Gov. Murphy said he will appoint a "shared services czar" to lead New Jersey's effort to encourage municipalities to collaborate. He says it's a way to lower the state's high property tax rates, but state and local officials agree shared services are no magic bullet.
The former superintendent and another official exchanged racist and sexist text messages about students and staff that also mentioned financial improprieties. The texts led to Richard Como's arrest in 2014.
The 17 municipalities statewide that are in the Act 47 program, including the city of Chester and Colwyn Borough in Delaware County, and the state-appointed firms meant to guide them to solvency must decide within the next two years whether the communities are strong enough to leave the state program for financially distressed communities by the five-year deadline.
Better communication with residents and government transparency. Efficiency and cost savings. Public health and a clean environment. These are the goals for local governments aiming to be more sustainable.
It's been more than four years since the discovery of racist and sexist text messages and the resignations of the top school officials, all of which sparked local and national outrage, local protests, and the ousting of school board members in the Chester County school district.
Michaelle Bond covers Chester County.