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  October 2011

222 West State Street,
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
PHONE (609) 695-3481 • FAX (609) 695-0151
EMAIL: league@njslom.com
www.njslom.org

IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS
Please consult the League Web Calendar

Oct 5-
Taking the Mystery Out of Applying For Grants, Crowne Plaza Monroe, Jamesburg

Oct 14-
Ethics and Conflicts of Interest, Conference Center at Mercer, West Windsor

Oct 18-
A Review of Record Retention and the Open Public Records Act, Robert Meyner Reception Center, Holmdel

Oct 25-
Labor Negotiations Primer, Robert Meyner Reception Center, Holmdel

Nov 15, 16, 17-
96th Annual League Conference, Atlantic City

 

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Conference Pre-Registration

Annual Business Meeting

Conference Resolutions

Hotel Deadlines

CEU Tracking System for Conference

New Jersey Municipalities Magazine

Legislative Committee Open Invite

New Jersey After COAH

Ocean City: Rule Reform


Officers:

CHUCK CHIARELLO
President ,  Mayor, Buena Vista
ARTHUR ONDISH
1st Vice President ,
Mayor, Mount Arlington Borough.
JANICE S. MIRONOV
2nd Vice President;
Mayor, East Windsor Twp.
SUZANNE M. WALTERS
3rd Vice President
Mayor, Stone Harbor Borough

Members of the Board:

JAMES ANZALDI
Mayor, Clifton
CORY BOOKER
(Ex-Officio)
Mayor, Newark City
RANDY BROWN
Mayor, Evesham Township
JAMES CASSELLA
Mayor, East Rutherford
DAN CORNATO
Deputy Mayor, Hampton Township
JOHN DEAN DeRIENZO
Mayor, Haworth Borough
FRANK J. DRUETZLER
Mayor, Morris Plains Borough
PATRICIA FLANNERY
Mayor, Bridgewater Township
MICHAEL FRESSOLA
Mayor, Manchester Township
JERRAMIAH HEALY          
Mayor, Jersey City
MICHAEL LAVERY
Mayor, Hackettstown
LEO MCCABE
Mayor, Glassboro
CAROL MUSSO
Mayor, Deerfield
GARY PASSANANTE

Mayor, Somerdale Borough

ELLEN POMPPER
Mayor, Lower Alloways Creek
SHARON ROBINSON-BRIGGS
Mayor, Plainfield
WAYNE SMITH
Mayor, Irvington
RONALD SWOREN
Mayor, Frenchtown
GERALD J. TARANTOLO   
Mayor, Eatontown Borough
JOSEPH TEMPESTA, JR.
 Mayor, West Caldwell Township
JANET W. TUCCI
Mayor, West Long Branch Borough 
BRIAN C. WAHLER
Mayor, Piscataway Township

Executive Staff

William G. Dressel Jr.,
 Executive Director
Michael J. Darcy, CAE,
 Asst. Executive Director

 

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From the President
Mayor Chuck Chiarello Mayor Chuck Chiarello, President NJLM

The 96th Annual Conference is just about a month away! Have you registered yet? Don’t wait! Also be sure to check out these exciting programs:

  1. The Mayors Luncheon features a cabinet level briefing and will be held Wednesday, November 16.  Click here to see the speaker line up and order tickets.
  1. The Consulting Period puts you face to face with 100 experts in various topics at 2:00 PM-4:00PM on Tuesday (Please note the time change).
  1. Hundreds of Exhibitors with products and programs that benefit your municipality on our exhibit floor.
  1. 80 Educational Sessions with the topics of: emergency management, development and revitalization; ethics, environmental issues and sustainability, transportation, housing and foreclosure, telecommunications, taxes, and much, much, more.  Check the full list of League sessions at the conference web page.

And more…

I hope to see you at the Conference!

CONFERENCE PRE-REGISTRATION
-Contact Gayle Krygier, Bookkeeper ext 119 or gkrygier@njslom.com

The League's Annual Conference pre-registration forms were mailed to all Municipal Clerks on August 1, 2011. The cut-off date for $50 (Municipal rate) pre-registration was October 1, 2011.  After that date, you must register on-site at a cost of $60(Municipal rate). 


League Annual Business Meeting Moved to Earlier Time

In an effort make municipal officials' time at the Annual League Conference as cost effective as possible, the Annual Business meeting has been scheduled a day earlier than normal and will be held Thursday November 17, 2011 3:30pm– 5:30pm, the location remains the same at the Sheraton Hotel second level, Pearl Ballroom. The meeting agenda will follow the traditional format including adoption of resolutions and Executive Board elections.  Refreshments will include soft drinks, coffee, tea, cookies and pretzels. While only mayors or their registered designees may vote on business matters, all municipal officials are invited to participate in the discussion. Please notify your governing bodies and municipal professionals who attend the Annual League Conference.


SUBMIT LEAGUE CONFERENCE RESOLUTIONS BY OCT. 7
-Contact: Mike Cerra 609-695-3481 ext.120 or mcerra@njslom.com

The Conference Resolutions Committee will consider resolutions from officials who are currently in municipal office. A summary of the proposed resolution should be sent to the League office by October 7, 2011. All resolutions must be general and relate to municipal government interests. The final version of the Resolutions must be received in the League office by October 21, 2011. Contact the League for more information.


