NJMMA, as an organization, has been actively involved in the recent Best Practices Checklist as issued and modified by the Dept. of Community Affairs. When the Checklist was first published, the Executive Director, as well as a number of Administrators / Managers worked with the League to identify areas in need of attention. Separately the Association requested a meeting with the DCA Commissioner to provide comments and offer our assistance in the development of a revised Checklist. Unfortunately our request for a meeting was not accepted. A detailed report on the original Checklist was prepared and distributed to the Executive Board for discussion on the development of our position/strategy. At that point we were advised of the outcome of the League's meeting with DCA (a possible revision that was supposed to take place) so we held off sending our report to see what changes, if any, were made. After the Frequently Asked Questions memo by DCA was published our original report was modified to recognize the DCA changes.
Attached is a copy of a letter to DCA Officials as well as the written analysis of the Checklist that was distributed to DCA officials yesterday. We are hoping for a meeting to go over our concerns and recommendations.
It is obvious to us that the individual response by municipalities to the Checklist will vary widely based upon the view of the local official preparing the response: either a "liberal and broad interpretation" of the checklist as well as local initiatives versus a response that is more "literal" in both interpreting both the DCA intent as well as the local actions taken (or not taken). At this point in time it may be to everyone's best interest that the responses by local officials be based upon the "liberal and broad interpretation" philosophy so that we can gain a better gage to the actual intent of the Department, as well as allow precedent for 2011 and later responses.
If anyone has any comments on the NJMMA report, please contact me or a member of the Board. Thank you all for your input in this process, some great discussion took place over Municpaltalk and many individuals put time and effort into responses on this matter. While we all recognize that changing the direction of a speeding bullet is nearly impossible, the Board hopes that we represented the concerns of our members in the best, most constructive way possible. Thank you!
Kelly G. Cupit, NJMMA Vice President (2010)
The Township of Green Brook