The Citizens Campaign's offers a menu of "Ready to Adopt" laws (see below), developed by our Law & Policy Task Force. Local cost cutting opportunities that give citizens the power to cut government waste and control property taxes can be advanced by citizens and adopted in municipalities, school districts, and county governments. Our "Ready to Adopt" waste cutting laws have produced savings of well over $10 million since they were created. Additional laws deal with environmental sustainability and government reform. The opportunity exists for one person to make a big impact by presenting a "Ready to Adopt" law.
You can request a model law to present for adoption by emailing Lauren Skowronski or calling her at 732-548-9798 x2. * Please take our Citizen Legislator Class to learn how to make a successful presentation. Coaches will be assigned to people who take this class and need help pursuing their best practice/model law of choice. Click here to request a coach.
Government Waste Cutting
BEST PRICE INSURANCE CONTRACTING for both Municipal and School District Health, Casualty, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Model proposal requires greater competition and transparency in the health insurance procurement process. (Download the step by step BPI Guide / the Model Resolution for Municipal Gov't / the Model Resolution for School Boards) Watch this 8 minute video to learn how citizens are saving their towns and school districts millions by enacting this law across the state.
ELIMINATING BENEFITS FOR PART-TIME ELECTED OFFICIALS and professionals. In health insurance costs, this would be a savings of between $12,000 and $20,000 per person depending mainly on whether the benefits were individual or family. (If co-pays are required those numbers would be somewhat reduced.) (Vineland is saving $90,000 annually) (Download the Model Resolution) (Download a Sample Ordinance from Byram Township)
COUNTY COST SHARING TASK FORCE: A municipal advisory commission to identify and implement a shared services strategy with other municipalities, school districts, and county governments. (Download the Cost Savers Task Force Presentation Kit)
COUNTY DISPATCHING: Becoming part of or forming a regional dispatching service thereby saving funds in the area of dispatcher services. Or if your municipality still uses police officers as dispatchers and there is strong resistance to using regional dispatching move to using civilians as dispatchers. Montgomery Township is saving between $600,000 and $750,000 annually from the full regionalization of their 4 dispatcher services: 1) police 2) fire 3) EMS 4) 911.
SUNSHINE ON-LINE: Give online access to the budget summary, top 10% or salaries or top 5 salaries for each department whichever is greater, overtime per department and all labor contracts. (Download the model ordinance)
UNIFIED LAND USE BOARD: Merge Zoning Board and Planning Board for towns with less than 15,000 residents as permitted by the Municipal Land Use Law and condense redevelopment authority functions in the governing body and planning board.
CONTRACT OUT VEHICLE MAINTENANCE. Montgomery estimates they are saving about $200,000 annually by contracting out to First Vehicle Maintenance—a company that specializes in servicing government fleets as opposed to having an arrangement with a local garage or doing it in-house.
REDUCING THE NUMBER OF WEEKLY TRASH PICKUP days after the summer months (Memorial Day-Labor Day). This initiative can save towns thousands of dollars, since it reduces the money spent in fees for waste removal and frees up workers for park maintenance with less overtime costs.
SHARING OF COMPUTER ADMINISTRATION (network administrator) between the municipality and the school board-- share the cost of the contract. Savings in the $60,000 to $70,000 range depending on the size of the municipality. Formation of an on-going committee to explore potential cost-savings by implementing other shared service arrangements between the municipality and the school board.
CONTRACT WITH COUNTY ROAD DEPARTMENT for municipal road repairs, saving significant costs associated with bidding and private contractor oversight.
FORM MAYOR’S TASK FORCES on: (1) Municipal Service Efficiencies and (2) Community Service Supports.
SHARED SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR FIELD MAINTENANCE and other recreation areas between School Districts and Municipalities. (Download Sample Resolution from Aberdeen, Matawan, and the Regional School District)
REGIONAL PURCHASING CO-OP for goods and services such as fuel, paper, and other materials.
SHARED SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR IT SERVICES between school districts and municipalities. (Download Model Resolution)
BEFORE/AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS and Summer Programs shared between municipalities and school districts
BUS TRANSPORTATION shared among neighboring school districts
PAVING AND SNOW REMOVAL shared among neighboring towns, school districts, and/or the County. (Download Sample Resolution for Shared Snow Removal from Hillsborough)
*Are you interested in shared services, or have experience in that field? - share the details with us by answering this very short questionnaire.
