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Morristown to be Half a Million Dollars ‘Healthier’

New shared service arrangement projects a $575K cost savings over the next five years.

When he was campaigning for reelection, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty said that he would pursue shared services where it made sense for the residents. At the reorganization meeting on Jan. 1 Dougherty said his administration was close to announcing a shared services deal that would provide big savings.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the mayor and council, the Dougherty and business administrator Michael Rogers put forth a deal to enter into a shared services arrangement with the County of Morris Office of Health Management for Public Health Services, which was approved by council vote.

According to Rogers, the savings over the five year life of the contract will net Morristown approximately $575,000 in savings by providing them with access to three health officials. Two full time and two part time.

Rogers said that the costs were calculated by factoring in how much contracting a full time health officer and full time environmental safety officer would cost. Rogers said they didn’t even include the part time public health nurse and health educator that would be part of the deal.

Councilwoman Alison Deeb asked if the town was benefitting from a service that splits the full time staff amongst Morris Plains and Denville.

“Nevertheless, the full time aspect doesn’t change. They will be physically here once a week,” Rogers said. “And at any point if we have any questions or work that needs to be done as a town they will be required to perform as according to statute. We are getting a full time person even though they will not be full time in town.”

Deeb again asked Rogers if he felt the quality of service would be diminished by the deal.

“I believe this provides a greater level of service then we currently provide,” Rogers said.

Dougherty said he only brought this shared services idea to the council because it made sense.

“When opportunities arise for shared services in this municipality that make sense for cost savings and enhanced services we will bring them forward. If it doesn’t make sense we are not going to bring it to the council,” Dougherty said. “This saves money and increases services. That is what we are here for when it makes sense.”

Motown Resident January 15, 2014 at 08:57 AM
Great job Mayor! It's amazing to see we can "provide a greater level of service" with a person here once a week than a full time town employee. This begs the question where else can we improve employee production in this town? Keep it going and continue to keep our property taxes in check!!!!!!

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