The Name Game

So, the federal government will bail out Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and give $700 billion bucks for failed mortgages. With so much of New Jersey tied in to the New York City financial markets, you know we're gonna get socked you know where. Someone's gonna suggest that we dump our long held idea of "home rule" — if we have any homes left — and save money by merging communities.

We have 566 local governments, "Home rule" can be very expensive, indeed. So, maybe some of our towns near and far will attempt mergers. And merging would require new names for the new emergent town. But some towns, should be cautioned about their new town names.

For example, if Wayne in Passaic County and Newton in Sussex County merged, the town could be called Wayne-Newton. The residents will certainly chant "Danke Shoen" for that plan!

If Elizabeth of Union County merged with Somerset County's Montgomery Township, the residents of "Elizabeth-Montgomery" would might be "Bewitched."

If Beverly in Burlington merged with Far Hills of Somerset, they'd have to change the zip code to 90210 — for the new township of Beverly Hills.

Put together Eatontown in Monmouth with Victory Gardens in Morris County, and you get the "Garden of Eaton." Don't eat any apples there.

If Nutley merged with Roxbury and Asbury Park, the new municipality could be called Nuts & Berries. Or if Alexandria Township in Hunterdon came together with Great Meadows Township in Warren County, the new town might be called Alexander the Great.

Or merge Great Gorge in Sussex, with any of the many Washington Townships in New Jersey, and with Bridgewater you'd get the town of Gorge Washington Bridge.

Or perhaps Atlantic City with Ocean City, and you get Atlantic-Ocean.

If East Amwell, West New York, North Plainfield, and South Bound Brook could get together, their residents would live in East-West-North-South, NJ. Whew! That's quite a trip!

Hamburg in Sussex County, could merge with Egg Harbor City and Little Egg Harbor Township to form the great breakfast community of Ham & Eggs. Yum!

If they care to, Cherry Hill in Camden County can get together with Pittstown in Hunterdon, to form Cherry-Pitts. Not the most attractive name, but it might save them some money.

If Alpha Township in Warren, and Bates Mill in Camden can come together, they could call the new town Alpha-Bates. Good spellers could move there.

If Paulsboro, Newton and Manville merged, the result might be Paul-New-Man.

Some towns might merge with some, and then reform with others. For example, Applegarth in Middlesex County, could merge with both West Orange and East Orange, and Bound Brook — and form the dual communities of Apples & Oranges, AND Garth-Brooks. Unless that would be out of ‘bounds'.

For those New Jersey residents who like to be everywhere at the same time — Middletown Township in Monmouth could merge with Lower Township and Upper Township [both in Cape May County] to form ‘Upper-Middle-Lower Township'.

If Kingwood Township merges with Lake Hopatcong, the new town can be called "King Kong."

If you're a lifelong Beatles fan, Paulsboro in Gloucester, could merge with Ringoes in Hunterdon, Great Gorge, and Johnstown from Pennsylvania to form ‘John-Paul-Gorge & Ringo'. Their residents would love that, yeah, yeah, yeah.

And if Ho-Ho-Kus and Hoboken merged — it would make Santa's job that much easier, when he visits the new town of Ho-Ho-Ho.

And finally, the merger of Hillsdale, Mt. Airy, and Clinton might rankle their resident Republicans just a tad — they would merge into "Hil-Airy-Clinton." So it goes.

Joey Novick is an attorney, professional stand-up comedian, professional keynote speaker, and a former 12 year Councilman in Flemington, NJ. From 1996-2000, he served as the County Chair of the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee. As a stand-up comedian and improv actor, Joey has appeared on MTV, Comedy Central, Rascal's Comedy Hour and One Life to Live, and most recently, with "Laughing Liberally". He has opened in concert and at comedy club dates for such comedy notables as Jerry Seinfeld, Robert Klein, Lewis Black, Rosie O'Donnell and Ray Romano. He is currently developing a one-man show about life, laughter and local government in the Garden State, tentatively entitled, "Trentoon".

His blog,, has been informing NJ's political insiders for almost "two-thirds of a fiftieth of a century," and has recognized by Campaigns & Elections and SNJ Business People. The New York Times, AP Newswire, Washington Post, Newark Star-Ledger, ABC News and National Public Radio have all been kind enough to mention his work in comedy and politics every now and then. Joey appears monthly on News-12's "Power & Politics", sharing his keen insights on NJ's elected officials, and has chaired a panel on political humor for the New Jersey State League of Municipalities every year since 1995. He has taken his political humor on the road across the nation, appearing at state municipal league conferences in New York, Maine, Connecticut, Nevada, West Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Kentucky and Rhode Island; as well as at the National League of Cities Conference. His mother, Pearl, lives in Florida, plays canasta almost every day, and is very glad Joey visits her on a regular basis.


The Name Game