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Big Hairy Audacious Goals – Hamilton Township Post John Bencivengo

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A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is a statement created to focus an organization on short-term to long-term goals, which many would call …well, audacious. Some will consider the goals unlikely to be achievable, but that is not the same thing as saying they are impossible to achieve.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

The term was introduced by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. The idea is to encourage organizations to define visionary goals that are more strategic and emotionally compelling. At the least, what improvements you do achieve along the way would have otherwise never been considered.

Pre and post John Bencivengo, setting large and ambitious goals is exactly what has been needed to move Hamilton forward. Especially, now with both major newspapers and our State legislatures calling for John Bencivengo’s resignation.

Not listed among these goals is honesty and integrity of elected officials. These traits are to be expected and to be present within our government thus they are not goals. In fact, (current events aside) honesty and integrity have been and are the character of Hamilton Township and her residents.

Many say John Bencivengo ran Hamilton very well. Only history (and a FBI investigation) will be able to tell for sure. Regardless, “running government” and “being in service to the residents” are two very different things.

John Bencivengo’s approach has been very clinical, like a doctor with a poor bedside manner whose only desire is to diagnose and cure the problem while considering the patient as something that is inconveniently there to deal with – kind of like Dr. House. The other approach considers the impact of the treatment, is concerned about the patient’s quality of life and wants their input – kind of like Robert Young’s Dr. Marcus Welby MD.

Ultimately, Hamiltonians want an affordable, beautiful, resident focused, safe and wealthy community. So, how do we achieve these things? We set Big Hairy Audacious Goals and we put plans in place to achieve those BHADs.

Big hairy audacious goal #1 – It is not and never has been enough to “hold taxes stable”. We must reduce taxes. Can we rollback Bencivengo’s Tax Hike? Yes, we can.

We need to cut taxes and cut them by a large amount. In 2008, John Bencivengo raised taxes $13.1 million annually and we have spent that amount plus more per year ever since. The time for giving tax dollars back arrived with the elimination of the deficit in 2008.

Big hairy audacious goal #2 – Without reducing services for Hamiltonians, but in order to enhance services and to cut taxes, Hamilton needs to reduce the size of local government.

What can we do with the County government and other governmental agencies to help reduce the size of township government? We should be studying opportunities for Shared Services with the Hamilton BOE, neighboring municipalities and the County. If we can determine that there is a cost savings or revenue opportunity for Hamilton then we should act on it.

Big hairy audacious goal #3 – Eliminate speeding through our residential and commercial neighborhoods.

First, it is about safety for our children and second it is about commerce.

The slower the traffic the more that drivers will see in terms of retail businesses along our streets and bicyclists & pedestrians on our streets.

Big hairy audacious goal #4 – Eliminate residential blight and emerging blight.

Offer homeowner occupied properties property tax related incentives to improve the exteriors and the energy efficiencies of their homes. An attractive neighborhood reduces crime and attracts businesses.

Big hairy audacious goal #5 – Return high skilled and high paying jobs to Hamilton Township.

Work with businesses to find low interest and government backed loans that they can use to locate or to expand in Hamilton. Also, in conjunction with the County and BOE, offer property tax incentives to locate manufacturing and other businesses (not developers) that will buy property to build or and/or renovate within our border areas with Trenton (which are also the areas zoned for manufacturing). These businesses will hire skilled laborers who have high wages.

Big hairy audacious goal #6 – Create jobs for the working families of Hamilton Township.

If we reduce taxes, provide homeowner occupied incentives for property improvements in our blighted and becoming blighted area, plus incentivize businesses to purchase property and locate in Hamilton then working families will have an abundance of jobs.

However, for any business that locates here or expands their existing location ensure that they hire our Hamiltonians for the construction jobs.


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April 2012
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