It's that time of year again when the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs releases it Best Practice Checklist for government efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The checklist is used by the state to determine how much, or how little, state aid municipal governments receive. Among the fifty items on the checklist are several model laws developed by The Citizens Campaign's Law & Policy Task Force, including strong Pay to Play Reform, Sunshine Online, Eliminating Benefits for Part-Time Elected Officials, and a requirement that municipalities hire insurance brokers on a flat-fee basis which is a major component in our Best Price Insurance Reform law.
Responses are due by September 28th for municipalities that operate on a calendar year budget and April 1st, 2013, for municipalities that operate on a fiscal year budget.
Towns are already starting to take action. Lebanon and Upper Township are moving on Pay-to-Play Reform. With this checklist and the election around the corner, now is the best time for citizens to make a presentation at their municipal or school board meeting. You could attend a meeting, write a letter to the editor, or pose a question at your next candidate debate. The bottom line is knowledge is power and in this case knowledge can mean more money for your community. Make sure your elected officials and neighbors know about these opportunities exist and deadlines aren't missed.
(TIP: Do your research and see what your town reported last year, click here.)