Legislation Aimed at Improving Staffing, Public Awareness and Transparency
(TRENTON) – Two bills sponsored by Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo, Daniel Benson, and Benjie Wimberly to improve operations of public water systems in order to better serve customers continue to advance in the Assembly.
These two measures are among other legislation developed to address long-standing recruitment concerns regarding staff operations at Trenton Water Works.
The first bill (A-3354) would allow a professional licensed engineer with a college degree or four-years of more of curriculum in engineering to be admitted to take any examination for a water supply or water treatment systems operator license.
“It has become evident that there is a great need for professionals with the education and proven ability imperative to operating complicated water systems. This bill would open the door for more individuals to become licensed and eventually perform a job that is critical to the delivery and purity of our water,” said DeAngelo (Mercer, Middlesex).
“To improve the quality of our water, we must make sure system operations are well-staffed with qualified professionals. This legislation widens the pool of candidates and allows more residents to apply for these jobs,” said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex).
“There are many job opportunities available within public water operations. It’s a matter of making sure qualified professionals have access to training and exams for these positions,” said Wimberly (D- Bergen, Passaic).
The second bill (A-3937), -sponsored by Assemblyman DeAngelo- would allow for employees of local government operated water systems to reside in any town serviced by it. The bill, if passed into law, would supersede any municipal ordinance that limits employees to residents of the municipality that operates the system.
“Limiting the pool of potential employees to one municipality can keep highly-qualified employees from fill empty, critical jobs,” said DeAngelo. “If you live in a town that is serviced by a public water system and have the needed skill-set, then you should have the ability to work for that system.”
The bills were released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.