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Time for A closer look at “Shared Services”

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Time for A closer look at “Shared Services”  
April 15th 2014
After reading comments from Village personal made on this blog the last several weeks it would seem a closer look at “shared services ” is an idea whose time has come .

The New Jersey Shared Services Association (NJSSA) is a non-profit association that proactively promotes increased efficiency in the delivery of services, while reducing the costs of local government. NJSSA members focus in the areas of advocacy, policy development, and education; while offering non-partisan advisory services to all local public entities and selected non-profit associations.

In 2007, Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos, recognized statewide as long time advocate for shared services, brought together the county shared services coordinators in New Jersey with the purpose of establishing a statewide professional association. The vision was to create an opportunity for improved communication among the coordinators, sharing of information, professional development and advocacy for shared services.

Established in 2008, the New Jersey Shared Services Association (NJSSA) is a non-profit 501(c)3 association that proactively promotes increased efficiency in the delivery of services, while reducing the costs of local government. NJSSA members focus in the areas of advocacy, policy development, and education; while offering non-partisan advisory services to all local public entities and selected non-profit associations.

The overall goal of the NJSSA is to establish substantial and long-term shared service agreements throughout NJ counties and municipalities to help reduce the cost of local government to the taxpayers and improve the availability and efficiency of government services.

NJSSA consists of representatives from across NJ counties with 17 out of 21 counties participating in the NJ Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services Share Grant Program, which funds a 3-year start-up position for a county Office of Shared Services.

The NJSSA members work to identify areas where county and local government can work collaboratively to combine resources for more efficient service delivery while at the same time helping to lower capital and operating costs for participating government entities, resulting in relief to local taxpayers.

Services Currently Being Shared
•  Information Technology (IT)
•  Centralized Police Dispatch, 911 Emergency Communications
•  Consolidation of Public Work Facilities & Departments
•  Animal Control / Animal Shelters
•  Mosquito Control & Gypsy Moth Spraying
•  County Records Management /Retention for Municipalities
•  Transportation Resources for the Disadvantaged and Elderly
•  Countywide Fleet Maintenance & Purchasing
•  Regional Vehicle Wash Facilities
•  Parks and Recreation Facilities / Staff and Maintenance
•  Police Protection Mergers
•  Countywide Tax Assessments and Revaluations
•  Countywide Storm & Wastewater Management
•  County Health Department / Regionalized Health Services
•  County Library System
•  County Sponsored Municipal Job Fairs
•  Shared School District Superintendents and Personnel
•  Customized Training Programs
•  County Recycling Programs
•  County Landfill
•  Police and Fire Training Academies
•  Regional Planning and Economic Development
•  GIS ( Geographical Information Systems)
•  Coop Purchasing Programs
•  Weights and Measures

33 thoughts on “Time for A closer look at “Shared Services”

  1. Just shifting Local tax to County tax. Remember not is for free.

  2. Over 60% of municipal taxes goes to the BOED but there is no discussion about share services when it comes to the BOED. What is their employee liabilities?

  3. They County should take care of maintenance and administer all the sports fields in the County.

  4. Actually the percentage of your tax bill for the BOE is 66% and it appears as if Teachers, who work only 180 days a year or a total of 1,620 hours a year (9 hours X 180 days = 1,620 hours annually) are exempt from all the crying and wining about property taxes.

    Most people work 8 hours a day 5 days a week for a total of 2,080 hours annually. Teachers get the same medical benefits, pension benefits and pay as a full time worker but work 22% less hours annually. Where is the complaining about that on this blog and from the FAC report members? How convenient they chose NOT to mention these facts.

    This isn’t about taxes, this is about someone who wants to complain about Police and Firefighters because “HE” thinks they are overpaid.

  5. Well I’m not “HE” but I also believe Police and Firefighters are overpaid.

    But when it comes to teachers and other municipal workers, I don’t think they are terribly overpaid, but the health benefits and pension benefits are costly. Having them contribute more to pension and healthcare seems reasonable to me.

  6. Fact: most people are here for the schools #4. That’s why they’re willing to pay 66% of their property taxes for the BoE. If you don’t like it, you’re free to move. Fact: most Village residents in the private sector work far more than 2,080 hours per year; “Working 9-to-5” is a song about a secretary. Add in 2.5 hours per work day if the commute is to NYC. Those who own and operate their own businesses are effectively on call 24X7X365 with lots of state mandates and laws to meet, too. Police and fire in Ridgewood are paid more than our teachers on median salaries and yet you choose to insult all of our teachers. Your demeaning attitude towards the BoE and teachers is despicable. Just move away if you are so hateful. No one needs a bully like you.

  7. #6 said, Police and fire in Ridgewood are paid more than our teachers on median salaries and yet you choose to insult all of our teachers. Your demeaning attitude towards the BoE and teachers is despicable. Just move away if you are so hateful. No one needs a bully like you.

    How about we look at the hourly rates for Police and Firefighters vs. Teachers #6 Lets see those numbers instead of your “median” number to get a true perspective.

    Sure looks like your the bully by saying “Just move away if you are so hateful. No one needs a bully like you.” I pointed out facts that can’t be refuted and you resorted to name calling and bully me because you can’t produce any “FACTS” to prove me wrong.

