League President, Mayor Timothy C. McDonough of Hope hosted hundreds of New Jersey mayors and municipal governing body members in Trenton on Wednesday, January 14, for the League’s 17th Annual Mayors’ Legislative Day. The local leaders converged on Trenton to hear from the Governor and key Legislators on the state’s priorities for 2009 and beyond.
At the request of League President and Hope Mayor Tim McDonough, Governor Corzine picked up on the themes of his State of the State message, which he gave the day before. The Governor also took the opportunity to address issues of particular concern to municipalities.
Specifically, with regards to COAH, he encouraged local officials to work with the agency on plan review. He reiterated his intention to promote a one-year moratorium on the commercial development fee. But he did not connect the impact of the fee reduction to an elimination of the portion of each municipality’s obligation attributable to commercial development.
With regards to the pension payment deferral proposal, there appears to be little room for compromise. The interest rate to be applied to repayments of deferrals, and to future payments of those who choose to forego the deferral, have not been specified and are, consequently, a cause for concern.
Concerning municipal property tax relief funding cuts, the Governor indicated that we should expect such reductions, but he was not prepared to indicate the magnitude of the cuts nor the manner in which they would be apportioned among municipalities.
Several state legislators also shared their perspectives on the issues we are facing. Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney, Minority Leader Tom Kean, Community and Urban Affairs Chair Ron Rice and Budget and Appropriations Committee Member Phil Haines were joined by Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce and Budget Committee Chair Lou Greenwald on the panel moderated by NJN News Anchor and veteran State House Reporter Jim Hooker. League Officers and Mayors Bob Bowser, Jim Anzaldi and Gary Passanante provided the local perspective.
Finally, municipal elected officials were recognized and formally inducted into the League’s Elected Officials’ Hall of Fame.
The League created the Elected Officials Hall of Fame to recognize the tremendous contributions of the many governing body members who have selflessly served their communities for 20 years or more.
There are currently 348 inductees in the Elected Officials Hall of Fame. To view the full list, visit the League’s web site at www.njslom.org/hallelec_cover.html. To nominate an official, contact League Assistant Executive Director Michael Darcy at 609-695-3481, ext. 116.
2009 Elected Officials Hall of Fame
Avalon Borough Councilwoman Nancy M. Hudanich, Ed. D
Barnegat Light Borough Councilman Michael Spark
Bellmawr Borough Mayor Frank R. Filipek
Buena Borough Mayor Joseph Baruffi
Burlington City Councilman John Varava
Burlington City Councilman Joseph Dugan
Burlington City Councilman Augustine Stefanoni
Burlington City Councilman William Freck
Burlington Township Councilman Carl M. Schoenborn
Cliffside Park Borough Mayor Gerald A. Calabrese
Cliffside Park Borough Councilman Paul Elia
Cliffside Park Borough Councilwoman Donna Spoto
Farmingdale Borough Mayor Emeritus Seymour Burke
Galloway Township Council Member Meg Worthington
Galloway Township Council Member John Mooney
Glen Gardner Borough Councilman Jack O’Brien
Hamilton Township Mayor Charles Pritchard
Hampton Borough Councilman Carrol L. Swenson
Hillsdale Borough Council Member Max Arnowitz
Hopewell Township Mayor Emeritus Harold Bickings
Irvington Township Council Member D. Bilal Beasley
Mahwah Township Township Councilmember H. Lisa DiGiulio
Mannington Township Mayor Emeritus Donald C. Asay
Monroe Township Councilman Irwin Nalitt
New Milford Borough Mayor Frank DeBari
North Caldwell Borough Mayor Mel Levine
North Wildwood Borough Councilman Robert L. McCullion
Paulsboro Borough Council President Larry Haynes, Sr.
Rockaway Borough Councilman John “Jay” Willer
Stafford Township Councilman John R. Spodofora
Totowa Borough Councilman Philip C. Puglise
Union Beach Borough Council President Michael Harriott
West New York Town Mayor Emeritus Anthony M. DeFino
West New York Town Commissioner Lawrence Riccardi
Winfield Township Mayor David P. Wright, Sr.
Woodland Township Mayor Robert DePetris
This article was originally published in New Jersey Municipalities magazine. Vol. 86, No. 3, March 200