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Verona Receives High Marks on State Survey

The Township of Verona scored a 44 out of 50 on a Best Practices Survey, allowing the town to receive 100 percent of its state aid.

The Township of Verona scored a 44 out of 50 on its Best Practices Survey, the council announced at its Monday night meeting. The state survey is required for a municipality to receive its state aid.

“This year, 50 questions covered a range of municipal topics,” said Township Manger Joseph Martin. “You need at least a 40 to get 100 percent of your state aid. Verona scored a 44.”

The town has scored progressively better in each of its three participating years, he said, calling the survey a “praiseworthy initiative.”

The township is required to answer yes, no, prospective or not applicable for each of the 50 questions.

The council succeeded in areas including sharing services with other municipalities, posting ordinances on the town website and funding for maintenance of infrastructures such as roads, sewers and water systems. The town also succeeded in a plethora of other municipal topics.

Based on last year's survey questions, the council made an effort to hold a joint meeting with the Board of Eduction but this question was removed from the survey this year, said Martin.

The council failed in one area concering its website. Although the town recently updated its site, the township does not post meeting dates, minutes and agendas for the planning board, board of adjustment and all commissions.

The town will be working to ensure that it meets this criteria in the future, said Martin.

The council did not pass another area which requires elected officials to attend at least one training course or workshop.

“This question is particularly annoying,” said Martin, who added that they encourage members to attend but do not require it. “Councilman Kevin Ryan, for example, has gone to at least three or four of these and also attends the annual League of Municipalities.”

“Our councilmen do that because they want to be good members of their governing body, not because they are required,” he said.

Overall, members of the council were pleased with the township's score.

“The best practices initiative is an excellent idea and one that our council embraces and I wish more councils embraced,” said Martin.

The full survey will appear on the Township of Verona website as soon as it is available on the state website, council members said.

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