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Dressel Urges Mayors to Lobby Legislators for Budget Fairness

Proposed State Budget places burden on local governments, says League of Municipalities chief.

Bill Dressel, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Municipalities, said that he was “blindsided” by elements of Gov. Corzine’s proposed state budget. At the regular meeting of the Ocean County Mayors’ Association on April 8, Dressel said that Trenton was contradicting itself. On one hand the state claims property tax relief as a policy goal. On the other hand, he said, the governor’s proposed budget places an enormous financial burden on local governments that rely on property taxes. Dressel described a number of problems highlighted by the proposed budget that cuts state aid to municipalities — especially smaller ones. For one thing, he said, while the budget is intended to promote local government consolidation, there are no standards to measure the efficiency of individual governments. Consolidation itself is complicated by different rules for Civil Service and non-Civil Service jobs. Dressel pointed to other concerns including binding arbitration and asked that the mayors contact their state legislators and “lobby hard” for fairer treatment by Trenton.

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