FROM TIME TO TIME – A Quarterly Report on the Activities of the New Jersey League of Municipalities
October - December 2008
We have advocated for municipalities in Trenton by …
- Participating in the successful action brought before the Council on Local Mandates, which overturned the State’s attempt to shift a portion of the costs of State Police services onto local property taxpayers.
- Securing passage of to increase local flexibility and discretion in traffic safety regulation.
- Combating efforts to define facilities that supply electrical energy produced from wind, solar or photovoltaic technologies as an ‘inherently beneficial use’ pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law.
- Continuing efforts to prevent passage of “Qualified Purchasing Agent’ mandate.
- Opposing unrealistic time limits on mediation and fact finding in police and fire collective bargaining arbitration cases.
- Submitting objections to the COAH regulations, based on comments of our COAH committee and the comments submitted to us by our members.
- Supporting reasonable and workable amendment to the Governor’s pension payment deferral proposal.
We have advocated for municipalities in Washington by …
- Working with NLC and our Delegation to promote direct funding to municipal governments in the upcoming economic stimulus package.
We have strengthened local leadership capacity by …
- Conducting 16 professional development seminars and events have been held for approximately 1,000 attendees. The League continually strives to meet the educational needs of its members, and welcomes suggested topics.
- Former League President, Mayor Bob Bowser, East Orange along with 20 other members of the League Hometown Security Task Force was briefed by Lt Colonel Jerome Hatfield, Deputy Superintendent of Homeland Security, NJ State Police, on new counter-intelligence and other emergency management strategies the State is deploying and how Mayors and local officials can benefit from these programs.
- The Mayors Committee for a Green Future held a press conference at Rutgers University on October 8 announcing Wal-Mart Corporations $200,000 green grants program. Co-chairs, Mayor Meryl Frank, Highland Park, and Deputy Mayor Fred Profeta, Maplewood and former League President Bob Bowser presided.
- Continuing, in cooperation with NLC, the distribution of regular updates on legislative, judicial and regulatory developments in our Nation’s Capital
- Cosponsoring and participating in the “2nd Transit Village Symposium,” at Rutgers University, to promote and encourage the fostering of Smart Growth principles.
- Sending League Staff to speak at County League and County Mayors’ Association meetings in Atlantic, Ocean, Warren and Somerset counties, at a monthly meeting of the New Jersey Municipal Management Association and at the Annual Conferences of the Governmental Finance Officers Association, NJMMA, Municipal Clerks’ Association and the Tax Collectors and Treasurers of New Jersey
- Sending Senior Legislative Analyst Mike Cerra to Atlantic and Mercer counties to speak on COAH regulations.
- Attending meetings of the Two Rivers Council of Mayors, Bergen County League of Municipalities, Union County League of Municipalities and the Morris County League of Municipalities to discuss the status of budget cuts and COAH regulations.
- Conferencing between League’s Immigration Reform Task Force and the Public Advocate and the Fund for New Jersey to discuss immigration reform and developing on-line information resources for League members.
- Meeting, by the League’s Gang Prevention and Youth Violence Task Force Chair, President Bob Bowser, and Helen Yeldell, with Attorney General Anne Milgram, on ways the League and her Department can work together to combat the problem.
- Partnering with the NJ Child Care Economic Impact Council under the leadership of Thomas Edison College to begin a conversation with mayors concerning the link between economic development and the childcare industry. Prepared and disseminated Mayors Survey on Childcare to gauge areas of technical assistance that can be offered to municipalities to benefit both children and their families.
- Co-sponsoring program on Immigration and Democracy on the role of local government in defusing community tensions and maximizing the benefits of immigration. Program held at Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, the State University.