  8. Yes your right #6 most people are he fro the school and then they leave and strap the rest of us with the bill ( BOED)

  9. Someone said Fact: most Village residents in the private sector work far more than 2,080 hours per year; “Working 9-to-5″ is a song about a secretary. Add in 2.5 hours per work day if the commute is to NYC. Those who own and operate their own businesses are effectively on call 24X7X365 with lots of state mandates and laws to meet, too

    Cry me a river, I just returned from my 2nd tour in Afghanistan where you have to worry about IEDs, snipers, artillery or some nut with a gun trying to kill you 24 hours of everyday. Tours of duty are outside in the hot or cold, rain or shine, there are no coffee breaks and meals are MREs which are like eating cardboard at best. I bet my pay was 10% of what you earn working in an office NYC. If you have never been in a combat area it’s impossible for you to know what it’s like for our troops. And your complaining about your commute to the city. Please!

    1. yikes a little desperate are we ? No one who has been in combat talks like you just did nor would anyone use it to get over , like I said your comments have convinced me that shared services are the only way to go

  10. Really James, and exactlym when and where did you serve and with what branch of the military?

  11. James, So what branch did you serve in and in what years?

    1. what branch did you serve in Mr Big Mouth ? the WACS?

  12. Army James, no need to get mad just because you never served, which begs the question how would you know anything about what serviceman would say or not say?

    1. you can dish but cant take it lol

  13. Ha, your the one saying how a person who served would talk and since you never served you are talking about something you know nothing about. Plain and simple.

  14. How low can you go, pretending you know what a serviceman would say when you never served. Shameful!

    1. I am not pretending anything, you made an offensive fake claim and i called you on it” Cry me a river, I just returned from my 2nd tour in Afghanistan where you have to worry about IEDs, snipers, artillery or some nut with a gun trying to kill you 24 hours of everyday. Tours of duty are outside in the hot or cold, rain or shine, there are no coffee breaks and meals are MREs which are like eating cardboard at best. I bet my pay was 10% of what you earn working in an office NYC. If you have never been in a combat area it’s impossible for you to know what it’s like for our troops. And your complaining about your commute to the city. Please!”

  15. Prove anything I said was fake.

    1. lol give it up already

  16. start with the paid fire dept,


  17. Anonymous:

    Cry me a river, I just returned from my 2nd tour in Afghanistan where you have to worry about IEDs, snipers, artillery or some nut with a gun trying to kill you 24 hours of everyday….

    Thank you for your service #9, we sleep well at night because of heroes like you. But this is a blog post about shared services in Ridgewood, thanks.


  18. Anonymous:

    How about we look at the hourly rates for Police and Firefighters vs. Teachers #6 Lets see those numbers instead of your “median” number to get a true perspective.

    This is a blog about shared services in a County with over 70 Police Chiefs ! So now the higher median wages can be explained by hourly rates ! Amazing. What teacher do you know that puts in an 8 hour day (9-to-5) ? During the school year and through the summer months they are planning lessons, grading papers, running extracurriucular and after school programs, talking with parents, attending graduate and professional development programs. I guess you’ve never stayed up until 2am grading papers #7 ? Of course we all respect you for risking your life by jumping in to a burning building, or serving in Afghanistan. But your disrespect for teachers speaks volumes about what kind of person you are. It’s a fact that many people move to Ridgewood for the schools. If you don’t like it and dislike the BOE and teachers so much, you’re free to move. And don’t bully people because they want to look at shared services.


  19. Anonymous:

    when it comes to teachers and other municipal workers, I don’t think they are terribly overpaid, but the health benefits and pension benefits are costly. Having them contribute more to pension and healthcare seems reasonable to me.

    Agreed #5, higher pension & healthcare contributions are reasonable concessions. Moving all new hires to 403(b) defined contribution plans and raising health insurance premiums and co-pays are only fair when you compare total comp + entitlement benefits to the private sector.

  20. James, can we prove that posts #9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 21 all came from the same person ? It would be interesting to see if post #9 was real or a fake comment. If it was fake, then we have serious problem with an offensive, fake claim about military service. I believe that is illegal. If it was someone else’s comment, then the source should be attributed. Is there anyway to see who has just returned from a second tour of duty in Afghanistan and confirm if post #9 is attributable to them ? If true, then they should be thanked for their service. If fake, then we have a serious issue.

  21. Can we outsource EMT to Valley ?

  22. Can we outsource the Schools?

  23. OUTSOURCE THE LIBRARY!!

  24. OUTSOURCE THE COUNCIL!!

  25. Emergency services is largely volunteer why would you outsource something that’s almost free.

  26. I meant any synergies and economies of scale to be obtained by working with to outsource Village EMT Services to Valley Hospital ? Valley has expertise in provision of EMT services and currently serves over 32 communities in and around Bergen County, with professional Advanced Life Service (ALS) technicians, as opposed to the Fire Department’s 18 Basic Life Service (BLS) technicians. Do we need this many technicians within half a mile of each other in Ridgewood ? Could outsourcing reduce direct service demands on the police and fire departments, reduce training/certification costs, reduce ambulance costs/maintenance for the Village and potentially improve service levels ? In the most recent audit of the Fire Dept, 744 “Rescue/EMS” response calls were documented in the previous year. This was the single highest response category and represented 33% of all call responses by the Fire Dept. These percentages remain relatively constant from year to year. In the most recent Police Department audit, over 1,200 “Medical Assist/Personal Injury” calls by Police staff were also documented. If EMS call responsibility could be eliminated from the Fire Dept and provided by Valley, would there be any opportunity to improve efficiency, focus on core Fire suppression & prevention competencies, and reduce training/compliance requirements & costs, salary, overtime and long-term pension liabilities ?

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