EDISON — The Citizens Campaign and Middlesex County Collegeâ€™s Democracy House announced a free public forum on Tuesday, Oct. 23 to empower citizens to â€śMake Your Local Government Work Better & Cost Less.â€ť
â€śWe are constantly faced with stories of wasteful and superfluous spending in municipal and county government. Instead of sitting on the sidelines reading headlines of government waste and corruption, we have a chance empower citizens to be the solution and make government work better and cost less,â€ť said The Citizens Campaign Chairman Harry Pozycki.
The forum will identify the innovative ideas and programs towns and school districts across the state are implementing, that protect services while cutting costs, as well as the tools for average citizens to bring these reforms to their own hometowns.
For example, The Citizens Campaign recently announced citizens across the state have been successful in saving more than $22 million by implementing better procedures for buying insurance.
The keynote speaker, New Jersey State Comptroller Matthew Boxer, has identified hundreds of millions of dollars wasteful government spending since taking office in 2006. His office has discovered extraordinary and excessive employee bonuses and perks, pension padding by professionals, lax procurement protocols, and 200 dead phone lines among many other wasteful practices. At this forum, he will offer residents advice and guidance on how they can identify and eliminate wasteful spending in their municipalities, school boards, and counties.
Following the Comptrollerâ€™s presentation, The Independent Center Founder Mark Magyar will give a demo of www.TownStats.org, an online tool that compares municipalityâ€™s spending and revenue. Citizens can use TownStats to investigate whether their town overpays for certain services.
To conclude the forum, The Citizens Campaignâ€™s Chairman Harry Pozycki will lead a round table discussion with some of the leading innovators in creating more efficient ways of providing municipal services. These speakers have directly worked with local government officials in implementing cost-effective measures and will offer practical tips on bringing best practices to attendeesâ€™ hometowns.
The panel will include: Middlesex County Freeholder James Polos, NJ Department of Community Affairs Director of Shared Services Nancy Malool, and Rutgers University Vice President of Continuing Studies Dr. Raymond Caprio.
The forum will be on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m. at Middlesex County College in Crabiel Hall at 2600 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison.
For more information and to pre-register, visit www.thecitizenscampaign.org/events or call 1-732- 548-9798 x.1