the Atlantic City Press With the New Jersey pension system possibly heading for insolvency, a state commission has suggested that towns and counties help bridge the growing funding gap. Local officials, who say they made their state-mandated contribution to the pension system while the state ignored its payments, don’t want anything to do with that recommendation. “Money was squandered,” said Gerald M. Thornton, director of the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders. “We can’t allow these pensions plans to be merged. We have followed the rules and made the contribut...
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