Meet Platt & Glatt: The men who convince New Jersey towns to share government services

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In his State of the State address last week, Gov. Phil Murphy praised the work of two former mayors who have convinced dozens of towns across the state to share government services.

Meet Platt and Glatt – that is Nicholas Platt and Jordan Glatt – They are the bipartisan czars the governor appointed to help towns in New Jersey save money by sharing their services.

“We can basically know how well we’re doing by how many times the governor’s gotten a request to have us fired,” says Platt.

The pair says that New Jersey residents are fed up with high property taxes and that they have been brought in to help save taxpayer money.

"No one will ever say that bringing down the cost of municipal government is not going to save, be translated into reducing property taxes. It's directly related,” says Platt.

The two men seem to be an unlikely pair. Platt is a Republican committeeman in Harding Township; Jordan Glatt is a Democrat and the former mayor of Summit.

RELATED: Gov. Murphy: ‘The state of our state is stronger and fairer than ever’ 

"It's all about trust between the two communities,” says Glatt. "And once you build that trust, they start looking for ways to share services."

The pair has quietly persuaded towns to combine their courts, their health departments and other government functions.

"We want to work behind the scenes. It's always the municipality's idea to call us in, and if we do our job correctly, no one's going to know that we were there,” says Platt.

Platt and Glatt have taken the number of shared service agreements statewide from less than 200 to nearly 1,000 in just a little more than 18 months on the job.

"The thought process is, if they start sharing the small stuff, the bigger stuff will come behind it,” says Glatt.

The pair says that they are about to embark on a more challenging task – helping towns share what they call the “Big Three” of government services – police, fire and schools.

"That's where all the money is. The schools, the police and the fire is where the real savings are,” says Platt. “If we're really going to make a difference in the New Jersey property tax crisis, it’s trying to get that under control."

But they say it may be easier said than done.

“People don’t like to give up control … power,” says Glatt. “The one thing we can’t give these elected officials is courage.”

Both Platt and Glatt are paid just $1 a year by the state for their work.

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