Legislation Aimed at Improving Staffing, Public Awareness and Transparency
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Telecommunications & Utilities Committee Chairman Wayne P. DeAngelo, Daniel Benson and Benjie Wimberly to improve the operations of public water systems in order to better serve the customers was approved by the full assembly on Thursday.
· A-3352 – (DeAngelo, Benson and Wimberly) – specific guidelines would be put in place to notify municipal officials and the public in emergency cases or other incidences that cause the issuance of a boil water notice. The public water system would be required to notify the mayor and municipal clerk or their authorized designee of every town serviced within one hour of the problem.
· A-3353 – (DeAngelo and Benson) – would require greater public awareness of the operation of public water system in order to improve accountability to customers.
· A-3354 — (DeAngelo, Benson and Wimberly) – 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.
· A-3937 — (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 said on A-3937. “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 four bills were unanimously approved, 74-0, by the full Assembly. The bills will now go to the Senate for further consideration.