NEWARK MAYOR CORY BOOKER:
I want to make sure that everyone understands where I stand on this issue. And it's important to me that we begin to show that demonstrated unity like today.
And so I stand here with the Governor to endorse two of what I believe are essential elements of tax reform to achieve a new day of New Jersey government. I believe, and this has all been getting lost in the coverage, that essential is the Governor's tool kit to hold down the ever growing cost of government. The tool kit is critical and that we also should have hand in hand - one without the other will not achieve our goals - but that we also should have a hard cap of 2.5 percent and we must have both a tool kit and a cap again, we must simultaneously eliminate the upward pressure that spikes municipal costs - trust me I'm wrestling with those pressures every single day - and we must have the downward pressure of a cap to keep taxes there and stimulate what I call the moral creativity that is essential for change. One again, will not be effective without the other. I want to emphasize the tool kit - arbitration reform, pension reforms, personnel reforms, shared service reform - these things are essential for us in local government to begin to rein in costs and be able to abide by a 2.5 percent cap.
Combined with the imperative provided by the cap, the tool kit will bring about, as I said, the needed moral creativity and the capacity at the municipal level to begin doing those things we all know we need to do. Everyone talks about shared services, but the imperative and the urgency have been lacking. We need a cap to give that urgency and produce creative partnerships amongst governments, amongst non-profits and government, public-private partnerships and philanthropic innovations like we have been showing are possible here in the city of Newark. Already, as Ms. Eva was reminding me in the kitchen, it’s those public-private partnerships that are helping to restrain healthcare costs right now in the city of Newark.
# # #