New Jersey officials last week began the process of evaluating how best cities and towns can combine public services between municipalities with the expectation of lowering the costs of running local governments.

Members of the newly formed, eight-member Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization, and Consolidation Commission met for the first time on Tuesday.

John “Jack” Fisher, a former Gloucester County administrator, will chair the panel in a one-year term. The committee includes Department of Community Affairs commissioner

Joseph Doria and state Treasurer David Rousseau, who the Senate approved last week. Rousseau had been serving in an acting capacity since Jan. 11.

The group will assess how local governments currently perform public services and develop standards for how and when municipalities should consolidate local services, including police and fire departments, health services, public works, and sanitation.

There is no future meeting date set at this time and a Web site for the commission is currently under construction and will be up shortly, according to DCA spokesman Chris Donnelly.

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