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"Imagine a web woven by a spider on LSD and you might see a frightening similarity to the map showing the jurisdictional outlines of our 566 municipalities in NJ. Present the current facts and statistics of the situation to a systems analyst and you can expect howls of laughter. Given a free hand to reconstruct and reconfigure the present map, no one would attempt to justify a replication of the existing system."

Alan J. Karcher,
Multiple Municipal Madness

Township Residents Hear Pro-Consolidation Group

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — The township came one step closer to consolidating with the Chesters and Mendhams into one 38,000-resident, 100-square-mile town.

A dozen Washington Township residents, including Mayor Ken Short, attended a June 1 presentation by Courage to Connect NJ at the public library in Long Valley. The nonprofit, which addressed Mendham Borough residents last month, was invited to the township. Across the state it is gaining traction in urging municipalities to connect five to 10 at a time.

The group says consolidation efforts — which can be started by residents using a petition process under a new state law — are the only way left to reduce property taxes once and for all.

In a state with 566 municipalities, 28 of which have at least 50,000 residents, consolidating is a rational solution, according to Courage to Connect NJ. Even very small towns in the state are supporting their own municipal structures.

This article was originally published in the Daily Record.


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