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Types of New Jersey Municipal Government
All 565 municipalities in New Jersey, regardless of their form of government, can be classified as belonging to one of five types of municipal government: 1) Borough 2) Township 3) City 4) Town 5) Village.

Forms
All 565 New Jersey municipalities, regardless of type, can be classified under one of the 12 forms of government:

1) Borough 7) Council-Manager Act of 1923
2) Township 8) OMCL Mayor-Council Plan
3) City 9) OMCL Council-Manager Plan
4) Town 10) OMCL Small Municipality Plan
5) Village 11) OMCL Mayor-Council-Administrator Plan
6) Commission 12) Special Charters

The first five forms are associated with a particular type of municipality. Each of these five types has a unique form of government historically associated with it. The next seven forms are "optional" forms of government available for adoption, with the exception of the OMCL Small Municipality Plan (which is available only to municipalities with a population of under 12,000), by all 565 municipalities.


Township

NJSA:40A:63-1 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
Township Committee 3 or 5 members, elected at-large. Staggered, 3 year terms. Partisan

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
First week in January

MAYOR
Elected by Township Committee for 1 year term. Chairs Committee with voice and vote. Head of municipal government. Has all powers vested in mayor by general law.

COMMITTEE
Legislative body of municipality. Has all executive responsibilities of the municipality not placed in office of mayor.

ADMINISTRATION
Executive responsibility not vested in mayor belongs to Township Committee. May delegate, by ordinance, all or a portion of executive responsibilities to an administrator. Township Committee may adopt an administrative code.

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Borough

NJSA:40A:60-1 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
Mayor and 6 Council. Elected at-large. Mayor has a 4 year term. Council has staggered 3 year terms. Partisan

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
First week in January

MAYOR
Head of municipal government. Sees that state laws and borough ordinances are faithfully executed. Presides over Council. Votes only to break ties. Can veto ordinances subject to override by 2/3 majority of Council. Appoints subordinate officers with Council approval; after 30 days or upon Council disapproval, Council fills posts.

COUNCIL
Legislative body of municipality. Overrides mayor's veto by 2/3 majority of all members. Confirms mayor's appointments. Gains appointment power upon failure to confirm mayor's appointee or after office vacant for 30 days. Has all executive responsibility not placed in office of mayor.

ADMINISTRATION
Mayor is head of municipal government and sees that state laws and borough ordinances are faithfully executed. Council has all executive responsibility not placed in office of mayor. Council may delegate, by ordinance, all or a portion of executive responsibility to an administrator. Council may adopt an administrative code.

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City

NJSA:40A:61-1 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
Mayor and Council. Partisan

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
First week in January

MAYOR
Chief Executive. May participate in Council deliberations. May vote to break ties on ordinances or resolutions. Can veto ordinances subject to a 2/3 override by Council. Heads police department. Appoints police chief, captains and sergeants with Council approval.

COUNCIL
Legislative body of municipality. Overrides mayor's veto by 2/3 majority of all members. Appoints subordinate officials of municipality, except as provided elsewhere by law.

ADMINISTRATION
Mayor is chief executive. City may delegate, by ordinance, all or a portion of executive responsibility to an administrator. City may adopt administrative code.

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Town

NJSA:40A:62-1 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
Mayor and Council. Partisan

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
First week in January

MAYOR
Head of municipal government. Chairs Council with voice and vote. Can veto ordinances subject to a 2/3 override by Council.

COUNCIL
Legislative body of municipality. Overrides mayor's veto by 2/3 majority of all members. Appoints all subordinate officers, except municipal clerk, tax assessor and tax collector, who are appointed by mayor and council. Has all executive responsibility not placed in office of mayor.

ADMINISTRATION
Mayor is head of municipal government and has all powers vested in mayor by general law. Council has all executive responsibility of municipality not placed in office of mayor. Council may delegate, by ordinance, all or a portion of executive responsibilities to an administrator. Council may adopt an administrative code.

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Village

NJSA:40A:63-8

VOTERS ELECT
Board of Trustees. 5 members, elected at-large. Staggered, 3 year terms.

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
First week in January

VILLAGE PRESIDENT
President of the Board. Elected by Board for 1 year term. Has voice and vote. Head of municipal government has all powers vested in Mayor by general law.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Legislative body of municipality. Has all executive responsibilities of the municipality not placed in office of Village President.

ADMINISTRATION
Executive responsibilities not vested in Village President belong to Board of Trustees. May delegate, by ordinance, all or a portion of executive responsibilities to an administrator. Board of Trustees may adopt an administrative code.

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Commission

NJSA:40:70-1 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
3 or 5 Commissioners. At-large, nonpartisan, 4 year concurrent terms.

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
Third Tuesday of May following election.

MAYOR
Elected by Board of Commissioners for 4 year term. Presides over Board of Commissioners. No veto power.

COUNCIL
Board of Commissioners exercises legislative power of the municipality.

