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As the New Jersey State League of Municipalities completes 100 years of service to our municipal members it indeed has a strong foundation and a bright future. What started in 1917 with 51 members has, again, provided such valuable benefits and services that now all 565 municipalities choose to be members of the League. That commitment is a cornerstone in the strong foundation.

It is often said that current success is built upon the shoulders of those who came before. This year the League took time to celebrate those who came before and helped shape this organization. Those shoulders came from a variety of communities all across New Jersey - from the first president in 1917 Mayor Donnelly of Trenton, to the first female president in 1989 Deputy Mayor Hook of Delaware Twp, to our current president Mayor Wahler of Piscataway. The League has always, and will continue to, address the needs and represent the interests of the great variety of our members. To the extent we are successful in this mission it is due in large part to the effort of local officials joining together to build that success.

This was a special year in the history of the League and an anniversary committee was established to help guide the Anniversary efforts. The committee led by Immediate Past President Suzanne Walters of Stone Harbor is listed with the other committees later in this report. In celebrating the 100th Anniversary we had a chance to look back and review our history through periodic columns in the magazine, special web page supplements, and a celebration in May along with a special “keepsake” supplement in the magazine that month. The commemoration capped off with an exhibit of artifacts at the 100th Annual League Conference.

The year was also marked by the transition of League management. Upon Bill Dressel’s retirement after 41 years, management was transitioned to Executive Director Michael J. Darcy, CAE, and Assistant Executive Director Mike Cerra. Such transitions historically are rare for the League, there having been only 12 executive directors in 100 years.

As we begin the next bright century of service to New Jersey municipalities it is a pleasure to offer the following report of the League’s activities for 2015.


The League has been very busy advocating for municipalities in the courts this past year. Our legal department participated in nine amicus interventions in 2015 at the New Jersey Appellate and Supreme Court levels. Indeed, the League even participated in a case before the Council on Local Mandates. The legal matters at issue were diverse: residential licensing for rentals; zoning for heliports; OPRA; the Local Bond Law’s impact on the Faulkner Act and, of course, Affordable Housing. The League participates in these cases because they are important and municipal interests are well served by our involvement.

As always the League’s legal department has acted as a helpful resource to municipal attorneys. We act as a clearinghouse for ideas and practices. Attorneys must continually adapt to a changing legal landscape. Our legal department is a strong resource to help them in this task.


It was a year of transition for the League’s legislative services. Despite the retirement of the longtime Executive Director and Chief Lobbyist, our government affairs team remains active and vigilant in being the eyes and ears for you in Trenton. Mike Cerra assumed the Assistant Executive Director title with the League, while retaining the title of Director of Government Affairs. He is joined by a talented Government Affairs team including, Senior Legislative Analysts Jon Moran and Lori Buckelew; Associate Legal Counsel Ed Purcell, and newly hired Legislative Administrator Ciara Bradley.

Meanwhile, it was another year of challenges for municipalities; the State’s budget offered too little in terms of property tax relief funding to municipalities. In addition, municipalities faced the challenges of another harsh winter and the associated costs, crumbling infrastructure, and complying with its affordable housing obligations. The League identified the replenishment of the Transportation Trust Fund, long-overdue reforms
to the Fair Housing Act, as well as maintaining the fiscal integrity of the adequately funded local pension and health benefits systems as its major legislative priorities.

The League was an active voice in Trenton on many other issues important to local officials, including, but certainly not limited to the following:

