Members of the New Jersey Municipal Management Association Work Together to Keep Local Governments Running During Statewide Shutdown

Members of the New Jersey Municipal Management Association (NJMMA) have been using the organization’s membership base to share information and best practices for municipal administrators to help their local governments adapt to the current public health emergency and statewide shutdown. NJMMA has also created an online resource library for local government officials with various materials regarding COVID-19, and it has opened access to its website-based resource library to all administrators, a feature normally reserved for members only.

“Our group of administrators has been tireless in their work to help each other and their communities,” said Alex McDonald, President of NJMMA. “The camaraderie that the managers have shown in helping each other has been extraordinary, and I extend my deepest thanks to the NJMMA executive board for the work they’ve done to ensure our managers have the support they need to keep municipal operations running smoothly in this unprecedented time.”

NJMMA has also hired a labor attorney, Matthew Giacobbe of Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri and Jacobs, to put together a weekly report that answers questions from managers about the state and federal legislation related to the public health emergency. Other resources available include sample staff schedules, sample first responder guidelines, employee rights information, and much more.

“There are 565 towns in New Jersey,” said Theresa Casagrande, Borough Administrator of Fair Haven and an active member of NJMMA. “There is no point in all of us starting from scratch. Our greatest resource is the varied experiences and expertise that is shared among my fellow colleagues and I don’t think any of us could respond as well as we have without the shared support.”

Local government is often referred to as the most accessible and tangible form of government, as constituents can often just walk into town hall to see their officials. With the COVID-19 public health emergency, that is not possible. In response, some NJMMA members put together a “Skip the Trip to Town Hall” flyer to help residents understand how they can still interact with their local government offices without leaving their home. This flyer is part of the shared online resource library.

In addition to the NJMMA library being extended to non-members, the library has also been offered to New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs at their request, showing the state’s acknowledgement of the important work of the NJMMA members in this difficult time.

“Municipalities are facing an entirely new challenge with COVID-19,” said Patrick Wherry, Administrator of Waldwick and NJMMA member. “Through the NJMMA, managers with decades of experience are sharing their questions, concerns, and insight on how to best manage during this crisis with the membership and non-members across the state. This sharing has been a tremendous benefit to me and to the community I serve. It is a privilege to be a part of a group with such a dedication to good government.”

About NJMMA
The New Jersey Municipal Management Association (NJMMA) is an organization of professional local government administrators and assistants whose goal is to improve the quality of local government in New Jersey through professional management. The Association creates an information network offering the free flow of ideas thereby enhancing each member's ability to deal with the problems and pressures of the profession.   This includes approximately 250 municipalities as members, a network of retired professional managers and a close working relationship with the NJ Government Finance Officers Association, The Clerks Association and other governmental organizations.  The New Jersey Municipal Management Association is also allied with the International City/County Management Association in further display of NJMMA’s value of collaboration. For more information or to become a member, visit www.njmma.org.