State Organization Lauds Roselle for its “Innovation in Governance”

ROSELLE, NJ – The New Jersey State League of Municipalities is awarding the Borough of Roselle an Honorable Mention in the “2014 Innovation in Governance Award” for its efforts to manage and monitor vacant and abandoned properties via an online storage system.

The borough developed and maintains a centralized cloud-based information system that efficiently collects, monitors and reports on the activities and issues associated with vacant and abandoned properties. Such information is available at all times, from any Internet-connected device, to authorized users.

“Our municipality has responded to the national housing crisis by creating a real-time property information system that gives municipal stakeholders the ability to have `data driven discussions’ that help foster a healthy housing and economic market,” said Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley.

The system also presents information on maps that easily allow stakeholders to visualize the location of problem properties. Moreover, the system allows for the borough to track ongoing efforts to address and improve the properties.

Holley said the program is able to pay for itself through revenues generated from the enforcement of the municipal “Vacant and Abandoned Property Management and Registration Ordinance.” The program also saves municipal work hours, as well as decreases stress among staff, because it automatically notifies stakeholders via email of any change in information regarding vacant and abandoned parcels.

The mayor noted there is also considerable cost savings in the Department of Public Works, which does not have to earmark as many resources to address issues related to the properties. The system provides instant access to the property owners, who are reminded of their responsibilities to address any issues.

“This new resource has ultimately helped us improve the aesthetics of the community, while creating more pride in our neighborhoods,” the mayor said, adding he is proud the borough is the first municipality in the state to use this cloud-based system.

Borough officials will accept the “Honorable Mention” on November 19 during the New Jersey League of Municipalities annual conference in Atlantic City.