Dept consolidating new jersey

We will undoubtedly be faced with many challenges as our new department evolves.I feel strongly that our men and women are up to the challenges we may face and that our community will be proud of the service we provide.“Local governments are desperately searching for ways to cut taxpayer costs and lower property taxes,” said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon), who also sponsored the bill.“Consolidating services just may be the answer for many towns.Hunterdon County is exploring the possibility of consolidating its 30 school districts, while at least three sets of towns—Scotch Plains and Fanwood; Loch Arbour and Allenhurst; and Mount Arlington and Roxbury—are in various stages of possible consolidation agreements.For guidance, some are turning to the leaders of the Princeton effort, who in recent months have been attending panels, issuing white papers and writing op-ed pieces that detail what they describe as a remarkably smooth transition from two towns to one.The merger of Princeton Township and the smaller Princeton Borough on New Year’s Day is being hailed by proponents of municipal consolidation as a model for local government reorganization throughout the state.

“In order for this to be a viable option for more municipalities, we need to make the process less cumbersome so it’s not a deterrent for many towns.” Assemblyman Joseph Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic), said while consolidation may not be right for every town, the legislation will make relief more attainable for those municipalities looking to pursue it.This legislation gives towns more options and opportunities to figure out what works best for their residents.” The bill creates greater flexibility in the municipal consolidation process in a number of ways, supporters say: The bill also provides greater clarity with respect to the petition process for the creation of a Municipal Consolidation Study Commission by providing specifics as to the form of the petition, its filing, and verification, consistent with the requirements for a petition proposing the formation of a joint municipal consolidation study commission.The bill also lays out specific requirements with regard to the composition, meetings and responsibilities of the study commission.Virtually all of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are struggling to pay for increasingly expensive services while operating under the 2 percent annual cap on property-tax increases the state legislature imposed in 2010.To control costs, many have begun looking at consolidating services or entire municipalities.

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