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ANNUAL REPORT
OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- 2017
MICHAEL J. DARCY, CAE

Municipalities have been working through unprecedented challenges during 2016. And while these challenges may be unprecedented, they were not unforeseeable. What is unprecedented is the level of complexity, cost, and impact these challenges have risen to over time. The State pension crisis developed over decades and after countless warnings, false starts, and inaction. The Transportation Trust Fund replenishment, similarly, has been identified for a long time only to be ignored until road work stopped. The decades-long challenge of figuring out COAH also turned to crisis when the Council could not produce rules, causing the court to begin a new chapter in this long legacy.

Municipal officials have no choice but to meet these challenges. The impacts are local and felt by our neighbors, friends, and families. This year we highlighted public-private partnerships as a creative approach to meeting challenges. Through recognition programs, magazine articles, and conference sessions, we explored how P3s can make positive local impacts. Municipal officials continue to show their creative problem solving skills, enabling the government closest to the people to get the job done.

The League has worked diligently over the past year to provide support, advocacy, training, information, and, where urgently needed, the League provided amicus representation.

As you read this report, I hope it exemplifies the critical importance of all municipalities joining together to meet these challenges through the work of the League.

LEGAL ADVOCACY

The League has been very busy advocating for municipalities in the courts this past year. Our legal department participated in nine amicus interventions in 2016 at the New Jersey Appellate and Supreme Court levels as well as participated and prevailed in a case before the Council on Local Mandates. The
legal matters at issue were diverse:

• OPRA and electronic information
• Labor issues
• Business Improvement Districts
• 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.

Contact our in-house counsel, Ed Purcell, Esq., at epurcell@njslom.com

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

The League’s Government Affairs team remains active at the Statehouse, articulating your concerns to State Legislators and Regulators. It was another year of challenges for municipalities; the State’s budget offered too little in terms of property tax relief funding to municipalities. Last-minute changes to the budget made via a line item veto raised concerns as municipalities faced additional penalties for failing to comply with then undetermined “best practices.” The State faced a transportation funding crisis and a state order shutdown of projects funded by the Transportation Trust Fund. Over 300 municipalities remain before the Courts in order to voluntarily comply with affordable housing obligations while long overdue reforms to the Fair Housing Act remained stalled in Trenton.

We have launched a number of new initiatives and advocacy tools to advance our efforts on behalf of our taxpayers. If you haven’t signed up yet for VoterVoice (njslom.org/votervoice/) or read the League’s new
“Town Crier” blog (njlmblog.wordpress.com) we urge you to do so. Our Government Affairs staff is always eager to hear your questions, comments, and ideas.

Early in his tenure, League President, Mayor Joseph Tempesta of West Caldwell identified the replenishment of the Transportation Trust Fund, long-overdue reforms to the Fair Housing Act,
maintaining the fiscal integrity of the adequately funded local pension and health benefits systems, and the promotion of publicprivate partnerships as the League’s major legislative priorities.

The League was an active voice in Trenton on these and many other issues important to local officials, including:

• HOSPITAL TAXES: The League opposed legislation advanced in response to the Morristown Hospital Tax Court ruling. The League argued that if a non-profit hospital chooses to engage in certain for profit activities, it should pay its fair share, and that local property taxpayers should not subsidize such activities. We were pleased with the Governor’s veto of the legislation and, working with other interested stakeholders, have suggested possible alternatives to the initial legislation.

• AFFORDABLE HOUSING: The League successfully sought the introduction of legislation to address the socalled gap affordable housing obligation, a flawed February ruling for an additional obligation imposed on municipalities for the period of time in which COAH was unable to adopt valid regulations. Fortunately, this ruling was reversed by the Appellate Decision in July. Municipalities continue to face potential litigation over the issue and the League continues to push for the passage of A-3821/S-2254 to remove the issue from the Courts once and for all.

• PENSIONS & BENEFITS: Our Task Force continues to review and develop alternatives to the Governor’s “Roadmap to Resolution” report on Pension and Health Benefit funding.

Contact Mike Cerra, mcerra@njslom.org, the League’s Assistant Executive Director or the other members of the Government Affairs team: Senior Legislative Analysts Jon Moran, jmoran@njslom.org, and Lori Buckelew, lbuckelew@njslom.com; Associate Legal Counsel Ed Purcell, epurcell@njslom.org, and Legislative Administrator Ciara Bradley, cbradley@njslom.org.

FEDERAL ACTIVITIES

The New Jersey League’s Federal Relations team relies on information, analysis, and insights provided to us by the staff of the National League of Cities (NLC) in Washington, and on the efforts of New Jersey municipal officials who take the time to contact their representatives in Washington on matters that affect their communities and their fellow citizens.