HOTEL DEADLINES
-Contact Dee Kotch at ext 115 or dkotch@njslom.com

The Last date to make reservations (based on availability) is Friday, October 14. The last day to cancel reservations without incurring any charges is November 9. After that date, you must pay in full for all rooms reserved.


TRACKING SYSTEM FOR LEAGUE CONFERENCE SESSIONS OFFERS ATTENDEES MORE FLEXIBILITY

Conference time is just around the corner and this year, in order to make the process of moving from session to session quicker and cutting down on the paper work, we at the League will be once again be utilizing the CEU tracking system for the League sponsored sessions. For more information on this system and how it works click the following link http://www.njslom.org/96thconf/CEU-tracking.html or contact Danielle Holland, Program Specialist at 609-695-3481 ext 118 or dholland@njslom.com


New Jersey Municipalities Magazine

If you or your governing body and department heads, are not already subscribing, consider subscribing to the League's official magazine, New Jersey Municipalities. A one year subscription to New Jersey Municipalities is the best dollar value of any trade magazine subscription around. For the low cost of $16.00* per year, municipal officials can stay abreast of new initiatives taken by your neighbors and the current events affecting our great Garden State.

Our award winning magazine is published monthly (with the exception of July, August and September), and has been a news source for local governments for over 95 years.

New Jersey Municipalities is a valuable resource for idea sharing and locating the products and services needed to run your municipality. The articles within may give you great ideas for ways to cut costs in your own town or improve the efficiency of day to day operations. By adding New Jersey Municipalities to your library and retaining issues, you have easy access to reference past articles when new issues arise in your municipality and look for ideas to solve these problems.http://www.njslom.org/letters/2011-0929-Magazine.html


MAYORS NEEDED! PLEASE JOIN OUR LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE!

Veteran journalist, public policy commentator and student of life, Tom Brokow, once said, "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference." On behalf of the people you have sworn to serve, thank you for choosing the tougher alternative.

In life, and in government, we all have a choice. We can do the easy thing. Or we can do the right thing. On behalf of your neighbors and their families and on behalf of the future citizens that will make their homes in your municipality, thank you for choosing to do the right thing.

You were elected to serve as your municipality's Chief Executive because your friends and neighbors respect your opinions. In giving you their votes, they trusted you with their future. The decisions you make in local office can have a profound, immediate and lasting impact on their lives.

In local office, you have seen how decisions made in our State Capital can limit - or enhance - your ability to better serve your constituents. Bad decisions in Trenton can prevent you from delivering the best possible public services efficiently, effectively and economically. While good decision can provide tremendous help.

That's why the League was formed. And that's why we promote the interests of New Jersey Mayors in the Legislative and Executive Branches of State Government.

To do that effectively, WE NEED TO HEAR YOUR VOICE. And one of the most important ways for you to get involved is by becoming a member of our Legislative Committee. If you can spare one work day a month, six to eight days a year, we urge you to volunteer to serve on this body.

MEMBERSHIP ON THE LEAGUE'S LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO HELP YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS. ON THE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE, YOU WILL HELP CHART LEAGUE POLICY WITH REGARDS TO STATE POLICY.

For more information, you can access our publication, " Speak Out! A Guide to State Level Advocacy," at http://www.njslom.org/legislative_process_cover.html 

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact our Executive Director Bill Dressel at 609-695-3481 x122 or bdressel@njslom.com  Thanks.


NEW JERSEY AFTER COAH
-By Lori Grifa, Commissioner, N.J. Department of Community Affairs. For more information contact Sean Thompson, (609) 292-1716

On June 29, 2011, Governor Christie issued Reorganization Plan No. 001-2011 which, among other things, abolished the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). The Reorganization Plan also was designed to reduce the "unnecessary complexity of affordable housing administration in New Jersey, lower the administrative cost associated with the current regulatory process and streamline the development of new housing projects."  Recognizing that the N.J. Department of Community Affairs (DCA) was already responsible for providing assistance to municipalities, and operating numerous affordable housing programs, the Plan also acknowledged that the performance of these obligations can be significantly improved and streamlined by consolidating the statutory functions, powers and duties previously conferred upon COAH with those of DCA.

The Plan became effective on August 29, 2011, in accordance with the provisions of the Executive Reorganization Act of 1969, P.L. 1969, c. 203 (C. 52:14C-1 et seq.).  As a result, the Governor’s Reorganization Plan transferred all functions, powers and duties assigned to COAH in the Fair Housing Act to the Office of the Commissioner of the DCA.

Upon the effective date, the DCA immediately began to reduce the unnecessary bureaucracy that was COAH's hallmark by implementing interim procedures designed to create predictability and consistency for municipalities, developers and housing advocates.  These interim procedures, as set forth below, will curb inefficiencies which resulted in unreasonable delays and costs to municipalities and the private sector while promoting the availability of affordable housing throughout the State. In keeping with the Reorganization Plan, DCA will provide local planning and housing support services to assist municipalities with local planning issues and in the administration and implementation of the Fair Housing Act. As the DCA continues to take action to increase flexibility and efficiency to foster compliance with the Fair Housing Act, it will move towards greater transparency by posting notices of these actions on the DCA webpage at www.nj.gov/dca/services/lps.

