Rob Canfield Proposes Overhaul of Municipal Oversight and Streamlining of State Departments in Response to Toms River Police Funding Cuts

Published April 19, 2024
Apr. 19, 2024 / PRZen / BRICK, N.J. -- With recent administrative activity in Toms River—where the new mayor controversially reduced police department funding and suspended the Chief of Police—Rob Canfield wants to see more municipal oversight.

"It's heartwarming to see Chief Little return to work this misty Thursday morning. The photos of the community coming out to support his return to work further affirm how much stable and respected law enforcement leadership means to a community," Canfield said. Canfield proposes major changes that would streamline state oversight, including abolishing the Department of Community Affairs and the new county manager system. "The Department of Community Affairs seems redundant. We could fold its functions into other divisions, such as creating a Building and Codes Division under the Department of State," he said. This division would be led by a single director earning an annual salary of $175,000, supported by up to two clerks.

Canfield's plan would have county managers overseeing everything down to the municipal level, from approving budgets to enforcing standards that disallow, among other things, political appointments and pay-to-play schemes.

"When I ran for Brick School Board, it was an eye-opener. For the first time, I saw how 'pay-to-play' can run deep and be entrenched, eroding our institutions when I ran for the Brick School Board. We also need to check on 'Fund-raising' at the County level, where designated funds are misused," said Canfield. They would offer starting salaries of $125,000, with a maximum of two clerks, depending on the size of the county. They shall offer an initial salary of $125,000 and a maximum of two clerks, depending on the size of the county. All the code enforcement duties would be done by the municipalities under a general code issued by the state.

The Department of Community Affairs now administers the Section 8 housing and homelessness programs. It would transfer to the Department of Human Services into a new Division of Housing.

Canfield said all federal funding for Section 8 would be routed through the new division and dispersed by the county's social services offices. The head of the division would draw an annual salary of $175,000, while the two clerks would each draw a salary of $45,000. Under the new system, however, according to Canfield, the payroll costs would come down to about $4.1 million without the benefits and in the long run save millions of the state.

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Source: Rob Canfield for Governor

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