ADMINISTRATION
Each Commissioner acts as department head. No single chief executive.

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Municipal Manager Act of 1923

NJSA:40:79-1 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
3,5,7 or 9 Council members. At-large nonpartisan. 4 year concurrent or staggered terms.

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
July 1

MAYOR
Elected by Council. Presides over Council. Serves 4 year term if concurrent elections. Serves 2 year term if staggered elections.

COUNCIL
Council exercises legislative and policy power of the municipality.

ADMINISTRATION
Manager is chief executive and administrative official of the municipality. Prepares budget. Manager appoints and removes department heads. Attends Council meetings with voice, but no vote. Manager appoints and removes department heads.

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Faulkner Act (OMCL) Mayor-Council

NJSA:40:69A-31 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
Mayor and 5,7 or 9 Council members. Council: all at-large or combination of wards and at-large. Partisan or nonpartisan. 4 year concurrent or staggered terms.

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
Partisan: January 1
Nonpartisan: July 1

MAYOR
Exercises executive power of the municipality, appoints department heads with Council approval. Removes department heads subject to Council disapproval by 2/3 of all members. Prepares budget. Has veto over ordinances subject to override by 2/3 of all members of Council.

COUNCIL
Exercises legislative power of municipality, approves appointment of department heads. Disapproves removal of department heads by 2/3 vote of all members. Overrides Mayor's veto by 2/3 of all members.

ADMINISTRATION
Mayor exercises executive power of the municipality. Up to 10 departments under Mayor's direction. Business Administrator assists Mayor in budget preparation and administers purchasing and personnel systems. By ordinance, Business Administrator may supervise administration of departments, subject to Mayor's direction.

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Faulkner Act (OMCL) Council-Manager

NJSA:40:69A-81 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
5,7 or 9 Council members or Mayor and 4, 6 or 8 Council members. Mayor elected at-large. Council elected all at-large or combination of wards and at-large. Partisan or nonpartisan. 4 year concurrent or staggered terms.

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
Partisan: January 1
Nonpartisan: July 1

MAYOR
Elected by council or voters. Presides over Council. Council elected mayor serves a term of 1, 2 or 4 years depending on whether elections are staggered or concurrent. Voter elected mayor serves 4 year term.

COUNCIL
Council exercises legislative and policy power of the municipality.

ADMINISTRATION
Manager is chief executive and administrative official of municipality. Prepares budget. Appoints and removes department heads. Attends Council meetings with voice, but no vote.

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Faulkner Act (OMCL) Small Municipality

NJSA:40:69A-115 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
3, 5 or 7 Council members or Mayor and 2, 4 or 6 Council members. Elected at-large. Council: 3 year concurrent or staggered term. Voter elected mayor serves 4 year term. Partisan or nonpartisan elections.

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
Partisan: January 1
Nonpartisan: July 1

MAYOR
Elected by voters or Council. Presides over Council with voice and vote, but no veto. Exercises executive power of the municipality. Appoints Council committees. Appoints municipal clerk, attorney, tax assessor, tax collector, treasurer with Council confirmation. Council elected mayor serves 1 or 3 years, depending on whether terms are staggered or concurrent.

COUNCIL
Exercises legislative power of the municipality. Approves Mayor's appointees for municipal clerk, attorney, tax assessor, tax collector and treasurer.

ADMINISTRATION
Mayor exercises executive power of municipality. Council may create an administrator by ordinance.

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Faulkner Act (OMCL) Mayor-Council-Administrator

NJSA:40:69A-149 et. seq.

VOTERS ELECT
Mayor and 6 council members. At-large, staggered terms, partisan elections. Mayor: 4 year term. Council: 3 year term.

ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNING BODY
January 1

MAYOR
Presides over Council. Exercises the executive power of municipality. Votes only to break ties. Has veto subject to override by 2/3 of all Council members. Appoints municipal clerk, administrator, attorney, tax collector, tax assessor, treasurer, and department heads with Council approval. May remove department heads upon written notice to Council.

COUNCIL
Exercises legislative power of the municipality. Approves Mayor's appointees for municipal clerk, administrator, attorney, tax collector, tax assessor, treasurer and department heads. May remove department heads for cause after a hearing. Prepares budget with assistance of municipal administrator and treasurer.

ADMINISTRATION
Mayor exercises executive power of the municipality. Up to six departments may be created by ordinance. Administrator supervises administration of each department.

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Special Charters

There are two types of special charters in New Jersey: 1) "Orphan" charters issued by the state legislature in the 19th century prior to the major constitutional revision of 1875, which prohibited "special" or locality specific legislation. Most "orphan" charters are a variation of the weak mayor-council type. 2) Special charters issued by the state legislature under the provisions of the state Constitution of 1947 and NJSA 1:6-10 et seq. These special charters defy simple classification, and include variations of the weak mayor-council form, council-manager form, township committee form, and the village form.

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