One of the interesting seminars I attended at this year’s convention dealt with PILOTs (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes). State Comptroller Matthew Boxer suggested very strongly that a municipality should conduct a very robust and comprehensive cost/benefit analysis up front before entering into a PILOT agreement with a developer.
Three very important questions should be addressed during the analysis:
1) is the PILOT necessary to attract development or would development still occur without it?
2) Is the type of development being proposed really needed?
3) Is it likely to achieve its intended economic goal?
Municipalities should guard against developers who may over-promise in order to make a project appear to be more attractive than it really is. If a PILOT is granted, the developer should be monitored and held accountable for the promised deliverables.
Another seminar I attended dealt with how to prevent sexual harassment and other hostile behaviors in the work place; it was presented by Esther H. Nevarez, Community Relations Coordinator in the Office of the Director for the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety. This was by far the most interesting of the eleven seminars I attended. The many definitions of sexual harassment were touched upon, along with the consequences and the remedies. We were reminded that women can sexually harass men; men can sexually harass women; men can sexually harass other men and women can sexually harass other women. Always keep in mind that being sexually harassed by a man or a woman is against the law.
The Department of Law & Public Safety, through the Division on Civil Rights, is responsible for enforcing the Law Against Discrimination (LAD). Anyone who believes that s/he has been a victim of unlawful discrimination should get in touch with the Division on Civil Rights at the office closest to where s/he lives or where the discrimination occurred.
Remember that it is against the law for anyone to retaliate against you because you choose to exercise your rights under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. I hope that this and other information brought to you over the past three days from the 2011 New Jersey League of Municipalities Convention has been helpful in some way.