These developments highlight our work in 2016:

• The massive $1.6 trillion spending and tax cut package passed by Congress at the end of 2015, included a two-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s 40% excise tax on highcost employer-sponsored health insurance that was scheduled to go into effect January 2018. We believe the tax would impose potentially serious negative impacts on local government workers, budgets, and taxpayers. Support for stopping the tax altogether is gaining momentum.

• Local governments dodged a mandate that would have forced states and localities to meet new pension reporting requirements in order to maintain their right to issue tax free municipal bonds. We have long-opposed this unwarranted intrusion into state and local finance, which did not pass.

• Late last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) surprised police departments across the country with notice that the federal “equitable sharing” program was suspended, due to a funding shortfall. The equitable sharing program empowers federal, state, and local law enforcement to share proceeds derived from property that had been used to facilitate criminal activity. On March 28 the Department announced resumption of the equitable sharing program.

• In cooperation with NLC, in response to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, we asked Federal policy-makers to support robust funding for all water infrastructure mechanisms, including the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF) programs and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).

• In April, League Past President and Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Economy. Mayor Bollwage called for brownfields reauthorization, with increased funding, removal of funding caps, multi-purpose grants, eligibility clarification for previously acquired sites, and increased collaboration among all stakeholders.

• During the summer, we provided you with information needed to deal with threats like the Zika virus and to prepare for regulatory developments, like the new overtime rules, which go into effect Dec. 1, that will nearly double the salary threshold under which an employee is entitled to overtime.

We anticipate a lot more action in the coming year. And we will do our best to keep you informed and involved in our efforts.

BUREAU OF MUNICIPAL INFORMATION

One of the League’s most valuable services continues to be the Bureau of Municipal Information. Many of the League’s publications have been converted to digital versions that include more information, valuable Excel spreadsheets that can be manipulated by purchasers, faster receiving time, and a continuous provision of valuable data while keeping purchase costs down.

In 2016 the League updated Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the League’s License series, as well as the annual update of the Police and Fire Labor Data Contract Series.

This year, the League continued to offer the online Ordinance and Shared Service Libraries, a valuable service providing a sampling of enacted ordinances and shared services agreements from across the state on over 70 topics. The libraries may be accessed on the League’s website and are searchable by keyword. The League also continued to offer its Grant Resource Center, an online resource center offering grant news, tools, funding announcements, and a monthly article providing funding tips and tools.

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 at njslom.org/bureau.

NEW JERSEY MUNICIPALITIES

New Jersey Municipalities, the League’s award-winning magazine, marks its 99th year with ongoing success. The issues included the addition of a column on the League’s rich history, Now & Then, and an updated look for the must-read special Conference Sections in June, October, and November under the
guidance of new Managing Editor Amy Spiezio, Creative Director Dawn Becan, and Advertising Manager Taran Samhammer.

The monthly issues continue to educate and inform more than 6,300 readers and a vast pass-along readership as vital source of information and news you need to govern in your community.

FEATURED IN 2016

• Nine issues of New Jersey Municipalities were published in 2016.
• The quality of articles submitted continues to increase while the issues have new infographics and improved cover and interior design for easy navigation.
• The magazine includes articles that feature large, small, rural, and urban communities in all parts of the state, putting the spotlight on hot-button issues via monthly features and departments useful to busy leaders.
• NJLM is dedicated to environmentally and socially responsible operations, printing on environmentally responsible papers.
• The monthly digital edition features a growing publication archive on the League’s website.

League members share their views and ideas with a wide range of managers and policymakers. Members of the state and national legislatures also contribute to and read the magazine to maintain the ties between municipal issues and the state and national arenas. NJ Municipalities also includes a mix of pieces by state commissioners and other experts, as well as informative columns, opinion pieces, and advertising by leading providers of products and services.

Contact Managing Editor Amy Spiezio at aspiezio@njslom.org or NJM@njslom.org to suggest or contribute articles.

TRAINING AND IN-SERVICE PROGRAMS

The League continued to successfully present programs that broaden, deepen, and increase knowledge and skills of municipal personnel in various professions while collaborating with our Affiliate Groups. Approved continuing education programs also serve as a cost effective way for municipal professionals to maintain their respective state licenses.

