Murphy Administration and Local Leaders Hold Shared Services Symposium to Support Shared Municipal Courts
- Posted on: 10/19/2021
TRENTON, NJ – Today, in support of shared services throughout the State, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, along with Acting Director of the Administrative Office of the New Jersey Courts (AOC), Glenn Grant, the Shared Service Czars, and other state officials held a virtual symposium to discuss the value of shared municipal courts.
The Murphy Administration’s commitment to shared services is being further advanced through municipal court consolidation efforts and new legislation that authorizes a regional municipal court pilot program in counties with a population of less than 300,000. All municipal court consolidation efforts require the approval of the New Jersey Judiciary and the support of the AOC, which is critical to the success of all shared and joint ventures.
“As many New Jersey municipalities are still feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on local governmental budgets and operations, the sharing of municipal court operations is one way of overcoming these financial challenges,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “Recent legislation allowing for a pilot program of regional municipal courts will be implemented in Atlantic County in 2022 and is projecting record-breaking savings for all of the municipalities involved. We’re encouraging all municipal and county leaders to explore a path to court consolidation to achieve increased fiscal responsibility and taxpayer savings.”
To promote the mission of increasing the quality and quantity of shared services, today’s virtual symposium is the second held virtually and the fourth that DCA has hosted in a series of regional symposiums around the state. Previous in-person symposiums were held in both Morris and Monmouth counties.
Since Governor Murphy appointed Shared Services Czars Jordan Glatt and Nicolas Platt in 2018, DCA’s Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) has received more than 2,300 shared service agreements.
“Shared services are proven to be a win-win situation for local government entities with regard to taxpayer savings and open doors to collaboration by eliminating the stand-alone mindset,” said Jacquelyn Suárez, Director of the Division of Local Government Services. “With these symposia, we are spreading awareness among municipal and county leaders throughout the state that cost sharing opportunities can not only save taxpayer dollars but can also help to streamline and improve the delivery of services.”
The Murphy Administration awarded more than $5.3 million in 2020 and 2021 in grant funding through the Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) to support the shared services efforts and school consolidation studies of local governmental entities within their jurisdictions. In the fiscal year 2022 budget, the Murphy Administration has added another $10 million to the LEAP grant program.There are currently 23 joint municipal courts and 216 municipal courts that are part of a formal shared court experience. In total, 292 separate municipalities have established agreements to share municipal court services.
“Municipal court consolidation allows for more effective and efficient handling of court cases while providing opportunities to save taxpayers money. The Judiciary strongly supports consolidation and events like today’s symposium, which offer an opportunity to collaborate with the Department of Community Affairs and others to build on the momentum created by the Supreme Court Working Group on the Municipal Courts,” said Judge Glenn A. Grant, Acting Administrative Director of the Courts.
“As we continue to grow the number of shared services throughout the state, we’ve seen substantial cost-savings with municipal court sharing,” said New Jersey Shared Services Czars Nicolas W. Platt and Jordan Glatt. “We’re encouraging local leaders to step up and work with us to help alleviate property tax burdens on residents and businesses by seizing these consolidation opportunities in their jurisdictions.”
To find out more about shared services, you can contact the DLGS Local Assistance Bureau (LAB) for support or assistance regarding shared services, including LEAP Grant funding, by emailing DLGS.LeapGrant@dca.nj.gov or SharedServices@nj.gov or by calling 609-292-6858.
The DLGS serves as an advocate for local government interests and provides technical and financial assistance in budgeting, financial reporting, joint services, purchasing, and management issues. They are responsible for the financial integrity of all local government units and review and approve all municipal, county, and fire district budgets. They also review many local government financial actions and govern and guide the conduct of local government officials.
DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including local government management and finance, affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, and disaster recovery and mitigation.
For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media: