RANDOLPH, NJ - Last Thursday, Nov. 21, the Randolph Township Council differed over a new resolution drafted by outgoing Township Manager John Lovell, to create a new Finance Work Group. This group was suggested by some to analyze the town’s budget and spending, and make recommendations to the town council.  Four council members were in favor of the proposal and three opposed.

Mayor Tom MacArthur, who is in favor of the committee’s creation, explained that Randolph is one of very few municipalities with a “AAA” bond rating.  “This results in lower borrowing costs and makes business easier to conduct since outside entities have more faith in our ability to pay our bills,” he said in later correspondence.  “We are entering into a period of great change with a new manager and CFO, and we have to be sure our controls and practices continue to be exemplary.  Our interest in establishing a Finance Committee is to fulfill this responsibility.”

“The meaningful [financial] data to start reviewing starts kicking out in July,” stated Lovell, which is when the work group would have its first monthly meeting.  It would consist of the Mayor, Township Manager, Chief Financial Officer, the Purchasing Agent, and a member of the town council.

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At the meeting, council member Roman Hirniak described his concern that the proposal was redundant.  Since the council already discusses the town’s budget and spending with the input of the Manager and CFO, he said, “I see this as ‘belt and suspenders.”

If enacted, the proposed committee would join a dozen or so boards and advisory committees that exist in Randolph already.  Some, like the Landmarks Committee, work mostly by themselves to address community issues within the scope of their commission, and others, like the Board of Health, advise the town council and make policy recommendations.

Council will vote on the resolution at their next meeting this Thursday, December 5.