It’s been a tough month for governors in the New York/New Jersey area.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you have noticed that one governor resigned after meeting with a high-priced hooker from New Jersey, and the other governor stayed put after meeting with about 200 mayors.Ours was the one to stay put and give them in person the bad news about state aid: There’s gonna be less of it. Ours was the one to stay put and give
I don’t know what was worse---having to resign in disgrace, or facing down a team of mad municipal mayors.
My hometown of Flemington stands to lose more than $250,000 in state aid, unless we figure out how to merge with the town that surround us. Raritan Township, the big gelatinous cell of a bedroom community, is the one that surrounds the Main Street nucleus that is Flemington.
Well let’s just look at that “merger”.
In 1910, Flemington separated itself from Raritan Township, and became it’s own community. I've read that the issue back then was much the same as it is today: property taxes that were too high. The residents of Flemington did not want to have to pay for the development in Raritan Township.
Ironically, we have still have the same issues today, as Flemington prepares for their centennial celebration. The fastest growing Township in Hunterdon County has placed nearly all its dense residential infrastructure around Flemington, choking the smaller town with traffic, stores and condo communities.
The governor has proposed to cut all aid for towns that have under a population of 5000. Flemington has a population of about 4200, and we are not about to jump over 5000 really soon. Raritan Township logs in at about 22,000 or so, according to the latest population estimates. So, according to the governor’s plan, their aid would not necessarily be cut.
What motivation would Raritan Township have to merge with Flemington? So, it goes.
I am sure that the issue will be hotly debated in the state legislature, and be fought sharply by the fine folks of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.