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Bill Dressel, League Executive Director



Bill Dressel

In a State of the State speech, a former New Jersey Governor made at least one comment that, regardless of political philosophy or affiliation, merits our consideration. “Those of us in public service must be prepared to answer two simple questions about our actions: Who are we willing to stand up for? Who are we willing to stand up to?”

  The New Jersey League of Municipalities was created by concerned municipal officials who were willing to stand up for “a government of the people, by the people and for the people” and who were willing to stand up to those powerful economic interests that sought to control the Legislature. That same crusading spirit has guided the League throughout the years and it shapes our Legislative Advocacy program today. We need all dedicated municipal officials to join us in our stand.

Elsewhere in this issue, our normal Legislative Update on pending bills has been replaced by a letter from our new League President, Mayor Art Ondish of Mount Arlington. In that letter, Mayor Ondish asks every municipal official in New Jersey to participate in our historic quest and to join in that effort.

With our President’s letter is a listing of our priorities for the new legislative session that begins this month.

We can all agree that more needs to be done to relieve our fellow citizens from the onerous burden of excessive and regressive property taxes. We can all agree on the value of common sense local land use regulations. We can all agree on the importance of economic development strategies that provide jobs for the unemployed and the under-employed. We all appreciate the need for investments in our infrastructure and the protection of our natural environment. And we all know that elected and appointed officials at every level of government have an obligation to work together for the common good.

For 96 years, the League of Municipalities has been standing up for energetic, effective and ethical local officials, who do their best to make life better for the people they are sworn to serve. For 96 years, dedicated municipal public servants have been standing together, in and through the League, on behalf of their constituents. And for 96 years, we have been standing up to those who put personal gain above the public’s interest.

Please accept the invitation of our President and become more involved in our legislative efforts. We look forward to helping you take a stand for those you serve.



Editorial from New Jersey Municipalities, Volume 89, Number 1, January 2012

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