In some marriages, people find it best to have their partner handle the money. A similar situation is playing out on the local government level in New Jersey.
The city of Camden, NJ wants the county to take over its finances after fielding complaints that its local finance department wasn’t handling the job sufficiently.
The Camden City Council voted 5-1 to conduct a study of the idea, which will cost $500,000.
From Tap Into Camden:
Business Administrator Jason Asuncion said a copy of the agreement – tied to the resolution and proposed by the county – was circulated to the council earlier in the week. The agreement would last a year, with an option to extend for 5 years.
“The purpose of the agreement is to study, support and implement various finance functions and services required for the city of Camden to operate efficiently and effectively,” said Asuncion. “This will be accomplished by the county initially procuring a professional, operational and management firm to study the Department of Finance and Treasury to make recommendations to streamline and improve the operations for the city’s residents…”
Asuncion clarified that the resolution was merely to study the possibility, but some critics noted that merely the study didn’t bode well for the city. Some residents also expressed concerns after Tuesday’s meeting was capped at 100 people, (which officials said would be reviewed for future meetings) saying the resolution would have received more criticism if more participants could have attended.
“I really reject the idea…that the city would consider shifting financial oversight over to the county,” said local teacher’s union president, Keith Benson. “Part of the reason why we have elected officials is to control every part of municipal government. Outsourcing that responsibility to the county seems like an odd step from what it is you guys are really charged to do.”