Learning To Reinvent The Wheel
A trend of adapting to a tough economic climate will continue in 2012, right where it left off in 2011.Last year, some sectors of the economy seemed to stabilize, while some got stronger, and of course, others grew even weaker.
Regardless of which category you are in, everybody has been forced to look in the mirror, see what has worked, what has not, and be proactive about trying a way to make it work better.
The marching orders have started at the top of the state from Governor Chris Christie, who whether you like him or not, has tried to reform a myriad of departments and policies across the state.
We learned that the system was broken to the brink of collapse, and new ideas needed to be shared to rectify a sinking ship.
Whether it is pension and benefits reform, shared services, or doing away with cashing in unused sick days, it became pretty clear that leaving no stone unturned has become the mantra for many in New Jersey.
In addition to the headline-grabbing stories that I just mentioned above, there have been some under the radar stories of things that towns are doing to try everything to save or generate the almighty dollar.
Every time I read one of these stories, I have a strange feeling come over me. While it is not a good thing that we are in such financial straits in NJ, it has forced the hand of officials, leaders and lawmakers to get away from the status quo.
We are going to hear about many of these stories in 2012, but late in 2011, I read about towns selling more liquor licenses, privatizing beaches, and even reconsidering keeping their towns dry or not because they were missing out on the alcohol dollars.
This morning, I read yet another story that reiterates how far we have come. Wildwood Crest has asked Cape May County to move their library two blocks inland from its prime oceanfront location.
It just another example of a township realizing that they are losing tax revenue by having a library occupy primo real estate, and they are thinking outside of the box to correct it.
This is only the beginning of a trend of seeing things like this. It is unfortunate when tax raises or toll hikes are used to bridge the gap in budgets, much like what New Jersey drivers are going through on their commutes today.
However, ideas such as the library being moved are evidence of creative ways to generate money for a municipality.
Being forced to reinvent the wheel sometimes is a sad reality in our state and country, as we enter 2012.