PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council on October 3, voted unanimously to approve two resolutions for shared services utilizing Parsippany Municipal Court with the Town of Boonton and Rockaway Borough.
Effective October 1, Parsippany’s Court Administrator shall oversee and ensure the proper operation of Boonton’ s municipal court and violations bureau, and shall appoint sufficient court staff to handle all requisite administrative tasks and court sessions in accordance with the rules and procedures of the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts (NJAOC) and the Assignment Judge of Morris and Sussex Counties. Boonton court sessions will be held on Tuesday mornings.
Boonton court sessions shall include up to twelve special court sessions per year for conducting trials and hearing emergent matters.
Boonton shall utilize the services of its own Municipal Court Judge to preside over Boonton court sessions, as well as its Municipal Prosecutor and Municipal Public Defender. If Boonton should require the services of Parsippany’s Municipal Court Judges, Municipal Prosecutors or Public Defenders, Boonton will pay Parsippany an amount equal to actual cost for providing the services.
In addition to Court Administrator and staff Parsippany will provide at least one duly sworn and qualified law enforcement officer, either full-time regular Police Officer or Class II Special Police Officer, who is a member of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department.
Boonton is also providing a free-standing metal detector, which Parsippany will have exclusive use in providing security for the court sessions. Parsippany will give a credit of $4,000 to Boonton for the metal detector. Boonton will arrange for transportation of all defendants in custody pursuant to Boonton complaints and process to and from their scheduled court appearances. Both courts shall be and remain independent courts.
Boonton will pay Parsippany in the first year $167,313.04 (less a $4,000 credit in the first year only), subsequent years’ payments shall be in an amount equal to the immediate prior year payment plus a 2% escalator. The initial agreement is for three years.
In a separate agreement the Borough of Rockaway will utilize Parsippany’s Municipal Court effective January 1, 2018.
In their agreement they will be utilizing the complete facilities, including all Municipal Judges, Prosecutors and Public Defenders, as well as Court Administration staff. Currently Rockaway Borough utilities the Joint Municipal Court of Dover.
Borough of Rockaway will arrange for transportation of all defendants in custody pursuant to Rockaway complaints and process to and from their scheduled court appearances.
Rockaway court sessions will be scheduled on the same dates and times as Parsippany’ s court sessions.
Rockaway court sessions shall include up to twelve special court sessions per year for purposes of conducting trials and hearing emergent matters. Special court sessions shall be scheduled by the Court Administrator on an as-needed basis. Should Rockaway need additional special court sessions, it shall reimburse Parsippany its actual per diem cost for each such special court session.
Parsippany and Rockaway courts will also remain independent courts.
Rockaway Borough will pay Parsippany $75,000 per year for a period of five year.
For each year after the first year of the Initial Term and for each year of any Renewal Term Rockaway shall remit payment to Parsippany in an amount equal to the immediate prior year payment plus a two percent (2.0%) escalator.
“Shared services is the essence of good, efficient government,” said Mayor Barberio, “these agreements will significantly streamline court operations and provide savings to all three towns and generate $900,000 for Parsippany. This is a win for all three towns.”
Councilman Paul Carifi said “I’m glad this finally came to be, it is long overdue. It’s a shame Mayor Barberio waited for his re-election bid to finally make it happen. We should be doing more shared services with our surrounding towns and saving our taxpayers money.”
“Maintaining and expanding our shared services is an important step to stabilizing Parsippany’s finances. Recent debacles, such as Hanover leaving their shared service agreement with our animal control department, and Montville preparing litigation over the administration’s mishandling of shared sewer service, have had a negative impact on our revenue, property taxes and potential for future savings with other communities. As Mayor, I plan to negotiate and execute several new shared service agreements to benefit Parsippany, and treat them with the respect and professionalism we would expect from our service providers,” stated Mayoral Candidate Michael Soriano.
Rockaway Borough resident Susan Maldonado said “We have learned that Mayor Russ Greuter has cut a deal with his current employer, Parsippany Township, to run the Rockaway Borough municipal court along with Boonton, which was never mentioned. After going through many years of a losing agreement with Dover, how is partnering with Parsippany and Boonton going to be any different? The residents and police of Rockaway Borough will have to travel to Parsippany instead of going right next door to Rockaway Township and wait in line behind the Parsippany and Boonton dockets.”
The shared courts agreements have been reviewed and approved by the Hon. Stuart A. Minkowitz, Assignment Judge of the Morris/Sussex Vicinage, as well as the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts.