03 July 2008


Even though most of my working life has been spent out of the office, I did spend enough time at a desk in the 80s and 90s to really come to hate it. I hated all of the office jargon - all of that "you get with me, I'll get with you, reach out to her" crap, and I especially detested all of the "re-engineering" b.s. popular at that time - "we don't need to make a better product, we just need to clear everything off the top of our file cabinets"! What?

Here's one that's still around, "You will be advised on a need-to-know basis". This directive always came with a huge loophole - your superior could simply decide that you didn't need to know! If you were on a need-to-know basis, you would be lucky to find out what you needed to know 24 hours before the project deadline.

New Jersey has been treating its citizens the same way. Residents potentially affected by zoning changes, proposals before the Planning Board, or introductions of new ordinances, aren't required to be notified until almost the end of the process. At that point, although comments from the public are welcome and noted, money has already been spent and plans have already been made. In other words - it's a done deal.

The Hillsborough Township Committee is looking to change this process, at least for Planning Board items. They have proposed notifying residents earlier in the process and increasing the number of residents subject to notification.

I agree with the Courier News that this would be a great benefit to the public. And I also agree that the state should think about changing their guidelines.

Maybe our committee can "get with" the assemblyman, or "reach out" to the governor - then maybe we can "re-engineer" the state!

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