In addition to the Annual Conference, the League offered 26 professional development seminars and webinars, educating more than 2,000 attendees in 2015/2016. Highlights include:

• Dealing With Difficult Employees: What Are Your Rights As An Employer in the Public Sector
• MLUL Preemptions: The NJ Permit Extension Act and FCC “Shot Clock” Rules
• The Open Public Meeting Act: A Discussion of the Proposed Changes, Best Practices, and Procedures Webinar”
• Beyond Code Enforcement: Understanding & Using Vacant and Abandoned Property Tools in Your Municipality Webinar
• Orientation for Newly Elected, Re-Elected, and Experienced Officials
• 24th Annual Mayors Legislative Day
• Budget Audits and Updates
• A Review of the Open Public Records Act
• Mini One Day Conference
• Prepping For Labor Negotiations

The League works cohesively with numerous accreditation bodies representing
14 government licenses including Continuing Legal Education for New Jersey
and Pennsylvania Attorneys, Municipal Licensees, Tax Assessors, Recycling
Coordinators, Planning and Zoning Board Secretaries, Zoning Officials, and
Land Use Administrators.

In addition to these programs, the League also offers Legislative Update webinars to keep members abreast of current legislative action.

Seminars and webinars are listed at njslom.org/seminars or contact Program Specialist Danielle Holland-Htut, 609-695-3481, Ext. 118, or dholland@njslom.com

LABOR RELATIONS ADVISORY SERVICE

Labor Relations Advisory Service answers questions about 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.

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 Giantomasi Webster 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 interest arbitration reforms and the 2% cap on awards under the 45-day “rocket docket,” furloughs and temporary layoffs, as well as health benefit and pension reforms.

Contact Brian Kronick at bkronick@genovaburns.com or Joe Hannon at jhannon@genovaburns.com.

ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The Annual League Conference continues to be a focal point of municipal learning each year. Local officials gather in the pursuit of knowledge and better ways to meet the challenges of good local government. Still 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 help local official meet their challenges.

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 were:

• 85 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 municipal security issues and 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 2016 Annual Conference provided all these opportunities while continuing to charge the lowest registration rate of any municipal league in the country.

Visit the Conference section of njslom.org or contact Exhibit Manager Kristin Lawrence at klawrence@njslom.org

NJLM EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION

This past year was a time of transition for the NJLM Educational Foundation. Sadly, long-time president Mayor Art Ondish passed away in March. The Foundation Board of Trustees thoughtfully held a planning retreat to carefully consider direction and leadership for the future. The result was a roadmap for changes to the Foundation bylaws, and the election of Mayor Tim McDonough, Hope Township, as president along with Mayor Paul Anzano, Hopewell (Mercer), as vice president. The Foundation is now poised to resume its tradition of contribution to timely research and proactive approach to resolving the complex issues affecting New Jersey’s diverse communities.

In 2016 the Foundation published the white papers “2016: The Changing Face of Cybersecurity & What it Means for Municipalities” by Morris A. Enyeart, Ed.D., and “Lift-Off to Tail-Off: More Economic Uncertainty” by James Hughes, Distinguished Professor and Dean, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. They can be found on the NJLMEF website.

To capitalize on years of experience piloting the Mayors Book Club, the Foundation contracted with Dr. Vicki Cohen at Fairleigh Dickinson University to distill the experience into a printed manual so others can produce Mayors Book Clubs. That manual, “Planning and Participating in a Mayors Book Club” is available for download from njlmef.org

In 2016, the Foundation continued the administration of the Michael A. Pane Memorial Fund, 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.
Visit the NJLM Educational Foundation at njlmef.org

LEAGUE COMMITTEES

The League’s Trenton staff carries out a full agenda of activities, translating League policy objectives on many fronts. But policy itself is made by more than 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: Joseph Tempesta, Jr., Mayor, West Caldwell; NJLM President; Chair

Legislative Committee: William J. Kearns, Jr., Esq., NJLM General Counsel, Co-Chair; Kristina Hadinger, Esq., NJLM Deputy General Counsel; Co-chair

Conference Resolutions Committee: Albert B. Kelly, Mayor, Bridgeton; NJLM First Vice President; Chair

Nominating Committee: Brian C. Wahler, Mayor, Piscataway; NJLM Immediate Past President; Chair

NJLM Educational Foundation: Timothy C. McDonough, Mayor, Hope; NJLM Past President; President

Emergency Management Task Force: Timothy C. McDonough, Mayor, Hope; NJLM Past President; Chair

Emergency Medical Services Task Force: Chuck Chiarello, Mayor, Buena Vista Township; NJLM 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

NJLM Economic Development Task Force: M. James Maley, Jr., Mayor, Collingswood; Chair

