ROXBURY — Residents of Roxbury and Mount Arlington Wednesday evening gathered at the Roxbury Public Library to begin discussing the idea of merging the municipalities.
The forum was the first held on the issue, and one that meeting organizers emphasized was just to begin the discussion. Under New Jersey law, merging of municipalities is a six-step process that begins with a petition agreeing to form a study commission and ends, if the commission recommends it, with a voter referendum. The featured speaker at Wednesday’s forum was Gina Genovese, executive director of Courage to Connect New Jersey. Genovese, the former mayor of Long Hill Township, has long been an advocate of consolidation in New Jersey as a way to help municipalities save money, particularly in the past two years that New Jersey’s towns have been operating under the state’s two percent tax cap. Genovese was invited to speak by former Roxbury school board candidates Ralph Nappi, Virginia Mushinski and Chris Rogers, who withdrew their names from contention in the November race to focus on consolidation.