TRENTON – The N.J. League of Municipalities expressed support for the state economic development plan unveiled today by the governor’s office.
“While this is just the first step in a long, public process, the League is encouraged that the Administration is focused on State government, and proposes no new requirements or mandates on local governments,” the League stated in a release.
Gov. Christie, in unveiling the plan, pointed out that the last state plan of 2001 did not meet legislative intent, which led to expenditures and land use regulations inconsistent with economic development and other plans.
And the League concurred, stating: “The failure of the State’s planning process in the past was rooted in the State’s failure to integrate the plan into the missions of the various state agencies. Local governments have gone through three rounds of cross-acceptance, while respective state agencies never engaged in cross-acceptance and never adopted the plan. Municipalities have often been stymied when one state agency approved funding for a project, only to have another agency of State government act as a deterrent.”
The League welcomed the plan in part because municipalities will be viewed as partners in the process, its statement said.
“The League has long championed the bottoms up approach of the State Planning Act, and the efforts to revitalize our communities while protecting our critical natural resources. Unfortunately, the State has tended to attempt implementing the plan in a top-down, bureaucratic manner. As this blueprint progresses, the State should also embrace a bottoms up process to align the planning priorities across the State.”