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18th Annual Mayors Legislative Day - February 2010


Today we held our 18th Annual Mayors’ Legislative Day at the Statehouse. The program was attended by over 200 Mayors and local officials from around the state.

Governor Chris Christie addressed the audience and was met with resounding applause when he announced the need for interest arbitration reform as a means to curb the escalating benefit packages and control property taxes.  Governor Christie asked for our support in lobbying the legislature to act on interest arbitration reform.  Please see our February 22, 2010 Dear Mayor letter for additional information and a sample resolution urging Interest Arbitration Reform.

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In addition, Governor Christie cautioned local officials of the upcoming budget challenges that lay ahead, advising them that during these challenging economic times that they must be leaders for their community and take the “leap” to move forward.  The Governor also addressed COAH reform and the willingness to work cooperatively with the League, the Legislature and champion the issue in the courts.

Prior to Governor Christie speaking, Acting DEP Commissioner Bob Martin and Acting DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa outlined their goals for their respective departments and willingness for a partnership with local officials. 

Governor Chris Christie's Remarks to Mayors on NJLM's Mayors' Legislative Day & Video

Also, during an impromptu ‘public comment period,’ conducted by NJN Statehouse Correspondent Zach Fink, many Mayors expressed strong support for the work of our School Property Tax Reform Steering Committee.  Anyone wishing to sign the “Statement of Support” for this effort should visit our website at

Later in day, NJN State House correspondent Zach Fink led a panel discussion on pension reforms, COAH, and municipal property tax relief.  The panelist included Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver, Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, Senator Kevin O’Toole, Senator Paul Sarlo, Senator Thomas Kean, Jr., Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo, Bridgewater Mayor Patricia Flannery and Somerdale Mayor Gary Passanante.

In addition, we recognized the following governing body members, active and retired, who have served twenty years in elected municipal officials:


Mayor Joseph P. Heywang, Butler Borough
Mayor Paul A. Hoelscher, Harrington Park Borough
Mayor Raymond A. Kershaw, Freehold Township
Mayor Nicholas Langella, Rockleigh Borough
Mayor Jacqueline Love, Deptford Township
Mayor M. James Maley, Jr., Collingswood Borough
Mayor Dennis J. McCarthy, Garwood Borough
Mayor Timothy McDonough, Hope Township
Mayor Sue Ann Metzner, Winslow Township
Mayor Emeritus Robert Pacicco, Leonia Borough
Mayor W. James Parent, Millville City
Mayor John P. Parker, Lacey Township
Deputy Mayor Robert J. Sosa, Weehawken Township
Mayor Joseph P.  Stemberger, Elmer Borough
Mayor Ernest F. Tark, Jr., Mannington Township
Councilman Reginald Butler, Old Bridge Township
Committeeman Emeritus Duane Cruzan, Hopewell (Cumberland)
Committeewoman Linda A. Dubois, Pittsgrove Township
Councilman Joseph T. Duncan, North Wildwood City
Councilman Emeritus Donald Hartman, Eastampton Township
Committeeman Emeritus George E. Joyce, Jr., Upper Deerfield
Committeeman William L. McGowan, Elsinboro Township
Councilman Thomas J. Morgan, Fairfield Twp (Essex)
Committeeman Laszlo Raffay, Jr., Green Township
Councilman George Theoharous, Wanaque Borough
Councilman Joseph C. Woolley, West Long Branch Borough

It is an honor for the League of Municipalities to recognize these special elected officials have governed their municipalities for lengthy terms, guiding their communities through the good times and the troubled times. The Elected Officials Hall of Fame shines a light on these pillars in our communities and holds them up as an example of civic pride for all citizens to emulate.

Very truly yours,


William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director



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