For Immediate Release:Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Regional Symposium is Geared Toward Helping to Promote Economic Recovery and Resilience in the Wake of COVID-19

TRENTON, NJ – Today, in support of recovery efforts at all levels of government, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, along with Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, Bergen County Executive James Tedesco, the Shared Service Czars, and other state officials held a virtual regional symposium to discuss the value of increasing the number and quality of shared service agreements in northeastern New Jersey as a means to recovery and resilience.

The Murphy Administration’s commitment to shared services is gaining momentum at every level of county and municipal government and the progress being made across New Jersey to help communities achieve taxpayer savings is promising. However, the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on local governmental budgets and operations have created new challenges to the progress already made and the Murphy Administration is committed to overcoming these hurdles.

“This pandemic has placed unprecedented burdens on governmental budgets and operations and highlighted the need for our State to focus on economic recovery and resilience,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “We need to shift the current mindset of "going at it alone," to one of collaboration among local government leaders. We need to build bridges of resilience to help support recovery efforts through the use of shared services.”

Shared services are proven to be a win-win situation for local governmental entities with regard to taxpayer savings and open doors to eliminating the stand-alone mindset that inhibits collaboration. To promote the mission of increasing the quality and quantity of shared services, today’s virtual symposium is the third that DCA has hosted in a series of regional symposiums around the state. Previous symposiums were held in both Morris and Monmouth counties.

Since Governor Murphy appointed the Shared Services Czars in 2018, the Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) has received more than 1,500 shared service agreements.

In June 2020, the Murphy Administration awarded more than $1.4 million in grant funding through the Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) to support the shared services efforts of local governmental entities that are looking to promote and support local shared services and school consolidation studies in their jurisdictions.

Since 2019, Bergen and Essex counties have implemented more than 130 shared service agreements, one of which included a Department of Public Works merger between two municipalities that resulted in a substantial $6 million in savings.

“The service sharing efforts in Essex and Bergen counties have already improved the quality and breadth of resources available to residents. We look forward to partnering with communities to investigate and pursue broader regional solutions,” said DCA Director of Local Government Services Melanie Walter. “Working together to overcome perceived hurdles to efficiency and taxpayer savings is in the best interest of all New Jerseyans.“

“As more municipalities are increasingly struggling to control costs, they are looking to the Governor’s Shared Service Czars as a way to provide essential services more efficiently. Mayor Glatt and I, along with the DCA team, are here to provide a turn-key approach to use shared services to drive down their costs.” said Shared Services Czar and former Mayor Nicolas W. Platt

“We can help municipalities with studies, grant money, and any resources they may need to see that shared services get implemented. However, the one thing we can’t provide is the courage to see them through,” said Shared Services Czar and former Mayor Jordan Glatt.

“Thank you to Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver for hosting this symposium to highlight the benefits of shared services. With the challenges and demands placed on government budgets – especially now during the Coronavirus pandemic – it is important for all of us to think outside the box and create partnerships that save taxpayers’ dollars while continue to provide services at a high level,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

“By aggressively exploring opportunities to assist our municipalities and school districts with their financial responsibilities, the County of Bergen has been able to form innovative shared service agreements that not only provide financial benefits, but improve services and the quality of life for all residents,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco.

To find out more about shared services, you can contact the Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) Local Assistance Bureau (LAB) for support or assistance regarding shared services, including LEAP Grant funding, by emailing or or by calling 609-292-6858.

The Division of Local Government Services 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.

The DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery.

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Tammori Petty
Gina Trish
Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055