By Tina Renna | November 18, 2009
The League of Municipalities Conference is only one of 30 conferences Union County Employees attended in 2008. Although they didn’t go as far as Hawaii where they traveled to a conference at a cost to taxpayers of approximately $18,230 in 2005, they’ve traveled around the country costing tens of thousands of dollars in travel expenses and conference fees.
No business could afford this expense; yet New Jersey which has the highest property taxes in the nation can. In the age of video conferencing there is no need for it. Of all the offerings at this year’s League’s conference “Saving Money on Travel by Video Conferencing” wasn’t one of them. After all, there is no need to travel to Atlantic City to their conference either; except for the partying.
Networking? Is it really in the best interest of the taxpayers to have this cast of characters meeting up and attending parties by vendors?
The 2009 Check Registry to date shows that Union County paid $3,500 to the League for a booth. It doesn’t say what they’re selling.
The League of Municipalities is a private entity that is funded by tax dollars through dues and fees. By an act of legislation their employees are enrolled in the public pension system. They are not subject to the Open Public Records Act.
List of conferences as found in the 2008 Union County government check registry:
NJ Recreation & Park Association, NJ child support council, Rahway River Association, Municipal Clerks association, Election Law Conference, The 26th Annual CSP Conference (Consolidated Solar Thermal Power), NJ Association for Elected Officials, NJ Health Officers, NAWB Conference (National Association of Workforce Boards), National Association of Counties, NJ Gang Investigators, IACREOT (International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials & Treasurers, New Jersey Association of Counties, NJWLE New Jersey Women in Law, National Partner for Juvenile Services, Kean University EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), GSETA Conference (Garden State Employment and Training Association), COANJ – Constitutional Officers Association NJ, NJ Council Spec Transportation, GIS Annual Conference, NJ Public Safety, NJ Juvenile Detention NJJDA/JJC (NJ Juvenile Detention Association, Juvenile Justice Commission, NJAPA (NJ Asphalt Paving Association), EPEC (Education in Palliative and End-of-life Care), Governor’s Housing Conference, NJAPA (American Planning Association NJ Chapter)
Tina Renna is the President of the Union County Watchdog Association. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org