What Does Government Do for You?

Amidst shrinking municipal budgets and a Tea Party led backlash against government spending, Nate Berg reports on one New Jersey town's effort to completely eliminate its Department of Public Works. Is this the beginning of a trend or an aberration?

Stephen Acropolis, the mayor of Brick Township, New Jersey (pop. 80,000) recently issued pink slips to all 77 employees of the town's Department of Public Works in an effort to cut costs by outsourcing this work to the private sector, reports Nate Berg.

As expected, Acropolis's move has generated controversy in the community, where the mayor's plan would "place a burden on residents, who will have to find and pay for private services to collect their garbage and recycling."

City council president John Ducey, an opponent of the plan, conjures a scene of complete abandon in describing the likely effect of the mayor's plan, "'The impact will be great. He's expecting every homeowner to contract on their own. So what if they don't? People are going to be throwing bags of garbage in the woods and on the beach just to get rid of it. Or into their neighbor's trash, and then there could be neighbor conflicts,' says Ducey. 'It would just turn the town into chaos.'"

According to Berg, the mayor's budget was introduced last week, and is now in the hands of the town council for review and revision.

Full Story: Can a Town Get By Without Its Public Works Department?


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