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League of Municipalities and League Conference
Celebrating 90 Years of Excellence

As much as the League's service to municipal officials has grown and changed over the past 90 years, one thing has not. The League remains committed to supporting the ability of municipal leaders to meet their responsibilities to the citizens of New Jersey.

"The world was a different place almost 100 years ago, yet local leaders still felt the need to work together. Today, the need is if anything even greater. The League and municipal leaders have risen to the challenge over the past 90 years. As we have grown and modernized, we've remained true to our mission," said Executive Director Bill Dressel.

The groundwork for the modern League was laid at a meeting in Trenton in 1915. A bill was passed which "authorized municipalities in this State to join or to form and join an organization of municipalities for joint municipal action upon questions affecting the general welfare of such municipalities."

Fifty-one charter member municipalities adopted a League Constitution and elected Trenton Mayor Frederick Donnelly the group's first president.

From these early meetings emerged a spirit of cooperation, coupled with a dedication to good government, which has enabled the League to grow literally ten-fold over the next nine decades. For example, membership grew from 51 municipalities to 566 today. Between 50 and 100 people were represented at the early League Conferences, while this year's gathering included 20,676! Today the League holds the largest municipal conference and trade show in the United States and perhaps the world.

The League is rightly proud of its long and illustrious history. Much of the credit must go to municipal officials themselves, who have remained true to the pledge they made at the first Conference in 1916:

'We have not only a League of Municipalities, but we have also a fraternity of the men and women in government brought together by municipal interests, a really true municipal brotherhood.
Archive photo - Bill Dressel works the League booth early in his career
League Executive Director Bill Dressel (center) staffs the League booth early in his career.

Archive photo - League has always used the latest technology.
The League has always used the latest technology to better serve its members.

Archive photo - Municipal officials on they way to a meeting in 1954.
Municipal officials on their way to a meeting in 1954.

Archive photo - Broadcast by Mayors in 1929
Broadcast by Mayors over Municipal Radio Station, WPG Atlantic City, 1929.

Archive photo- An attentive audience at the 1951 League Conference
Attentive audiences at League Conferences have not changed. This meeting was part of the 1951 event.

 

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