Following the League of Municipalities conference, Executive Director of the League Bill Dressel told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that for the first time in his 40 years in the League, he is seeing cooperation from the municipalities.
Dressel said that the conference rejuvenated the spirit to want to attend and there was record breaking attendance at the conference. He said that the League is satisfied to see all of the meeting rooms packed with delegates that wanted to learn more information on how to govern.
The conference discussed how to navigate the Hurricane Sandy recovery and relief aid and had sessions for local government officials on how they can help their citizens recover, Dressel said.
“There are a lot more positive steps that we are taking and a lot more that has to be done, but what we did is call all of our resources and assets together from the federal, state and local governments to make sure that that recovery continues,” Dressel said.
Dressel does not believe that anyone has become complacent with the Sandy recovery. He believes that everyone has become more actively involved to make sure that the recovery continues and is fulfilled in an expedited fashion.
Taxes are on the minds of many municipal officials. Dressel said that they have various ideas on how to tackle to the tax issue that is plaguing communities, but they have to work together to form partnerships with legislative leaders to do so.
In Dressel’s 40 years with the League, he said that the issues of property taxes, affordable housing, health care and pensions have remained the same over the years but with different nuances. This year he said that he is seeing a greater cooperation for the first time.
Dressel pointed to the record attendance as proof of more cooperation. “Everyone wants to get down to governing their communities, which is in the best interest of their taxpayers and I think that message got through today to the legislatures.”