PRINCETON TOWNSHIP, NJ – Former Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner, a leader in the successful consolidation of Princeton Township and Princeton Borough on January 1, was today appointed to the Board of Directors for Courage to Connect New Jersey, a non-profit, non-political organization that assists citizens and elected officials through the state’s municipal consolidation process.
In his volunteer role with Courage to Connect New Jersey, Goerner will use his expertise in municipal consolidation to serve as a resource statewide, assisting those who want to explore the benefits and challenges of municipal consolidation. “Mayor Goerner’s tenure in office was focused on finding more efficient and effective ways to manage municipal government,” said Gina Genovese, executive director, Courage to Connect New Jersey. “Previous commissions had studied shared services and consolidation in Princeton; consolidation was decided as the right path.” Goerner was a key leader in consolidating Princeton Borough and Princeton Township, having crafted the proposal that led to the study and voter approval of consolidation in 2011. “The consolidation of the Princetons was the first large-scale municipal consolidation to occur in the last century in the State of New Jersey,” Genovese said. “Mayor Goerner’s experience will be invaluable in his new role with Courage to Connect New Jersey.” To encourage the consolidation of his hometown, Goerner was a member of the Joint Shared Services and Consolidation Commission and served on the community’s Transition Task Force. Under Goerner’s leadership, Princeton Township achieved zero municipal tax increases – the first in at least 25 years – and negotiated the first-ever significant voluntary contribution from Princeton University for local tax relief. He also created a Citizens’ Finance Advisory Commission to add transparency to the budget process and uncover cost saving opportunities. Goerner also put in place an open application process for the town’s Boards and Commissions and passed a pay-to-play ordinance. “I continue to speak and present on issues concerning municipal government efficiency and have made a concerted effort to make the successful consolidation of the Princetons a model for other towns in the state and the nation,” he said. “Courage to Connect New Jersey shares in the open-minded approach to improving the fiscal sustainability of local government through the full evaluation of consolidation.”