• In June, partnering with other local government stakeholders, the League convinced legislators to not advance public record and public meetings (reforms) that would have increased burden on staff; this would continue to prevail attorney fees against public institutions and exclude the Legislature from many of the reforms;
• The League also convinced the Legislature to hold back on proposed legislation to prohibit municipal registration of multi-family dwellings for ongoing code enforcement;
• Helped secure passage of PL 2015, c. 95, a law that provides mandate relief and increased management flexibility for local government, which will result in costs savings;
• Released a policy neutral analysis, prepared by Raphael J. Caprio, Ph.D., Director of the Bloustein Center for Local Government Research, Rutgers University, to assist Mayors in understanding the potential cost to their municipalities for assuming part or all current and/or previously unfunded or underfunded employer contributions of the Teachers Annuity Pension Fund (TPAF), and as suggested in the Governor’s “Roadmap to Resolution.” A copy of the report is available at
• Continued to review and develop alternatives to the Governor’s “Roadmap to Resolution” report. We have been actively meeting with representatives from the Healthcare industry to discuss industry trends, cost drivers, cost saving measures, and the future of healthcare plans with them. We have conducted a survey of medical coverage for municipalities; evaluating the creation of a structure to manage the local pension funds similar to the “JIF/MEL model”; we’ve held numerous meetings with members of the Commission, Legislative leadership and various stakeholders. First Vice President and West Caldwell Mayor Joe Tempesta, led delegations to meet with Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Prieto to discuss the issue of pension reform and future of legislation;
• In September the League released two reports on affordable housing intended to provide a counter-balance to projections issued by certain housing advocates and to provide a “reality check” on the economic realities of the market.

Our Government Affairs staff is always eager to hear from you, so they can better serve you and
your municipality. Please contact them with your questions, comments and ideas.


It was a busy year for our federal relations team. Any success must be attributed to the follow-up of local officials, who took the time to contact their federal representatives on local priorities. And any credit
must be shared with the staff and officers of the National League of Cities – our eyes, ears and voice in our Nation’s Capital. Federal highway funding was a key highlight of our actions on federal priorities over the past 12 months. League President Brain Wahler testified in Washington on May 5, with Federal Highway Trust Fund money slated to run out at the end of the month. Mayor Wahler appeared before the United States Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker, the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee, was leading the fight for a multi-year transportation policy bill.

Noting the progress and prosperity that followed the passage of the Interstate Highway Act, 60 years ago, and the negative consequences of disinvestment, Mayor Wahler stated in part:

“The economic case for investment in our long-term infrastructure is clear - we know it will grow the economy, create good jobs, and position us for long-term growth. The moral case for action is just as plain. Will we leave the costs of disinvestment to our children?”

Congress was only able to agree on a three-month stop-gap, temporary funding extension.

We thank Senator Booker for his leadership on Transportation Funding and Mayor Wahler for his advocacy.

Threats to Federal tax exemption on interest earned on municipal bonds, as well as other matters relating to local budgeting also required action. We worked with our partners at the National League of Cities to underscore three key priorities for local governments in the tax reform process: (1) maintaining the Federal tax exemption on municipal bonds to promote job creation and improve the nation's infrastructure; (2) ensuring that state and local governments retain the authority to set their own tax policy; and (3) opposing Federal pre-emptions that would grant preferential tax treatment to certain industries and threaten the fiscal health of state and local governments.

We worked with FEMA to address a key concern of New Jersey residents and municipalities, relating to damage claims necessitated by Superstorm Sandy. On May 18, FEMA opened the Hurricane Sandy Review Process and began to notify approximately 142,000 policyholders who submitted a Hurricane Sandy flood claim that they may request that their file be reviewed. The process is designed to make fairer awards to help those who continue to recover from the storm.

For action following the June 23 macroburst storm, we want to recognize Harrison Township Mayor Louis Manzo, who also serves as President of the Gloucester County Mayors Association. Mayor Manzo notified State officials of the need for help and helped focus our attention, and that of state level leaders, on that need. On July 2, the Officers of the NJLM sent a letter to the Governor, respectfully asking him to issue an Executive Order, declaring a state of emergency for municipalities in southern New Jersey counties.

On Wednesday, July 22, responding to Governor Christie’s request, President Obama declared a disaster to have existed in New Jersey, due to the June 23 severe weather event permitting federal disaster aid to flow for state and local recovery efforts.

Among other federal issues faced by the League this year, we note a six-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). Terrorism risk insurance enables local governments to continue to provide critical services to residents in the event of an attack by protecting against loss or liability that could affect a municipality's personnel, property and finances.

