Brigantine Taxpayers Association & Cost Effective Government

Government must become more cost-effective, says ANNE PHILLIPS of the Brigantine Taxpayers Association. Anne writes: At the Jan. 15 Council meeting, we commented on two topics. The first concerned the vote on the proposed salary ordinance.

1. It’s been a long time since an analysis has been done of the salary ordinance. Such a review is essential. We’re in a down economy. Governments must become more cost-effective. That means being able to adapt and change. Having a salary ordinance such as this one, that provides flexibility to management regarding positions and salaries, makes sense. Employee costs are two-thirds of our budget. We can no longer simply raise taxes when revenue doesn’t equal proposed expenditures. The status quo is not sustainable. The money isn’t there. Everyone concerned about this ordinance should realize and acknowledge that fact and work with it.

Our second comment concerned the position of a director of public safety.

2. The Brigantine Taxpayers Association would like to make a statement regarding the possible appointment of a permanent director of public safety in place of departmental chiefs. Recently, the City had such a director at the same time it had chiefs, clearly an unnecessary and costly level of oversight.

Now, it is timely for our elected and appointed officials to analyze and evaluate current operations to decide if there is a better and less costly way to do what they determine needs to be done. Such is their job. There are several credible reasons for doing so: a weak economy, the current generous compensation for chiefs, the necessity to reduce the cost of municipal government and the excessive burden on taxpayers, advances in technology, and changes in methods of operation and in our population.

The two priorities of the BTA, and they should be the priorities for all involved in this matter, are an acceptable level of safety and service for taxpayers, and an affordable cost to them of providing these things. If a satisfactory level of safety and service can be provided at less cost, it should be done. So far, under the interim director, the City is receiving a satisfactory level.

Whatever the choice, we would expect the affected departments to continue to operate in their usual professional manner.

We believe the city manager is doing her job to determine and provide the necessary, cost-effective leadership in the public safety departments, whether with chiefs or a director. The new salary ordinance provides for either situation. We support the purpose and the process, and the thorough way it is being handled.

Anne H. Phillips

Brigantine Taxpayers Association

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1 thought on “Brigantine Taxpayers Association & Cost Effective Government”

  1. Thank you BTA. I agree with your support of the Salary Ordinance. Although it has been touted as an opening for :under-handed politics”, it is merely a tool for the City to effectively govern- especially in light of the recent “strange” court ruling in favor of an ‘Acting” position. I am also glad that the City has appealed that decision.

    I also agree that the position of Director of Public Safety (although I thought it would not work) IS indeed working- at a cost savings in salary AND benefits. I do not feel “unsafe” under this Organization Chart. The current DPS seems to be extremely qualified to do that job effectively.

    I see that the public has not been harmed by this appointment and services are being provided as expected. Thank you.

    The budget of Brigantine must be brought into line with available funds. That is certainly not an impossible task.

    I thank the City Manager and the Council for making the hard decisions required for the good of ALL taxpayers of Brigantine.

    Although I am signing as 70%R does not mean I do not live here full time… because I do. I just am not registered to vote here. THAT is the difference. We pay a lot, but cannot vote. For that reason, we must depend on those Leaders to defend the tights of those without a voting voice and just – do the right thing. Thank You

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