NJLM Legal Committee on Affordable Housing: Edward Buzak, Esq.; Chair

NJLM School Tax Reform Committee: Gary Passanante, Mayor, Somerdale; NJLM Executive Board Member; Chair

Council on Affordable Housing Study Committee: Janice S. Mironov, Mayor, East Windsor Township;
NJLM Past President; Co-Chair; Colleen Mahr, Mayor, Fanwood Borough; NJLM Third Vice President; Co-Chair

Telecommunications Study Committee: Brian C. Wahler, Mayor, Piscataway; NJLM Immediate Past President; Chair

NJLM Management Reform Committee: Wilda Diaz, Mayor, Perth Amboy; Chair

NJLM Statutory Funding Compliance Committee: Janice S. Mironov, Mayor, East Windsor; NJLM Past President; Chair

Community Development Block Grant Task Force: J. Christian Bollwage, Mayor, Elizabeth; NJLM Past President; Chair

Pension and Benefits Reform Committee: Joseph Tempesta, Jr., Mayor, West Caldwell; NJLM President; Chair

Tax Exemption Study Committee: Albert B. Kelly, Mayor, Bridgeton; NJLM First Vice President; Chair

NJLM Representatives on Statewide Committees are:

Phil Cocuzza, Public Safety Director, Lambertville; Police Training Commission Member

Michael J. Darcy, CAE, Executive Director, NJLM; 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 Member

William J. Kearns, Jr., Esq., NJLM 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; NJLM Executive Board Member; Public Works Advisory Board, Department of Community Affairs

Eric Jackson, Mayor, Trenton; Public Works Advisory Board, Department of Community Affairs

Dr. Edward J. Mahaney, Jr., Mayor, Cape May City; NJLM Executive Board Member; Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees Member

Pamela H. Mount, Former Committeewoman, Lawrence Township (Mercer); Clean Air Council Member; Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees Member

L. Mason Neely, Finance Director, East Brunswick; Department of Environmental Protection Clean Water Council

Joel Shain, Esq., Attorney, Monroe Township (Middlesex); NJLM Representative, Board of Public Utilities Committee on Development of Rules for Municipal Electric Aggregation

Raymond S. Heck, Mayor, Millstone Borough; NJLM Executive Board Member; NJLM Representative, State Fire Safety Commission

222 WEST STATE STREET URBAN RENEWAL CORP. BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Corporation owns and operates New Jersey League of Municipalities’ headquarters building

Paul Matacera, President

Peter Cantu, Vice President; Mayor, Plainsboro

Phyllis Marchand

Gene Feyl

Jonathan Dunleavy, Mayor, Bloomingdale Borough

Suzanne Walters, Mayor, Stone Harbor

Millard Wilkinson

Michael J. Darcy, CAE, Secretary; NJLM Executive Director

Mike Cerra, Treasurer; NJLM Assistant Executive Director

William J. Kearns, Esq., NJLM Counsel

NJLM EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION TRUSTEES

Timothy McDonough, President; Mayor, Hope Township; NJLM Past President

Paul Anzano, Vice President; Mayor, Hopewell Borough (Mercer)

Michael Darcy, CAE, Treasurer; NJLM Executive Director

Michael Cerra, Secretary; NJLM Assistant Executive Director

James Benton, Trustee; Executive Director, New Jersey Petroleum Council/API

Robert L. Bowser, Trustee; Former Mayor, East Orange; NJLM Past President

Charlene Brown, Trustee; Regional Vice President, AT&T External Affairs

Danielle Capozzoli, Trustee; Corporate Attorney, United Water

Susan M. Coan, Trustee; Region Vice President, Atlantic City Electric

Sam Delgado, Trustee; Vice President of External Affairs, Verizon

Ken Gardner, Trustee

James Hughes, Trustee; Dean, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy, Rutgers, The State
University

Mark Jones, Trustee; Vice President, External Affairs, Jersey Central Power & Light Company

Linda Kellner, Trustee; Chief of Staff, NJ Resources

Paul Matacera, Trustee; NJLM Past President

Monica K. McCormack-Casey, Trustee; V.P./Government Banking Relationship Manager, TD BANK

George Sous, Trustee; Director, External Affairs, PSE&G

Brian Turano, Trustee; Vice President of Government Banking, Investors Bank

Suzanne Walters, Trustee; Mayor, Stone Harbor; NJLM Past President

Louise Wilson, Trustee; NJLM Educational Foundation Past President

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCE

The League is completing its 101st 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 this page.

 

Membership Dues Rate Schedule

2017 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..

2016/2017 Audit Actual Revenues & Expenditure
For NJLM Fiscal Year End June 2017

 

Updated 7/28/17

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