Attention to federal policy developments and their impact on New Jersey municipalities will remain a high priority throughout the upcoming Presidential and Congressional election campaign cycle.


One of the League’s most valuable services continues to be the Bureau of Municipal Information. In 2015 the League continued the move towards converting printed publications to digital. The new digital versions include more information, valuable Excel spreadsheets that can be manipulated by purchasers, faster receiving time and allow the League to continue providing this data while keeping purchase costs down. In 2015 the League published the latest in the League’s License series, with data for Planning Boards, Boards of Adjustment, Zoning Fees, Historic Preservation and Construction/Building Fees. Also published in 2015 were the first edition of a Local Public Contracts Law Primer, the bi-annual Municipal Salary Report and the annual Police and Fire Labor Data Contract Series.

In 2014 the League’s online Ordinance and Shared Service Libraries were updated making them more user-friendly and easier to search. In 2015, an average of 33 new Shared Service Agreements was added to the library each month.

While the above is a sampling of what the Bureau of Municipal Information offers, in total the Bureau provides resources and information on over 20 topics. You may visit the Bureau website at


New Jersey Municipalities, the League’s award winning magazine, has enjoyed another successful year. The issues included a special column each month on the League’s Centennial Celebration and a special eight-page section on the Celebration was featured in the June issue.

With over 7,000 readers and a vast pass-along readership, the magazine continues to be a vital source of information. Its monthly issues provide the news and information you need to govern in your local community. Members of the state and national legislatures also read the magazine to keep abreast of municipal issues.

In writing for the magazine, League members share their views and ideas with a wide range of managers and policymakers. I’m happy to report that for the sixth year in a row a record number of New Jersey mayors submitted articles.

In addition to your articles, New Jersey Municipalities includes a mix of articles by state commissioners and other experts, as well as informative columns, opinion pieces and advertising by some of the state’s leading providers of products and services.

•Nine issues of New Jersey Municipalities were published in 2015.
•The number and quality of articles submitted continues to increase. This year the average page count was 85 pages. The magazine includes articles that feature large, small, rural and urban communities in all parts of the state. Our diverse offerings and increased use of shorter articles has made the magazine even more useful to busy leaders.
• We’ve expanded our use of color photographs and improved both cover and interior design. The changes make the publication more accessible and enjoyable.
• The New Jersey State League of Municipalities is dedicated to environmentally and socially responsible operations. We print on Sappi McCoy Gloss 100lb Text (cover) and Sappi Flo Gloss 70lb Text, industry leading environmentally responsible papers. McCoy and Flo contain 10 percent post consumer waste and FSC chain of custody certification.
• 2015 marked the departure of long-time Managing Editor, Kyra Duran. After 20 years of editing New Jersey Municipalities and countless design upgrades, Kyra turned over editing duties to Amy Spiezio.

As always; we welcome your calls, ideas and articles for our premier publication. Contact the magazine’s Managing Editor Amy Spiezio at (609) 695-3481 ext. 123 or to contribute an article or to learn more.


An objective of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities is to present programs that broaden, deepen, and increase knowledge and skills of municipal personnel in various professions while collaborating with Affiliate Groups. Approved continuing education programs provide municipal professionals with the opportunity to maintain their respective state licenses. The League has expanded its sponsorship agreements and works cohesively with numerous accreditation bodies representing 14 government licenses including new for 2015: Planning and Zoning Board Secretaries, Zoning Officials, and Land Use Administrators.

