The inventory is taken once a year to determine whether a municipality will have state aid withheld
At the Oct. 17 regular meeting of the borough council, borough administrator John Gural took inventory of Palmyra’s best practices. This is something that municipalities are required to do every year at a public meeting on or about the date that the inventory is due to be submitted. This year, the inventory was due on Oct. 21.
“The state’s fiscal year 2017 Appropriations Act requires the division of local government services to determine whether some portion of a municipality’s state aid will be withheld based on the results of a best practices inventory to be completed by each municipality,” Gural said. “The inventory encourages municipalities to embrace practices that promote financial accountability, sound management and transparency.”
The best practices inventory consisted of 30 questions this year — a significant reduction from the previous 50 questions. Mayor Michelle Arnold noted that last year, Palmyra scored the highest of all municipalities in Burlington County with an overall score of 49 out of 50.
Municipalities must receive positive credit — in other words, they must answer “yes” — to a minimum of 22 out of the 30 questions in order to avoid withholding of aid.
Palmyra knocked it out of the park with a score of 29 out of 30 questions. The mayor made a point to thank all attending residents for their patience throughout the lengthy discussion.
In other news:
- Ordinances passed at the meeting included Ordinance 2016–16, an ordinance of the Borough of Palmyra amending Ordinance 2015–14 authorizing the public auction of real property owned by Palmyra that is no longer needed for public use by auction to the highest bidder and authorizing the private sale of real property owned by Palmyra that is no longer needed for public use to certain organizations upon nominal consideration pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A: 12–21.
Public hearing was held on this ordinance that would entail Palmyra transferring a property to Habitat for Humanity for $1. A condition put in place on the ordinance was that Habitat for Humanity would have to market the property to veterans first. The ordinance was approved.
- Palmyra resident Bob Bostock expressed concern that mayor and council have “dropped the ball” on ensuring that Palmyra students become well-rounded individuals. Bostock quoted a Palmyra Sun article featuring Superintendent Brian McBride that discussed the Palmyra Public Schools mission of making kids more “politically, economically and socially ready to meet the world by the time they graduate.”
Bostock was specifically concerned about the vacant student representative seat on Council.
Arnold responded by saying that there is not currently a procedure in place to select a student representative; as soon as there is, one will be selected.