FREEHOLD, NJ – Freeholder Amy A. Mallet is urging the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders to consider consolidating a number of duplicate services throughout the county.

“We have duplication of departments or functions countywide and the time is now to either justify why we need duplication or merge these functions,” Mallet said. “Cost redundancies are wasteful, and the status quo is no longer working. We hear about the need for shared services among municipalities, but now is the time to lead by example right here at home with some fundamental structural and systemic changes.”

Areas of duplication include Purchasing and Fleet Services, which exists for the Park System and the rest of the County, as well as a number of public relations’ functions, Mallet said. The County, the  Sheriff’s Office, Park System and Library each have a public information officer.

“Duplicate departments or functions also exist in Personnel, printing and Information Technology Services,” Mallet said. “I will continue to turn over each rock and seek better ways to accomplish the goal of providing services to Monmouth County residents more efficiently. There would be a benefit in combining skills and pooling resources into centralized departments where feasible.”

As introduced, the $496 million budget contains a $10.7 million increase in the tax levy, or 3.6 percent. Last week, the freeholders adopted an amendment to trim another $3 million from the levy, bringing the increase in the tax levy to 2.6 percent and the increase in the budget to 1.2 percent. A public hearing will be held April 8 on the budget amendment, followed by a vote on the budget.

“I have no doubt that savings will be achieved during the course of the year as a result of these suggestions,” Mallet said. “This is about fiscal responsibility and strategic planning. It is what businesses need to do and it is what Monmouth County government needs to do.”