In their fourth time to the altar, the two Princeton, New Jerseys—township and borough—said “I do,” and agreed to merge. With the vote, Princeton becomes the first municipal merger in the State of New Jersey in nearly 60 years. (Well, not the only. There was the 1997 consolidation of Pahaquarry, population = 7). Unlike the three previous attempts—the latest in 1996—voters in both the Township and the Borough agreed to join their governments.
In retrospect, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised the vote passed. These two communities already share more than a dozen critical public services, major community assets, and a history and profile recognized the world over. Working together – indeed, working as “one” – has long been ingrained in the two communities. Read more »
Across parts of the country, governments and public labor unions are wrestling with tight fiscal times that may require them to forge a new relationship. In Wisconsin, the governor’s success at stripping public employees of many of their collective bargaining rights has Republicans and fiscal conservatives cheering, and Democrats and unions predicting a backlash in their favor. Here in New York, our budget problems are impossible to solve without an overhaul of the government-union marriage.
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Despite the scale of the state’s financial problems, Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo and the wizards in the Department of Budget could probably find ways to paper over them for a few years and hope an eventual rebound in revenues will eliminate the need to inflict any real pain.
But to be considered truly successful, Cuomo should embrace the challenge of putting the state, local governments and schools on a path toward a long-term stable financial future. Read more »