Mergers Make Sense

Jul 25, 2018

To the Editor:

Your July 18 article, “District 9 Legislators: Consolidation Plan Is ‘False Narrative,’” was very interesting, to say the least. As the article stated, our illustrious state Senate President Sweeney formed a group of legislators and fiscal experts to examine New Jersey’s state and local tax structure. They called it the Economic and Fiscal Policy Working Group. These are people who are supposed to be working for New Jersey citizens.

The group came up with 60 suggestions, on topics from school funding to the state’s underfunded pension system. The one suggestion I found that made sense was to require municipalities with fewer than 5,000 people to merge with an adjacent, larger town. If implemented, that would force nearly 200 of the state’s 565 municipalities to merge, according to 2010 U.S. Census population data.

To no surprise, that concept was denounced by the 9th District legislative team of Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove, whose constituency includes the Island.

Let’s look at LBI. Four police chiefs, public works department heads and many more highly paid positions would be consolidated. Think of the money saved on such a merge. With some yearly salaries of greater than $150,000 for these positions, LBI residents would not have to pay for four police chiefs and other directors that each municipality presently has. To merge would be a net cost saving. It makes sense!

So why would our politicians and municipal directors not want to save money for their residents? Because the merge would take away the kingdoms and salaries of the police chiefs, mayors, public works directors and many more highly paid people in our local governments. Would such a move would put an end to municipalities on LBI. No! But the spin you will hear from the politicians is only to protect their kingdoms.

Rob Schrader




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