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Watch: Candidates Talk Privatizing Services In Mahwah

Candidates running for town council commented on whether or not they support privatization and shared services

Wednesday night, the library board hosted the first half of its second annual ‘Meet the Candidates’ Night.

Four of the five candidates running for three seats on the Mahwah township council gave introductions and answered five questions at the event.

See the attached videos for candidates' answers to:

  • What roles do you feel privatization and shared services play in municipal governments today? Do you have any ideas for applying these tactics to Mahwah?

Here are the highlights of their answers:

Jonathan Marcus

  • Need to scrub through the numbers, owe taxpayers analysis of whether or not privatization will provide the same service or better at a lesser cost
  • Privatization is a tool, township did it with garbage pick-up
  • Could be shared service provider to other towns, other organizations in town, like the Board of Education; eliminate redundancies
  • Focus on making tax dollar go further than it goes now

Steve Sbarra

  • Don’t believe in taking something township does well to pay someone else to do it
  • Really not for privatization in theory; taking jobs from residents with vested interest in township to give to outside company is “unacceptable”
  • Supports shared services; supports use of Bergen County Police Dispatch Center located in Mahwah; opportunity would look into
  • Open to considering anything, but if money doesn’t make sense would vote no to privatization proposals

Lisa DiGiulio

  • Mahwah is very active in shared services, i.e. sharinf of DPW equipment with Ramsey
  • When examining a budget, “everything is on the table”
  • Make sure privatization plans work considering everything; with recent plan to privatize the recycling department, workers that would have been laid off are also volunteer firefighters in town
  • If something were privatized, gave the same service and saved money, “I would not be opposed to it”

John Roth

  • Shared services is just one tool in the “financial toolbox”
  • Opposed recent Recycling Department privatization proposal because cost savings analysis “didn’t appear to be accurate”
  • Might be ways to make privatization work, i.e. having laid off Mahwah workers hired by company outsource to
  • Becoming a service provider to other towns can be a “slippery slope;” our departments are understaffed, need to make sure we can take care of ourselves before rent out our services to other towns
  • Township has been proactive in shared services, but can also be a slippery slope, should not be too aggressive

See the candidates answer other questions from the event:

Introductions

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