Thursday April 27, 2011: Governor OKs Law Making Town Mergers Easier
But Some Towns Not Permitted to Merge by Secretary of State Guadagno
Legislation that will make it easier for towns to merge was signed into law by Gov. Christie. The new law permits the combination of voter petitions and applications by elected governing bodies to create municipal consolidation study commissions, the first step in a possible merger.
The legislation’s backers had been exploring a merger with a town for about a year as a way of eliminating duplicated administrative bodies and saving money. However Secretary of State Kim Guadgano issued a list of towns that will not be permitted to merge because of the resultant name combinations:
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.”