Is it time to kill NJ small towns?


New Jersey has so many towns that 75 of them share the same names.

The most popular name? Washington. There had been seven Washingtons until the Washington in Mercer County was renamed Robbinsville in 2008.

Naming redundancy, however, isn't the problem.

In all, there are 565 municipalities in New Jersey.  That's too many, say Democrats in the state Legislature, who think reducing the number of towns through consolidations could do away with duplication of services and employment – changes that could save money for taxpayers.

A bill that gained its final legislative approval in the Assembly March 16 is designed to provide more procedural flexibility to encourage towns to pursue municipal consolidation. The sponsors include Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, D-Monmouth, who said, “Trying to get towns to merge is sometimes very difficult. Right now we’re trying to give them as many options as we can.”

But the legislation has an uncertain fate in the hands of Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who has 45 days to sign or veto it. Christie pocket-vetoed a similar measure without comment early last year.

Read the full article here.

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