In addition to the Annual Conference, the League offered 25 professional development seminars
and webinars, educating more than 2,000 attendees in 2014/2015. Highlights include:

• A Review of the Tax Assessment Pilot Programs
• The Heroin Addiction Epidemic: What It Is and How to Address It
• Disciplinary Actions and What Constitutes a Hostile Workplace
• “New (and Old) Tools to Deal with Abandoned Properties”
• Orientation for Newly Elected, Re-Elected, and Experienced Officials
• 23rd Annual Mayors Legislative Day
• Budget Audits and Updates
• A Review of the Open Public Records Act
• Mini One Day Conference
• Preparing for Your Next Steps on Affordable Housing
• Prepping For Labor Negotiations

In addition to the programs above, the League also offers Legislative Update webinars. These
periodic webinars keep members abreast of the current legislative action.
For more information on the League’s upcoming seminars and webinars please visit our website
at or contact Danielle Holland-Htut, Program Specialist at 609-695-
3481 ext 118 or


The League’s Labor Relations Advisory Service is conducted by the League’s Labor Relations Counsel, Brian Kronick, and his colleague, Joseph Hannon of Genova Burns, LLC.

Brian Kronick and Joseph Hannon are available to respond to a broad range of public employer labor and employment law questions as a telephone or email service of the League. Inquiries to the League Labor Advisory Service over the years have included issues like the new interest arbitration reforms and the 2% cap on awards under the 45 day “rocket docket”, furloughs and temporary layoffs, health benefit and pension reforms, and perennial problems municipalities face in police and fire and civilian collective negotiations, Public Employment Relations Commission unfair practices and representation matters, Shared Service Issues, Civil Service issues, FMLA and NJFLA issues, FLSA and wage and hour issues, Americans with Disabilities Act issues, and Equal Employment Opportunity and New Jersey Law Against Discrimination issues. You may contact Brian at or Joe at


For the past century, local officials have gathered annually in the pursuit of good local government. What started as a one-day meeting has grown to the largest municipal conference in the United States. This three-day Annual Conference remains a critical mainstay in the portfolio of services provided by the League. Currently serving 17,000 people and offering 1,000 exhibit booths showing products and services to aid municipalities, it is a central point for learning what is available to meet local governments’ needs.

Pre-Registration, at just $55, is the most affordable way for municipal officials to gain new solutions to both the perennial issues and the changing challenges. Some of the features of this year’s conference will be:

• 92 League educational sessions and more than 50 additional sessions produced by affiliated municipal professional associations.
• Primers for newly elected governing body members.
• Sessions focused on ethics training.
• New technical skills and new technologies creating new efficiencies.
• Information on economic development; planning; management and leadership and understanding initiatives coming from State government.
• Insurance training sessions that result in premium reductions for attendees.
• The largest municipal exhibit hall in the country.
The conference is also a chance to acknowledge local officials’ dedication to public service and the work of their colleagues in municipal government across the state.

The 2015 Annual Conference provides all these opportunities while continuing to charge the
lowest registration rate of any municipal league in the country.


In 2014-2015 the League of Municipalities Educational Foundation once again held education
programs, supported literacy efforts, secured grants and continued to publish its “Friends of Local
Government” white paper series.

The Foundation published the following White Papers:

•“Practical Lessons from the Front Line: An Economic Development Tool Box for Mayors and Communities” by Jun Choi
•“Size May Not be the Issue: An Analysis of the Cost of Local Government and Municipal Size in New Jersey” by the Bloustein Local Government Research Center (Rutgers University)
•“Integrating Health into Community Design and Decision-Making: Opportunities for New Jersey Municipalities” by the Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
•“Changing Economic and Demographic Dynamics: A New Context for New Jersey Municipalities” by Dean James Hughes and Joseph J. Seneca, Ph.D.

The Foundation held its first webinar on December 9, 2014. The topic was “Immigrant Wage Theft”. The use of webinars has grown and the Foundation is learning the best way to incorporate this into the mission of informing and educating.

For the fifth consecutive year the Mayors Book Club conducted successful pilots in partnership with Fairleigh Dickinson University Education Dept. and six Bergen County towns: Harrington Park; Englewood; River Edge; Ridgefield Park; Bergenfield; Teaneck. To capitalize on these years of experience the Foundation contracted with Dr. Vicki Cohen at Fairleigh Dickinson University to distill the experience into printed materials so others can produce such programs on their own. In 2015 the Foundation continued the administration of the Michael A. Pane Memorial Fund. The Fund awards an honorarium to a local government professional (attorney, engineer, or planner) who personifies outstanding ability, integrity, and ethics in his or her dealings with local governments.

