NJLM Educational Foundation Publishes White Paper on Municipal Shared Services and Consolidations

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Paper co-authored by Marc Holzer, dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University in Newark

April 13, 2010

In the midst of increasingly challenging economic conditions in New Jersey, many municipalities seek cost-efficient and cost-effective ways of providing adequate public services to their constituents. Whether the services include solid waste pickup and recycling, fire response and prevention, snow plowing and seasonal leaf pickup, sewer treatment, or police patrol and safety, each comes with a price.

In a white paper titled “Shared Services and Municipal Consolidation: Pursuing Careful Assumptions and Grounded Studies,” recently published by the New Jersey League of Municipalities Educational Foundation (NJLM), Marc Holzer and John Fry provide guidance on the subject. In the context of a broad array of collaborative and alternative forms to consider, the white paper focuses on the methodology for crafting viable solutions that best fit the specific circumstances, concerns and needs of a particular municipality.

“When considering options for service delivery, unfortunately one size does not fit all,” comments Holzer, dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University in Newark and executive director of SPAA’s National Center for Public Performance. “Whether municipalities choose a shared services or special district arrangement depends on many factors including economies of scale, logistics of implementation, and desired local control of the services rendered.”

John Fry, a former administrator and the director of the National Center for Public Performance’s Shared Services Institute at SPAA, is the other author of the paper, which is posted on the NJLM Educational Foundation’s web site at

Incorporated in 2004, the NJLM Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation that conducts, encourages and supports educational programs that serve local government officials and employees. Papers published on its web site offer the perspectives of experts from outside municipal government, applying their expertise to issues confronted by local leaders.


Founded in 2006, SPAA is the first new school established at Rutgers University in more than 20 years. SPAA’s mission encompasses competence, diversity, knowledge and service, and the school equips future leaders and educators with the tools necessary to efficiently and effectively deliver government services. It is the only such school at a public university in New Jersey. SPAA enhances New Jersey’s capacity to develop more effective government at all levels, offering degree and non-degree programs, research and technical assistance to make government more transparent to citizens. The school’s most recent initiatives include a national network on performance measurement and reporting, a municipal public performance measurement system, and the development of the E-Governance Institute. For more information about the school, visit

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