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Shared Services a Focus of Mayors' Meeting

Despite impasse on regional schools feasibility study, town leaders to discuss other forms of working together.

While the town’s leaders in the region are getting the band back together, the set list is going to have a different tune in 2013.

Mayors from Washington Township, the Chesters and Mendhams will reconvene—their first gathering since August 2012—T.

The group first began meeting publicly in the spring of 2012 as an advisory committee alongside members of the area’s school boards to potentially come to terms on a regional feasibility study. The purpose of the study was to find financial and educational gains in a potential restructuring of the area’s schools.

An impasse was the outcome, as Mendham Township and Chester Borough couldn’t agree with the other three towns on what the feasibility study should analyze.

But the leaders didn’t think one disagreement should end all discussions, and have decided to seek alternate ways of working together.

The Thursday meeting won’t have any school board members or Christine Meyers-Gorski, former chairperson of the advisory group, and

At Mendham Township’s recent committee meeting, Merkt said, “I plan to continue the work Sam Tolley began in meeting with our neighboring mayors and I look forward to seeing what kinds of opportunities there are for shared service," Merkt said. "I received a list from (Administrator) Steve Mountain the other day and I was surprised how much we already share."

Washington Township Mayor Ken Short, who has known Merkt for the better part of a decade, echoed those sentiments, but hopes the towns can explore even more ways of helping one another and, ultimately, saving money.

“I’d really like to explore shared services with the other mayors,” Short said. “What are the cost savings in certain areas? Let’s explore those. But we have to remember one town can’t benefit on behalf of another–there has to be sacrifice on both ends.”

Washington Township currently shares Chief Financial Officer Kevin Lifer with Chester in addition to its health department.

Mendham Borough Mayor Neil Henry said he’s not sure what shape the meeting will take, but believes it may tie into Hurricane Sandy.

"I haven't seen an official agenda but I would suspect the Mayors will focus discussion on Emergency Management and any possible shared opportunities which may be available in this area,” Henry said. “All of this is a follow up to what all of the towns experienced during Hurricane Sandy."

For Short, an open mind and strength in numbers is the best way to head into the meeting.

“There’s got to be some way to join together and become more efficient,” Short said. “(The towns) have so many of the same structures in place, and there’s efficiency in numbers. Just having an open conversation is a good start.”

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31 at Chester Borough Municipal Building.

McDuff January 29, 2013 at 11:30 PM
“I’d really like to explore shared services with the other mayors,” Short said. “What are the cost savings in certain areas? Let’s explore those. But we have to remember one town can’t benefit on behalf of another–there has to be sacrifice on both ends.” Unless, Mayor Short, it's the WMRHSD funding formula, yes?
Thomas Lotito January 30, 2013 at 04:37 PM
You blew it Kevin, then Mayor Kreig pulled out of the WT 911 system because of your mishandling of the situation. We have you to thank for the current mess the town's in.
HistorianWT January 30, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Nostalgia..... SCHOOL WAS WRONG TO NAME NEDD TO TRUSTEE BOARD October 16, 2009 EDITOR: What is Gill St. Bernards thinking? I just learned that Kevin Maurice Nedd is a Trustee there, the same Kevin Nedd who, as documented in this paper in Gill’s circulation area, is publicly calling people “a*holes, “p*ssies” (without the asterisks) and threatening personal violence. Remember what Judge Maenza said to Kevin Nedd from the bench? “……when you read this stuff he (Kevin Nedd) sounds like a gangster. You (Kevin Nedd) start getting into this behavior, saying “I am going to kick your ass” and name calling, it’s really childish.” To remind your readers, this is the same Kevin Nedd who was thrown out of office in November in Long Valley by the largest margin in the history of thousands of Morris County municipal races going back two centuries. As they showed at the polls in their unprecedented landslide vote, Long Valley is sick of Kevin Nedd and his crass, coarse, vulgar behavior. Children are impressionable. Do Gill parents want theirs growing up to act like Kevin Nedd? I call on Gill St. Bernards Trustee Chairman Brandon Clark and Vice Chairman Edmond Moriarty III to re-evaluate the character of the people they knowingly handpick to place before our community’s children as models of behavior. THOMAS LOTITO Pleasant Grove Road Washington Township
Thomas Lotito January 30, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Think again Kevin, Besides blowing up the 911 dispatch system and your other failures, like spending down the surplus and getting convicted of harassment and having a criminal record, you are the single biggest embarrassment ever in the history of the town. BTW how's, that conviction working for you? How did it feel when the judge was dressing you down, were you staring at your shoes? I heard the judge at one point told you to quite down or he was going to have you removed form the court room. I noticed too you haven't posted a thing on that hate blog of yours, looks like you've learned your lesson....
GUNZO January 30, 2013 at 10:39 PM
".......the same Kevin Nedd who was thrown out of office in November in Long Valley by the largest margin in the history of thousands of Morris County municipal races going back two centuries." Huh. is the true, Nedd? And did Jason really write "Big Loser" next to Lotitos name as you claim above? Or did.....you actually.......do that? Really? Seriously?
Thomas Lotito January 30, 2013 at 10:42 PM
My favorite part of the quote from Judge Maenza describes you (K.Need) perfectly: You (Kevin Nedd) start getting into this behavior and name calling, it’s really childish.”
Paul Richartz January 30, 2013 at 11:32 PM
It's not likely the mayors will agree to anything because they're politicians...the new defintition of which is, "people unable to compromise". And, Jason why not delete the nonsense of the name calling that has nothing to do with the story you are posting. Reading this garbage detracts from The Patch.
Hookerman January 30, 2013 at 11:40 PM
....and the real funny thing is that Tom was one of those 2005 voters.
Thomas Lotito January 30, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Kevin, you respond to "EVERYTHING" I write, I can always count on it.
Thomas Lotito January 30, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Paul, when are you going this realize that this is how the AOL-Huffingon- Post-Patch conducts itself?
Thomas Lotito January 31, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Kevin, I told you, you would answer me! HERE WE GO!
Russ Crespolini (Editor) January 31, 2013 at 01:56 AM
Hey guys, Thanks for commenting. Jason is actually off today and this story is posted on his site as well as mine, Mendham-Chester Patch. I just want to remind everyone to try to stay on topic and be civil to one another. We love feedback and passionate debate but really would like it to stick to the topic at hand. Thanks!

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