The Educational Foundation continues administering grants in support of Sustainable Jersey. More than $1 million in grants has been administered from such funders as Wal-Mart Corp, BPU and the others.


The League's Trenton staff carries out a full agenda of activities in translating League policy objectives on many fronts, but policy itself is made by over 250 mayors, other elected officials and appointed officials who serve on numerous standing and ad hoc committees.

The committees and committee chairs are:

 Executive Board: BRIAN C. WAHLER, Mayor, Piscataway, President, New Jersey State League
of Municipalities; Chair
 Legislative Committee: WILLIAM J. KEARNS, JR., ESq., League General Counsel and KRISTINA HADINGER, ESq., League Associate Counsel; Co-chairs
 Conference Resolutions Committee: JOSEPH TEMPESTA, JR., Mayor, West Caldwell Township;
League First Vice President; Chair
 Nominating Committee: SUZANNE M. WALTERS, Mayor, Stone Harbor Borough; Immediate Past President; Chair
 League Educational Foundation: ARTHUR R. ONDISH, Mayor, Mount Arlington; League Past President; President
 Emergency Management Task Force: TIMOTHY C. MCDONOUGH, Mayor, Hope; League Past President; Chai:
 Emergency Medical Services Task Force: CHUCK CHIARELLO, Mayor, Buena Vista Township; League Past President; Chair
 Land Use Law Drafting Committee: CLIFFORD GIBBONS, ESq.; Chair
 Mayors Committee on New Jersey Life Sciences: JOSEPH PANNULLO, Mayor, East Hanover
Township; Chair
 League Economic Development Task Force: M. JAMES MALEY, JR., Mayor, Collingswood; Chair
 League Legal Committee on Affordable Housing: EDWARD BUZAK, ESq.; Chair
 League School Tax Reform Committee: GARY PASSANANTE, Mayor, Somerdale; Member, League Executive Board; Chair
 Council on Affordable Housing Study Committee: JANICE S. MIRONOV, Mayor, East Windsor Township; League Past President and COLLEEN MAHR, Mayor, Fanwood Borough; Member, League Executive Board; Co-Chairs
 Telecommunications Study Committee: BRIAN C. WAHLER, Mayor, Piscataway; League President; Chair
 League Management Reform Committee: WILDA DIAZ, Mayor, Perth Amboy; Chair
 League Statutory Funding Compliance Committee: JANICE S. MIRONOV, Mayor, East Windsor Township; League Past President; Chair
 Community Development Block Grant Task Force: J. CHRISTIAN BOLLWAGE, Mayor, Elizabeth; League Past President and ARTHUR R. ONDISH, Mayor, Mount Arlington; League Past President; Co-Chairs
 Civil Service Reform Study Committee: TIMOTHY GORDON, Business Administrator, Milburn
Township; Chair


SUZANNE M. WALTERS, Mayor, Stone Harbor, League Immediate Past President - Chair
CHUCK CHIARELLO, Mayor, Buena Vista Township, League Past President
DANIEL N. CORANATO, Deputy Mayor, Hampton Township (Deceased)
PHYLLIS MARCHAND, League Past President
PAUL MATACERA, League Past President
TIMOTHY McDONOUGH, Mayor, Hope, League Past President,
ARTHUR R. ONDISH, Mayor, Mt. Arlington, League Past President, President, NJLMEF
JAMES PERRY, Mayor, Hardwick Township, League Executive Board Member

