Gloucester Township residents deserve a government that is honest, open, transparent, accessible, and accountable.
Costly, impactful decisions are being made by GT government, too often with deal-making conducted behind closed doors, without enough transparency to residents. Promises and claims are made without accountability to follow through with results.
Here are some common sense, achievable ideas to improve government accountability, honesty, and accessibility.
OUR 7-POINT TRANSPARENCY AND REFORM PLAN FOR GT
Enact true ‘Pay-to-Play’ reform. Disclose potential conflicts of interest.
‘Pay-to-play’ is the term for the practice of firms making political donations to politicians, then, in exchange, these politicians award lucrative government contracts to these firms.
Our current Gloucester Township government awards all of the professional contracts – lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects, consultants – to ‘pay-to-play’ political donor firms.
Our team will pass a ‘pay-to-play reform’ ordinance to end this costly, corrupt practice.
Allow greater accessibility for resident involvement
Here are a few examples of simple ideas to give GT residents greater access to their government.
• Telecast GT Council meetings, board meetings, etc. Allow dialogue.
• Bring in new voices by publicly posting open seats to GT boards and committees.
• Attendance by mayor and administration at GT Council meetings.
Appoint a GT Council liaison to work closely with our school districts
Gloucester Township’s municipal government and school districts are, by far, the largest taxation entities. Yet, all too often, these entities are unaware of the actions of the other; sometimes causing redundancies, inefficiencies, or conflicts. Our team will require that a ‘GT Council liaison’ is assigned to ensure coordination between these entities.
Conduct an internal ‘Operations/Efficiency Audit’
An internal audit committee will be empaneled to study and reduce waste, obsolescence, inefficiency, corruption, etc. (Note: An annual financial audit of GT’s financial statements is already a legal requirement, but this financial audit gives no opinion as to the efficiency or the efficacy of GT’s spending and activities.)
Form a ‘Financial Analysis Committee’ made up of independent, volunteer residents
GT Council will form this committee of volunteer, engaged residents to suggest ideas for a more efficient government.
Require disclosure of the status of all lawsuits and legal actions against GT
At any given time, there are open, pending lawsuits against our Township. These suits are very poorly disclosed.
Our team will make it a requirement that monthly, at GT Council meetings, the Gloucester Township Solicitor disclose the status of all lawsuits; and that this disclosure also is placed on the Township’s website.
Report ‘Key Performance Metrics’ for Township departments
The major departments in our Township government – police, public works, parks & rec, admin – have large budgets and much responsibility; but not enough transparency and accountability.
Our team will require these departments to quarterly report ‘key performance metrics’ that will provide visibility and accountability to the performance and the efficiency of these departments.