Monday, February 28, 2011

TownStats: Your Window on Local Government

Bloomfield, NJ: March 1 will see the official unveiling of TownStats is the website of the New Jersey Municipal Budget Website Project and was created by The Independent Center, Inc., a non-partisan public policy group dedicated to increasing citizen participation in government, improving public access to government information, and making elections fairer and more democratic. The site was developed in consultation with high-level state and municipal government officials and academics.

The New Jersey Municipal Budget Project was conceived by Tom Byrne and Chris Daggett, co-chairs of the Property Tax and Cost-Cutting Task Force of the Citizens` Campaign: Jersey Call to Service. They were frustrated by the fact that municipal budgets, employee salary data and other critical municipal government information was not readily available to citizens, public officials, community activists, journalists and academics. With a new spending cap in place and state aid likely to be frozen, municipal officials and citizens looking for places to regionalize, share services or find savings needed to be able to compare their towns to towns of similar size and demographics to be able to assess where their spending is high or low and where they can be more efficient.

We did a trial run by running a comparison with Bloomfield, Nutley and Montclair.(click on table to enlarge). It may be a typo, but we're fairly certain that the average residential property value in Bloomfield is at least twice the 140K figure shown. We hope the other stats turn out to be more accurate.

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