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July 22, 2010

RE: Speaker Oliver Appoints Assemblyman John McKeon to Lead Mandates Relief Effort

Dear Mayor:

Today in Trenton, Speaker Sheila Oliver made Assemblyman John McKeon the Assembly’s point man on mandates relief. Assemblyman McKeon, who served as mayor of West Orange from 1998 until July 1 of this year, will lead an effort to examine state mandates on local governments that are a major driving force behind property tax increases. The Speaker and the Assemblyman have indicated that this effort will include public hearings and discussions with mayors, local officials and residents throughout the state.

Unfunded mandates force local budget makers to address a laundry list of State imposed requirements before, and often at the expenses of, locally determined programs and services. We welcome the appointment of the former West Orange Mayor, to lead this key initiative.

We thank the Speaker for her attention to the need for immediate unfunded mandates relief and for appointing Assemblyman McKeon to lead the charge. The Assemblyman knows how difficult it is to budget responsibly, when faced with the rising costs of so many statutory and regulatory requirements, imposed on local taxpayers by State actions. Building on information that we provided to the Lieutenant Governor’s Red Tape Review Group in the Spring, we have provided Assemblyman McKeon with our latest list of unfunded mandates. (You can access that list at

We look forward to working with him and his colleagues. And we look forward to starting very soon. Faced with implementing a 2% cap starting in January, only swift action by the State policy makers on things like the Stormwater Management mandates, binding interest arbitration reform, civil service reform and COAH requirements can provide immediate relief for our taxpayers.” 

Again, we thank Assemblyman McKeon for taking the lead on this effort. We thank Speaker Oliver for recognizing the need for immediate mandates relief. And we salute the efforts of our own Mandates Relief Committee, co-chaired by Mayor John Bencivengo of Hamilton Township and Mayor Anthony Persichilli of Pennington Borough. That Committee looks forward to working with Assemblyman McKeon, and with all State elected and appointed officials, seriously interested in advancing property tax relief through relief of unfunded mandates.

We will keep you posted on all efforts in Trenton to give you the tools to control property taxes.

For more on this and the toolkit package, please contact either Jon Moran at or 609-695-3481 x121, Mike Cerra at or at x120, or Lori Buckelew at or x112.

Very Truly Yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director


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