*The following individuals represented the League on state-wide committees:
PHIL COCUZZA, Public Safety Director, Lambertville – Member, Police Training Commission
JOSEPH PANNULLO, Mayor, East Hanover Township; Mayors Committee on Life Sciences
MICHAEL J. DARCY, CAE, Executive Director, New Jersey State League of Municipalities --
Member, Employer Support of the National Guard; Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees,
Ex-Officio Member; Downtown NJ, Inc., Board Member
CAROLINE EHRLICH, Chief of Staff, Woodbridge – Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees,
CHERYL FULLER, Former Manager, Englewood -- Public Employment Relations Committee,
WILLIAM J. KEARNS, JR., ESq., League General Counsel -- State Supreme Court’s Committee on
Court Security – Member, Attorney General’s Municipal Prosecutors Oversight Committee –
Member, Local Government Ethics Task Force
ROBERT V. KISER, Engineer, Princeton -- Technical Advisory Committee for NJ Statewide Bicycle
and Pedestrian Transportation Master Plan
JANICE KOVACH, Mayor, Clinton Town; Member, League Executive Board – Public Works
Advisory Board, Department of Community Affairs
DR. EDWARD J. MAHANEY, JR., Mayor, Cape May City – Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees,
PAMELA H. MOUNT, Former Committeewoman, Lawrence Township (Mercer); Member -- Clean
Air Council; Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees
L. MASON NEELY, Finance Director, East Brunswick – Department of Environmental Protection
Clean Water Council
ARTHUR R. ONDISH, Mayor, Mount Arlington; League Past President – Public Works Advisory
Board, Department of Community Affairs; Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees Member
JOEL SHAIN, ESq., Attorney, Monroe Township (Middlesex) – League Representative, Board of
Public Utilities Committee on Development of Rules for Municipal Electric Aggregation
RAYMOND S. HECK, Mayor, Millstone Borough; League Representative on State Fire Safety
Commission (Pending)


The Corporation owns and operates the League’s headquarters building.
PAUL MATACERA, 222 Corporation President, NJLM Past President
PETER CANTU, Mayor, Plainsboro, 222 Corporation Vice President, NJLM Past President
GENE FEYL, Former NJLM Executive Board Member
JONATHAN DUNLEAVY, Mayor, Bloomingdale, NJLM Executive Board
SUZANNE WALTERS, Mayor, Stone Harbor, NJLM Immediate Past President
MICHAEL CERRA, NJLM Assistant Executive Director
MICHAEL J. DARCY, CAE, NJLM Executive Director
WILLIAM J. KEARNS, JR., Esq., League General Counsel


ARTHUR R. ONDISH, Mayor, Mount Arlington, NJLMEF President, NJLM Past President
JUN CHOI, NJLMEF Vice President
MICHAEL J. DARCY, CAE, Treasurer, NJLM Executive Director
MIKE CERRA, Secretary, NJLM Assistant Executive Director
PAUL ANZANO, Mayor, Hopewell Borough
JAMES BENTON, Executive Director, NJ Petroleum Council/API
ROBERT L. BOWSER, League Past President
CHARLENE BROWN, Regional VP, AT & T External Affairs
DANIELLE CAPOZZOLI, Corporate Attorney, United Water
SUSAN M. COAN, Regional VP, Atlantic City Electric
SAM DELGADO, VP of External Affairs, Verizon
JAMES HUGHES, Dean, EJ Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers
MARK JONES, VP, External Affairs, Jersey Central Power & Light Co.
LINDA KELLNER, Chief of Staff, NJ Resources
MONICA K. McCORMACK-CASEY, VP, Government Banking Relationship Manager, TD Bank
GEORGE D. SOUS, Director, External Affairs, PSE & G
JESSE TWEEDLE, SR., Mayor, Pleasantville City, NJLM Executive Board Member
KEVIN WATSEY, Manager, Government Affairs, NJ American Water
LOUISE WILSON, NJLM Educational Foundation Past President
WILLIAM J. KEARNS, JR., ESq., League General Counsel


The League is completing its 100th year of service to the municipalities of New Jersey. Our membership currently includes all 565 municipalities in the State of New Jersey.

The League's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The Budget under which the League is currently operating is set forth on the following page.

NOVEMBER 15, 16, 17

Membership Dues Rate Schedule

2016 Membership Dues Report

The League’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The Budget under which the League is currently operating is set forth below..

2015/2016 Audit Actual Revenues & Expenditures
For NJLM Fiscal Year End June 2016


Updated 12/9/15

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