- Mayor Jim Maley Collingswood, Chair, League Economic Development Task Force convened quarterly meeting on Oct 6 in at Robert Wood Johnson Wellness Center in Hamilton. Caren Franzini, Executive Director of EDA briefed members on new funding and partnership opportunities through EDA and other state agencies on various economic development programs through the state government
- The 93rd Annual League Conference, Nov 18 -21 in Atlantic City recorded a record number of Exhibits and conference sessions on a broad spectrum of subjects. At the Friday business meeting League lst Vice President Tim McDonough was elected President along with a new slate of officers and board members.
- On Dec 3 the annual reorganization meeting of the League Executive Board was held in Trenton with Mayor McDonough presiding.
We have provided municipal officials with resources for problem solving by …
- Publishing our updated versions of the Police and Fire Labor Data Contract Service using 2008 survey responses.
- League Senior Legislative Analyst, Michael Cerra spoke at the Housing Policy Committee in North Plainfield on October 10
- On October 14, Maplewood Deputy Mayor Fred Profeta, Co-chair, Mayors Committee for a Green Future and League Director Bill Dressel met with Governor’s Office of Policy and Planning and other state agency representatives to discuss the State’s Energy Master Plan and explore ways the MCGF can assist in developing educational offerings for mayors funded by the state.
- League Director and Helen Yeldell attended the Annual meeting of the Urban Mayors in Trenton on October 22. Helen Yeldell provided a legislative update as part of the day long programming.
- League Educational Foundation President Louise Wilson and various league staff met with representatives of Verizon and National League of Cities representatives to discuss funding details for a Mayors Book Club program to be launched in 2009.
- Mike Cerra and League Executive Board Member, Mayor Arthur Ondish of Mount Arlington represented the league at a Joint sponsored educational session with the Highlands Council on the newly adopted Highlands Master Plan.
- Mayor Louise Wilson convened a meeting of the Educational Foundation on December 17 and trustees finalized mission and vision statements and plans for the March 31, 2009 Housing Summit were discussed.
- On December 30, Geraldine Clarke Senior Partnership Specialist/Team Leader of US Census Bureau met with Mayor Randy Brown, Evesham, Chair of the League’s 2010 Census Awareness Committee, on ways the League can assist the Bureau in Getting Out the Count. The League will offer various resources to Mayors through our website and other out reach offerings in the weeks leading up to and through April, 2010.
- Continuing to provide articles and featured links on our Grant Resource Center’s main page with the assistance of our grants consultants at Triad Associates.
- Providing many educational sessions at the annual League Conference in November.
- Continuing to provide several resource centers on our website including, but not limited to: the Grant Resource Center, the Aging and Senior Resource Center, a Purchasing Resource Center and an Ordinance Library.
- Publishing the forth edition of the sixteenth volume of The Arbitration Reporter in December.
- Hosting and administering year-round education seminars to help local officials deal with and solve issues and problems at the municipal level.
- Making available audio recordings of dozens of educational sessions from the Annual Conference
- Providing an informational Legal Consultation Service through the Bureau of Municipal Information for municipal officials.
- Keeping municipal officials advised of legal developments affecting municipalities.
- Reviewing proposed regulations for municipal impact and commenting if appropriate.
- Establishing web based knowledge centers on the State Budget and CMPTRA Cuts
- Creating the “Mayors Sound Off” bulletin board at NJSLOM.com to promote mayors comments on the State Budget.
We have promoted municipal government by …
- Authoring several op-ed pieces defending the principles of home rule, self-determination and the need for property tax reform. Multiple pieces ran in the Newark Star-Ledger, the Trenton Times, the Asbury Park Press, the Bergen Record and across the State.
- Producing regular Media Alerts to the press, covering every aspect of new public policy developments in Trenton.
- Establishing, through the auspice of League Executive Officers, a Women In Municipal Government Committee which membership consists of all elected and appointed women mayors and council members in New Jersey.
- Creating a Women In Municipal Government webpage which provides relevant information on select programs and events of particular interest to women.
- League President Timothy McDonough and League director Bill Dressel attended the annual DARE gala at Drumthwacket in Princeton on October 4.