Robbinsville Township Administrator Joy Tozzi has been elected chair of the Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund, which serves 70% of all New Jersey municipalities and is one of the largest governmental self-insurance pools for property and casualty in the nation.
“Joy brings enthusiasm, dedication and a deep understanding of municipal government to the position and we know that she will continue to build on her impressive track record as a leader and innovator to address and meet the changing needs of our municipalities and public entities,” said David Grubb, executive director and co-founder of the Municipal Excess Liability (MEL) Joint Insurance Fund (JIF).
Tozzi has worked as a township administrator for over a decade and has been actively involved as a commissioner and chair of the Mid-Jersey Municipal JIF, which is affiliated with the MEL. She served as secretary and a member of the MEL board of commissioners for four years.
“It is truly an honor to serve as Chair for this group of extremely professional and committed people,” Tozzi said. “Each of them puts a tremendous amount of their time and energy into this organization to work for the benefit of our members. I have made it one of my highest priorities to ensure we provide the opportunity for everyone to have a voice. We want to ask the right questions to help determine the most appropriate path forward.”
Tozzi noted this is a challenging time for municipalities.
“We are still navigating COVID-19 and we still don’t know the lingering impact it may have,” Tozzi said. “We are also facing the hardest insurance marketplace since the mid-1980s. Inflation is working against us, not to mention the constraints of a 2% budget cap.”
The MEL JIF was founded in the 1980s in response to an insurance crisis that made it nearly impossible for municipalities and government entities to afford coverage.
With increased ransomware attacks on public entities, cybersecurity and risk control will continue to be a top priority for municipalities and public entities, Tozzi said.
“The marketplace for cyber insurance is shrinking, while the requirements to purchase insurance are getting more extensive and costly,” Tozzi said. “Towns must make technology a priority, and they need to know what to do if they are targeted and the steps needed to regain control in order to return to normal operations with as little disruption as possible.”
Tozzi added the MEL has been providing such education, information and guidance for years, but plans are in the works to do even more. The MEL, she insists, is up to the challenge.
“We will draw on the MEL’s 35 years of expertise, get creative and continue to provide the casualty and property insurance our members need,” Tozzi said. “We will continue to work closely with our members to reduce high costs, exposures, and risks by focusing on best practices, training and education programs for municipal and authority workers through our MEL Safety Institute.”
Tozzi is only the second woman to serve as chair of the MEL JIF. The first was Barbara Pence in 2004.
About Joy Tozzi:
Joy Tozzi is a graduate of Rider University and is currently enrolled in the Rutgers University Certified Municipal Finance Officers program. She also completed specialized Rutgers programs for Executive Leadership in Government, Certified Public Manager, and Principles in Purchasing programs.
As administrator for Robbinsville Township, a position she has run point on a budget process that has resulted in nine consecutive years of flat or reduced municipal taxes. She is also the innovator and coordinator of the State of the Township “Pay it Forward” campaign that has raised over $400,000 to benefit local charities and residents in need.