TRENTON – The problem of towns sharing services and rendering certain employees redundant is addressed in a bill introduced this week.
Under S3104, dubbed the “Common Sense Shared Services Act,” sponsored by Sen. Donald Norcross, (D-5), Camden, the law would be revised so that a tenured, statutorily-required employee, such as a municipal clerk or a tax collector, could still be removed from their post in order to carry out a shared service agreement or a joint contract for the services of their positions.
“The bill further requires that the removal of a tenured local official shall not require a municipality to fulfill the requirements of current law regarding the removal of a tenured official; instead, a municipality simply must provide the tenured local official with a written copy of the shared service agreement or joint contract for a joint meeting entered into by the municipality, together with a letter stating that the tenured official’s position in the municipality is being eliminated as the result of the shared service agreement or joint contract for a joint meeting,” according to the bill language.
The bill states that when municipalities enter into shared service agreements for fire protection involving paid departments, the seniority, pension rights and tenure of every full-time firefighter involved shall be preserved.
The prospects of shared services as well as possible consolidations of towns have gained steam in recent years as a cost-saving measure in the wake of property tax hike caps and the threat of reduced local services.
Princeton Township and Borough just this month approved a consolidation proposal, but the details remain to be worked out.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee