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Eagleton Institute of Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics


New Jersey Initiative:
Building Management Capacity in New Jersey Municipalities

The New Jersey Initiative released its two publications in August, 2002 - The New Jersey Initiative: Building Management Capacity in New Jersey Municipalities and Summary of The New Jersey Initiative: Building Management Capacity in New Jersey Municipalities. The report and Summary can be downloaded from the New Jersey Initiative web site.

The New Jersey Initiative was conducted by a partnership between the Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The project was funded by grants from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the state of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The overall goal of the New Jersey Initiative is to provide opportunities for municipalities and other levels of government, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and individuals to learn about public management systems, how they might be improved and how they can better meet the needs citizens and of those in leadership positions.

Seven New Jersey municipal governments volunteered to participate in the New Jersey Initiative during the past year-Brick Township, Elizabeth City, Franklin Township, Irvington Township, Old Bridge Township, Paterson City, and Trenton City. Through their involvement, the project examined the five core management system areas that comprise management capacity-financial management, capital management, human resources management, information technology management, and managing for results. Much was learned about management capacity at the municipal level in New Jersey and the role of the state government in municipal management.

The New Jersey Initiative Report presents comprehensive results and makes specific recommendations for each of the management areas. The Executive Summary of the report highlights four "Vital Reform Areas" and four associated "Bold Actions." The findings reveal that both the state of New Jersey and its municipal governments have significant strengths and are well positioned to take action to improve municipal management capacity and, hence, increase management performance. The Summary of The New Jersey Initiative provides a concise version of the report.

The report has been sent to all municipalities in New Jersey. While each municipality is unique, all face some similar conditions and challenges. Therefore, all New Jersey municipal governments may gain insights for improving management performance. The report is also being sent to individuals and organizations with an interest in government management capacity to provide information about municipal management and encourage discussion about how it can be improved.

For additional information, please call Dale Jones at 719-488-8485.

Dale Jones
Director, New Jersey Initiative
Maxwell School

Ingrid W. Reed
Associate Director, New Jersey Initiative
Director, New Jersey Project, Eagleton Institute of Politics