In 2016/2017, under the Administration's agenda for diagnosing and improving operations, the Town reviewed several departments within Boonton. The objective of the studies was to:
understand staffing levels and operations for police, public works, administration, finance and construction to reduce spending and increase effeciencies
determine level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction from the public
identify operational strengths and weaknesses
identify near term challenges (such as succession planning)
propose changes that would reinforce the unit’s strengths while remediating the found weaknesses
This police study cost the town $3750 (Resolution 16-85 – see below). The studies of the other departments cost an additional $14,000 (Resolution 16-165 – see below) or $3500 per department.
The practice of conducting such studies by professionals is common among municipalities and their need especially critical in Boonton with the high amounts of projected and actual turn-over at the director level and beyond. In addition, this kind of comprehensive and holistic departmental review has likely never been conducted in Boonton and is necessary to inform future decisions that impact us all.
The studies accomplished the following:
Contributed to the 2018 tax increase... the lowest increase in several decades! The first years saving as a result of the study was $120k+. By spending the $17,750 on the studies once, helped returned over $120k the first and every year to follow....with more planned savings on the way.
Examples of savings resulting from the study include:
1) Upon retirement of the tax collector in 2017, a reputable municipal finance firm successfully took over that function to a savings of $110k+ annually
2) A shared court agreement with Parsippany resulted in a $40k+ savings annually
In both cases, neither decision resulting in laying off staff. The tax collector and Court Administrator both retired and the Assistant Court Administrator took a position in another municipality.
The studies, which can be found below also accomplished the following:
Compared workload, staffing resources and efficiency benchmarks with other comparable municipalities
Obtained a “ballpark” understanding of satisfaction with operations’ work performance through interviews with key officials and personnel.
Focused on and identify the causes of any dysfunction or performance issues that might exist in each operation
Examined alternative actions to manage challenges and/or achieve improvements in operations and set forth advantages and disadvantages of identified alternatives
Developed and presented an outline of strengths and weaknesses, and programmatic alternatives which will be submitted in draft form for review and reaction from the Mayor and selected governing body member(s)
Made improvement recommendations based on the above