Letter From Gina
Intro-Local Officials | Intro-Citizens | How to Use | Community Challenge | Authors | Letter
Overview | Six Steps | Sample Timeline | One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six
Woodbridge Model | What Woodbridge Can Afford? | How Much Does Small Cost?
Glossary | Common Questions | Historic First | A Century of Support
Dear fellow New Jerseyan,
I love New Jersey. Yes, we have our problems. But our state is great because of our strong sense of community in our rural areas, our cities, at the shore, and in the suburbs.
I wanted to bring new ideas to my community so I ran for public office and in 2006 became Mayor of Long Hill Township. While in office I started to ask some questions: How could we provide services more efficiently? Can we really cut property taxes? How can small towns survive with rising costs and less aid from Trenton? Is there a better way to structure New Jersey?
Our current economic circumstances and our rising property taxes are forcing all of us to rethink how we deliver our local services. The 566 redundant local governments have become too costly to maintain. This structure, created long ago, has not adapted to the changing economy and rising costs of delivering services. Since our local governments provide eighty percent of the same services we must eliminate these redundancies for our communities to survive. The status quo is not working.
I founded Courage to Connect NJ to create a public dialogue about the future of our state and figure out ways to consolidate government structures. CTC-NJ is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that educates residents statewide about how each of us must participate in eliminating local redundancy and making our towns stronger and sustainable for our children. We provide venues for public engagement and present a model for connecting communities’ administrative structures. We help residents recognize that their local government is not the sole creator of their sense of community, so we can begin to connect communities through petitions and referendums.
This guidebook takes both residents and local officials through the steps to move their communities toward consolidation. Together we can create a sustainable local government structure in New Jersey. Connected communities with one government will be more efficient, more affordable and more professional.
Be a part of the change. Be a part of the solution.
Now is the time. We can’t afford to wait.
–Gina Genovese, Executive Director, Courage to Connect NJ