June 18, 2010
Dieter P. Lerch, CPA, RMA, PSA served as a panelist on Friday, June 18, 2010 at the Shared Services and Public-Private Partnerships Roundtable held at the Renaissance Newark Hotel. The Roundtable, co-hosted by Lerch, Vinci & Higgins, LLP, Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader, LLC, MAST Construction Services, Inc. and DMR Architects, featured special guests Commissioner of Education Bret Schundler and Paul A. Sarlo, Senate Deputy Majority Leader and Chairman of the Budget & Appropriations Committee.
Roundtable was organized in response to challenges school districts
face regarding Governor Christie’s proposed 33-bill package of reforms
in education, dubbed the “Tool Kit.” The Governor proposes a
constitutional amendment creating a 2.5% cap on the increase in the
property tax levy by municipal, school and county governments, and
power enabling county executive superintendents to require districts to
share services. The legislation also includes election and labor law
Commissioner Schundler’s address, Mr. Lerch spoke eloquently about
recent fiscal events that left most school districts with unprecedented
hardships. Earlier in the year, the Governor froze school aid payments
for the current school year, requiring districts to use their excess
surplus instead of state aid. Then came announcements that state aid
would be drastically cut for the following school year, further
decimating budgets. Before the panel discussion on shared services
began, Mr. Lerch advised school districts on immediate steps they
should take to protect their already fragile budgets.
sharing of services is one way in which school districts can become
more efficient in the long term, by pooling resources. Joining Mr.
Lerch in the panel discussion was Jessica Cardone, Esq., Perrucci
Steinhardt & Fader, and Dennis R. Smeltzer, Executive Director,
Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization and Consolidation Commission. Mr.
Lerch also participated in the panel discussion on Public Private
Partnerships with Philip J. Morin, Esq., Perrucci Steinhardt &
Fader, Ted Domurack of MAST, and Lloyd A. Rosenberg, of DMR. Mr. Lerch
explained the historical aspect of PPPs, and presented an overview of
how public entities partner with the private sector.
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