In Galloway Township, some municipal employees are being asked to take voluntary layoffs to avoid other town employees losing their jobs.

It’s just the latest chapter in the ongoing battle of Jersey towns trying to stay within the two percent property tax cap.

Local towns went through a lot of layoffs last year as the austerity reality of living within the cap set in. This is a new wrinkle on the layoff strategy. Bill Dressel of the New Jersey League of Municipalities says towns are walking what he calls a tightrope.

He says it involves being sensitive to the concerns of your employees and your taxpayers while trying to achieve what he calls, “a win-win situation for everyone concerned.”

In Galloway Township, the Mayor is also investigating the possibility of sharing services with other towns to tighten the spending belt. But that tactic also makes municipal employees nervous because they fear it might eventually mean someone’s job is eliminated.

The League’s Dressel says the fiscal circumstances in many cases are beyond local control, and what’s needed is more help from Trenton, such as cleaning up antiquated Civil Service rules.