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May 22, 2014

Re:      Survey on Forms of Government

Dear Municipal Clerk:

Less than five minutes of your time is needed to fill an important gap in New Jersey municipal government history. 

Professor Ernie Reock at the Rutgers Center for Government Services has concluded that Center records concerning changes (and proposed changes) in forms of municipal government are incomplete.  As you may know, the Center is an important repository of information concerning New Jersey municipal government; and records concerning the Faulkner Act (Optional Municipal Charter Law) and forms of government are very important.

What we want to know is if your municipality has considered a change in form of government anytime from 1981 until today.  This could be a charter study commission that did or did not recommend a public referendum, or a citizen petition that got to ballot and was or was not approved.  We are interested in any formal action by the governing body or a study commission to change the form or structure of your government, whether or not it was approved by voters.  By form of government we also mean any change in how governing body members are elected or when elections are held.

Also, if your municipality is one of the municipalities with a special charter and it was changed by a state law, we’d like to know about that as well.

For the moment, we are only asking that you tell us if an action took place.  If none took place, you don’t have to respond, though telling us that would be helpful.  We will then follow up with respondents who answer “yes” or “unsure” to find out the details later.  For now, we just want to know where to look and who we should contact when we follow-up.

If your municipality experienced any charter change activity from 1981 to present, please click on the link below and fill out the very brief form.  If you have detailed information at hand, there is a field where you can give us the details, otherwise, please be sure to include contact information so we can follow-up.

Click here to take the survey:

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director


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