So far, the DCA has implemented interim streamlined protocols regarding the following: review of requests for agency action, waivers and motion requests (including public noticing procedures); review and approval of municipal spending plans; review and approval of municipal development fee ordinances; approval of administrative agents and municipal housing liaisons; and approval of affordable housing operating manuals.

Waiver Requests
Municipalities may submit any requests for waivers of regulations in order to expedite the production of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income households. The new waiver process will permit waiver requests as well as requests for determinations on issues other than a waiver of regulations (motions) to be made electronically, by letter. Noticing requirements are streamlined via postings on DCA and municipal websites. Comments on the request will be accepted for two weeks (ten business days) of the posting. The request and any comments received will then be reviewed and the parties notified of any relief granted.

Review and Approval of Development Fee Ordinances and Amendments
To expedite the review and approval of development fee ordinances and amendments, municipal resolutions requesting review and approval of development fee ordinances or amendments will no longer be required. To streamline the process, a model development fee ordinance is available on the DCA website. Ordinances submitted to DCA will be reviewed and the municipality will be notified whether the development fee ordinance or amendment has been approved.

Administrative Agents and Municipal Housing Liaisons
Municipalities will now be permitted to designate or appoint Administrative Agents (AA), Municipal Housing Liaisons (MHL) and RCA Administrators without State approval.  Municipalities need only notify DCA of any new appointments or designations. DCA will continue to provide ongoing support, education and training to designated appointees.

Affordable Housing Operating Manuals
Municipalities will no longer be required to receive approval of affordable housing operating manuals. Revisable model operating manuals are available for download on the DCA webpage at www.nj.gov/dca/services/lps and need only be submitted to DCA. The Department will assist in the creation of operating manuals if requested.

Spending Plans and Amendments
A municipal resolution requesting review and approval of Spending Plans or Spending Plan amendments will no longer be required. Municipalities may now simply submit a letter (in hard copy or in an electronic format) making such a request. The submitted plan will be reviewed expeditiously and the municipality will be notified whether the spending plan or amendment has been approved.  A spending plan model is posted on the agency website to assist municipalities in drafting their spending plans.

Going Forward
The DCA will also offer planning services in order to foster cost-effective strategies and solutions for the land use and administrative goals of local governments. As part of a comprehensive strategy, this planning assistance will include incorporating the goals of the Fair Housing Act into the pursuit of economic development and strategic planning initiatives while focusing on flexibility and efficiency.

The local planning services to be offered by DCA will include both general planning and housing support.  The general planning services are available to communities to develop cost-effective strategies and solutions for the successful achievement of local land use and strategic planning goals. The Department will make multi-disciplinary, professional staff available at no cost to local government entities. Housing support services to be offered will assist municipalities with implementing the Municipal Land Use Law, Fair Housing Act and applicable laws.

This new beginning will present new challenges and opportunities. As State and local governments move forward, municipalities that previously submitted Housing Elements and housing plans for substantive certification should continue to comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and applicable laws in order to continue to be protected from builder’s remedy litigation.


Ocean City decision: Rule reform needed
-By Robert M. Czech, Chair/CEO, NJ Civil Service Commission

In July 2011, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Ocean City must “provide a statement of legitimate reasons why (a firefighter) appointee was selected instead of a higher-ranked eligible.* (In the Matter of Nicholas R. Foglio, Firefighter, Ocean City, 207 N.J. 38 (2011))

Ocean City is a Civil Service municipality. According to the Court, the City did not fulfill its obligation under Civil Service rules (the "Rule of Three") when a higher-ranked eligible candidate for a position was not chosen. N.J.A.C. 4A:4-4.8(b)(4) requires "...a statement of the reasons why the appointee was selected instead of a higher-ranked eligible or an eligible in the same rank due to a tie score."

After the Civil Service Act of 1986 the statement of reasons was eliminated as a statutory requirement (N.J.S.A. 11A:4-8). But the rule, which was never changed, predated the 1986 law. Even though there was no complaint that the applicant was skipped because of discrimination, Ocean City was forced to incur extensive costs and delays as it attempted to implement its employment decision.

Ocean City made the original appointment in 2007. It is now 2011. No wonder some towns want to opt out of Civil Service.

The Christie administration has been doing its best to initiate reforms that allow local government managers to manage their organizations at reasonable cost. Whether they are the "toolkit" reforms stalled in the Legislature, initiatives like pension and health benefit reforms, or changes to the binding arbitration system, the goal is the same: reduce the burden on local governments.

We can under current law lessen the burden highlighted by the court in the Foglio case. Civil Service can adhere to the requirements for the statute and the intent behind the 1986 reform legislation by removing the rule requiring a statement of reasons when a top-ranked applicant is not chosen under the "Rule of Three." Appointing authorities will still make a hiring decision based on a merit-based competitive process, and retain the discretion to do so without the burden of the unnecessary litigation evidenced in Foglio.