TRENTON – Philadelphia Magazine, which every year trots out a Best of Philly issue guaranteed to generate controversy and conversation, reached across the Delaware and tapped Senate President Steve Sweeney as the “Politician Who’s Ahead of the Curve’’ for Best of Philly 2011.
The magazine, best known for passing judgment on the best restaurants, theaters, and other venues has been paying attention to the Trenton political scene.
“The president of the New Jersey State Senate has been pushing for shared municipal services for a decade, long before this became a buzz phrase in state funding crises. When will we listen?” That’s what the magazine’s editors wrote.
In a release, Sweeney said, “It’s simply amazing that anyone would be considered ahead of the curve for suggesting common sense solutions to provide the most responsive, efficient and cost-effective government to our taxpayers.
“This is an important conversation not just in times of fiscal crisis, but every day. While I’m honored to be part of the Best of Philly, what I’d really like to see is several towns or counties recognized next year for being ahead of the curve by taking the hard steps necessary to really make shared services a reality.”
Sweeney has introduced legislation, S-2794, to require a study of possible shared services involving county and municipal governments and school districts.
The bill would mandate that if a savings could be realized through sharing, the question of whether to do so would be put to a referendum in all municipalities involved; a town failing to pass the measure would be subject to a loss of state aid equal to what they would have saved had they shared the service.
The bill has cleared the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee and currently awaits a hearing in the Budget and Appropriations Committee.