Costs of Governance – Monday’s Roundup

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The Asbury Park Press has a valuable story about how the municipal court system treats residents as potential revenue streams, which ends up costing you, the residents of New Jersey, lots of money.

It’s an old problem where, “Towns rely on court revenue from fines and fees from tickets, municipal ordinance violations and disorderly persons arrests to pad their local budgets. But then judges, who are appointed every three years by the governing body of the town they work in, are beholden to the very officials who decide the fate of their appointments.”

“It takes someone who is really strong, someone is self-assured and not afraid of losing their job, to do the right thing many times over again,” one prosecutor says.

On a related note, it’s great fun to bash “the Media” and it can be hugely lucrative as well, but guess what happens when local newspapers close up? Governments spend more money and they spend it in dumber ways.

“Costs for bonds can rise as much as 11 basis points after the closure of a local newspaper,” according to a new (research) paper.

In other news, Nanette LoBiondo has a good primer on the primary election Tuesday. Big choices, NanLo reports. And Craig McCarthy at NJ.com asks whether you can buy a flamethrower without a background check.

For more feats of journalism from across your region, see below:

 

 

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