Government Reform & Open Government
MODEL LAW FOR PUBLIC CONTRACTING "PAY TO PLAY" REFORM Absent of proper controls, public contracting is increasingly dominated by “pay-to-play” practices where large campaign contributions are traded for lucrative government contracts. In the process, taxpayers pay more for lower quality services and local elections become too costly for everyday Americans to contemplate running. The Citizens' Campaign Model Public contracting reform ordinance severs the link between campaign contributions and government contracts, ensuring that merit and cost effectiveness drive the contract process while leveling the playing field to run for political office. (Download the full Kit / the Model P2P Reform Law)
MODEL REDEVELOPMENT PUBLIC CONTRACTING "PAY TO PLAY" REFORM An increasing amount of development in New Jersey is occurring through the use of the state redevelopment laws and these large-scale projects are subject to political influence particularly through the use of campaign contributions. Redevelopment decisions have profound impacts on the quality of life of our citizens and it is critical that they be made based on the public interest, not as a reward to big contributors and politically connected players. (Download the Redevelopment Pay-to-Play Reform Law)
MODEL LAW TO BAN POLITICAL FUNDRAISING ON PUBLIC PROPERTY Incumbent politicians are faced with a significant pressure to raise money for their reelection campaigns. However, solicitation and acceptance of political contributions in municipal government rooms and buildings undermines the efficiency of government by taking officials and employees away from the people's business and leads to the appearance of improper influence of political contributions on government functions. A ban on political fundraising on public property addresses these harms by creating a barrier between political fundraising and government operations while leaving open ample alternative venues for political fundraising. (Download the Fundraising Ban Law)
MODEL LAW REQUIRING COMPETITIVE NEGOTIATIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACTS The predominance of no-bid public contracts facilitates “pay-to-play” practices where large campaign contributions are traded for lucrative government contracts. In the absence of procedures for open public competition, no-bid government contracts are often awarded to less qualified contractors at inflated prices. Especially when coupled with effective public contracting reform, competitive negotiation requirements help to ensure that professional service contracts are awarded based on professional qualifications and cost-efficiency. (Download the Competitive Negotiations Law)
MODEL LAW REQUIRING DEVELOPER DISLOSURE OF POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS Major deviations in a municipality’s Master Plan, which outlines long-term decisions about the community’s capacity for development, may provide opportunities for significant private gain at the expense of the public good. During land use applications, full disclosure of political contributions by developers and professionals with an interest in the zoning outcome helps to ensure that zoning variances are decided through a fair and impartial process. Disclosure requirements enhance citizens’ ability to determine whether the money or merit is the basis for zoning variances and to protect their towns and neighborhoods from harmful developments. (Download the Model Developer Disclosure Ordinance)
MODEL POLICY FOR VIDEOTAPING PUBLIC MEETINGS In 2007 the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the rights of citizens and the press to video record public meetings, with the exception that governing bodies may adopt "reasonable rules" to prevent disruptions. Our model ordinance for municipal adoption and model resolution for school board adoption guarantees a citizens right to video record a public meeting while providing "reasonable guidelines" to prevent disruptions. (Download the Model Policy to Videotape Municipal Meetings.) (Download the Model Policy to Videotape School Board Meetings.)
PERFORM ENERGY AUDITS of municipal, school board or county governments. State grants are available for up to $100,000.
ENERGY AGGREGATION: Municipalities, School Districts, and Counties can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy cost by joining an energy consortium, third-party energy buyer.
The Citizens Campaign has partnered with Sustainable Jersey to provide coaching on implementing sustainability proposals. Here are a few of the proposals developed by Sustainable Jersey:
Create a Green Team; Green Building Policy/Resolution; Wind Ordinance; Sustainable Land Use Pledge; Sustainable Master Plan Revision; Create an Environmental Commission; Natural Resource Inventory; Water Conservation Ordinance; Open Space Plan; Natural Resource Protection Plan; Recycling; Tree and Woodlands Management.
These proposals, and many others, are available at www.sustainablejersey.com.