A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Central Jersey Council of Governments Holds First Meeting

The inaugural meeting of the Central Jersey Council of Governments (CJCG) was held on 7 April 2009, according to the Bayshore Independent. At the encouragement of Governor Corzine, representatives of our area's governments will strive through this new body to find innovative ways to share municipal services and save the taxpayers money. HardNewsNJ reported in December 2008 that the council will likely initiate a regional solid waste management feasability study as its first project. Middletown's mayor confirmed this to the Independent last week, saying a pilot program to collect trash county-wide could begin as early as spring of 2010. The initiative would save individual governments 20% on local trash collection services, according to the consulting firm that looked into the matter.

Aberdeen Township is not listed as one of the governments that have proceeded to join the new council, at least not in the news articles above or in the Asbury Park Press. And I found no mention of the council in a search of the township website, which leads me to believe there's been no action in the township council.

Actually, obtaining or even deriving the list of member towns is a puzzlement. You sort of need graph paper, a calculator, Silly Putty, and lots of patience. For example, the APP article suggests that the council has 22 or more members and provides a precise list of those attending:

The Central Jersey Council of Governments consists of: Asbury Park, Atlantic Highlands, Bradley Beach, Colts Neck, Eatontown, Englishtown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Hazlet, Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown, Neptune City, Wall. Another eight or more towns have passed resolutions to participate but were not at Tuesday's meeting, according to Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik.

... while the Independent, written more recently, suggests the council has only 20 members and mentions 7 municipalities that weren't named in the APP article:

The organization is dedicated to seeking shared services across Monmouth County. Towns involved in the group include Eatontown, Hazlet, Little Silver, Long Branch, Matawan, Middletown, Ocean Township, Oceanport and Sea Bright. "Twenty municipalities joined together in what is the largest group of municipalities in the state," Middletown Mayor Pamela Brightbill said last week.

As far as I can tell, the webpage of the Office of the Governor provides no details on these new regional councils in general and ignored the 7 April event entirely, even though Gov. Corzine reportedly spoke to the mayors at that first meeting of CJCG and is supposed to be an advocate for regionalization. I consider myself a pretty good researcher, but I've come up empty looking for information about these councils, or CJCG in particular, at both the official website for the State of NJ and Monmouth County's website.

Too many cooks already?


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