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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Citizens bring common-sense touch

How difficult is it to find ways for your town to save or generate millions of dollars? Not very hard, after reading some of the suggestions from a citizens advisory committee that reviewed Brick's budget.

Some of them apply common sense: employees should begin contributing toward their health benefits; seek competitive bids from health insurance brokers; eliminate or consolidate departments, especially when they duplicate services available elsewhere, such as welfare that the county can handle for free; all bills and invoices should be detailed and itemized, to ensure vendors deliver what's promised.

Others show a keen appreciation of municipal government: introduce the budget early enough to avoid issuing tax anticipation notes (a $320,000 expense), remove restrictions on an unsold liquor license and then sell it for $450,000, sell the former Foodtown site the town bought for $6.1 million four years ago to get some return on the investment.

Now, it's up to Brick officials to implement some of these ideas. Their colleagues in other towns should invite the public to help them make living in New Jersey more affordable. Anything would help.


Anonymous John Fenlin said...

How about (a) requiring that "We the People" approve, at the ballot box, every nickle appropriated and/or spent in a municipal budget; (b) establish 401 K-type retirement plans for ALL government workers, particularly cops; (c) revoke tenure for teachers and all government employees.

Moreover, we should abolish local police departments (how many chiefs, deputy chiefs, captains, etc. do we need in one county, after all?) and instead follow the lead of other states and go with a county-wide elected-sheriff system.

There IS a reason why property owners in other states pay considerably less in taxes than we do.

7:16 PM, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous John Fenlin said...

We should abolish Municipal Courts as well. There is NO reason why each little town/kingdom should have its own court (and own government-paid employees who will, one day, collect a fat pension).

There are 52 municipalities in Monmouth County. We don't need 50+ part-time judges and 50+ part-time municipal prosecutors, and 50+ court clerks, and 50+ bailiffs, etc. Establish one county-wide court to hear all traffic and minor criminal matters. That, alone, would save millions.

John Fenlin

PS - If you really want to cut local taxes, look at a cop and think to yourself: "How can I piss off this pig that spends his day sucking at the government teet?" Answer that question and you will go a long way towards reducing taxes.

7:27 PM, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Citizen input is great, but I thought Brick "officials" were elected to figure these things out?

2:59 PM, May 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like John's had a few "run-ins" with Law Enforcement. How would he like it if we voted to take HIS McDonalds' benefits away?

1:02 PM, May 21, 2006  

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