The Wrong Reform
The objective of Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed civil service reform does not constitute reform in the logical sense.
What it does constitute is a political gimmick and, like all gimmicks, will not benefit the general public. What it will do is adulterate the quality, integrity and effectiveness of our already strained government services, and propagate and reward political patronage at the expense of the taxpayer.
The New Jersey civil service system is a model of democracy and gives everyone equal opportunity to serve. It protects public employees from politics and corrupt politicians. It has guaranteed the public fair access to government jobs based on experience and expertise, not political connections. Political patronage works by closing the door on equal opportunity for qualified, honest and hardworking residents and protects these jobs for political cronies, their friends and families.
The idea of reforming state government should not be directed toward civil service, which is the most regulated and transparent component of our state government, but should be directed toward our social, economic and political policy — and the policy makers.
William J. Elliott, Denville