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"When are we going to acknowledge as mature, reasonable adults that we have too long tolerated a municipal framework that represents the opposite of everything this century has learned about effective management, efficient control and economy of scale."

Alan J. Karcher,
Multiple Municipal Madness


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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

Census-designated place (CDP) is an unincorporated community identified by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes. CDPs are populated areas that retain their own name and identity. CDPs are within an incorporated municipality which serves as their municipal government. There are currently 144 CDPs in New Jersey. Example: Lincroft is a CDP affiliated with the incorporated middletown Township in monmouth County.

Circulator is an individual who collects signatures for a voter petition. After completing a page of signatures, the Circulator must sign the document in the presence of a notary public. (See Step 3.)

Commissioner is an individual selected to serve on the municipal Consolidation Study Commission.

Committee of Petitioners is a group of five individuals who ensure compliance with state law regarding voter petitions. (See Step 3.)

Consolidation plan is a plan for implementing a municipal consolidation. Under the Local Option municipal Consolidation process, municipalities may ask the Local finance Board to approve a consolidation plan without the study process required by the municipal Consolidation Study Commission. This plan can be initiated directly by the governing bodies or as part of the Study Commission Report.

Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”) is a New Jersey state agency created to provide administrative guidance, financial support and technical assistance to local governments, community development organizations, businesses and individuals.

Division of Local Government Services (“DLGS”) is a division within the Department of Community Affairs that works with local governments to ensure their financial integrity and solvency, and to support their efforts to comply with state laws and regulations.

Final report is the final document prepared by a Municipal Consolidation Study Commission. It provides an overview of the Study Commission’s research and includes a recommendation of whether participating municipalities should merge.

General Assembly election is an election in which all members of the lower house of the New Jersey State Legislature are up for election. It occurs in November on odd-numbered years. As part of Step 3’s petition process, you will need to know how many residents in your town voted in the most recent General Assembly election.

Governing body is the entity that governs a municipality. The entity’s name will depend on the municipality’s form of government; common names include “borough council,” “township council,” and “city council.”

Home rule describes a political structure in which individual municipalities exercise substantial control over their own affairs. The term is also used generally to describe a philosophy that state government may not interfere with local issues. Home rule is often invoked as a reason to oppose consolidation; however, the two concepts are not necessarily incompatible.

Hybrid application (see “mixing-and-matching”).

Joint Municipal Consolidation Study Commission (see “municipal Consolidation Study Commission”).

Local Finance Board is an eight-member board that is located “in but not of” the Department of Community Affairs. Among other responsibilities, it reviews and approves applications to create municipal Consolidation Study Commissions. The Chairman of the Local finance Board is the director of the DCA’s Division of Local Government Services.

Local Option Municipal Consolidation is a form of municipal consolidation created by the state legislature in 2007. It is the focus of this Handbook. The statutory language can be found at N.J.S.A. 40A:65-25 et seq.

Local unit is any local government entity that can contract for services, including municipalities and utilities commissions.

LUARCC stands for Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization, and Consolidation Commission. It is a state entity that studies consolidation on a level and identifi es municipalities that would make logical merger candidates.

Mixing-and-matching is a term to describe a specifi c method for obtaining local approval for a municipal Consolidation Study Commission. Under “mixing-and-matching,” some towns obtain approval by voter petition, while others obtain approval by municipal resolution. (See Step 3.)

Municipal Consolidation Study Commission is an ad hoc commission designed to study the costs and benefi ts of municipal consolidation. Depending on the method of creation, the Commission will contain fi ve or some other number of residents of each participating municipality. In addition, every Commission includes a representative of the DCA and, if the merger proposal involves consolidation of school districts, a representative of the state Commissioner of Education. After examining the proposed merger, the Commission issues a fi nal report and recommendation regarding consolidation.

Municipal resolution is a legal document approved by a majority of the members of a municipality’s governing body.

Municipality is an administrative entity of local government composed of a clearly defi ned area and its population. It is commonly known as a city, borough, township, town or village. A municipality is incorporated to be self-governing under the laws of New Jersey. A municipality is typically governed by a mayor and a council, committee, commission or board of trustees. There are currently 566 municipalities in New Jersey.

Participating municipality is a town that is participating in a municipal Consolidation Study Commission.

Petition is a legal document signed by registered voters indicating support for a specifi c action by the government.Preliminary report is a document prepared by a municipal Consolidation Study Commission prior to issuing its fi nal report and recommendation. Under the Local Option form of consolidation, applicants can decide whether or not to require the Study Commission to prepare a preliminary report.

Shared service is any service provided on a regional or joint basis between municipalities and/or other local units.

Uniform Shared Services and Consolidation Act of 2007 is the law that created Local Option municipal Consolidation.

Unincorporated community is an area that does not have its own municipal government. Such areas are within the political and administrative jurisdiction of a city, borough, township, town or village. There are currently 184 unincorporated communities in New Jersey. Examples: Basking Ridge is within the incorporated Township of Bernards, Short Hills is within the incorporated Township of millburn.

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Intro | Authors | Letter | Overview | Six Steps | One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Glossary | Support


News & Videos

Visit CTCNJ on YouTube

Chad Goerner interview on NJTV:

Gina shares insights on NJTV:

Princeton's new Mayor Liz Lempert addresses the community:

Mayor Liz Lempert Video (click image to watch on; video is below slideshow)

Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner featured on NJTV:

Executive Director of CtoCNJ Discusses Consolidation on NJTV:

(click image to watch on

WMBC Introduces CtoCNJ:

WMBC Continues the Conversation:

CtoCNJ on NJN:

Gina on NJN:

Fox News 29 in Cinnaminson:

CNBC in Woodbridge:

Gina's "Can NJ Connect?" video:

Abbott and Costello take a humorous look at what we don’t know about our own communities: