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Courage to Connect NJ Director: Towns and School Districts Are Consolidating

4-30-14

Consolidation between municipalities has been seen as a way to lower costs in government and taxes. Recently the Princetons joined together and Courage to Connect NJ Executive Director Gina Genovese told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that other municipalities and school districts are consolidating in the Garden State.

“We had the Princetons last year and they went throughout their implementation phase,” said Genovese. “Then this past fall on Sept. 24, South Hunterdon’s regional school districts combined and unified for a K-12. So They dissolved four school districts to create one new one. We’re one fewer town in New Jersey and now we’re going to have three fewer school districts.”

While some towns and school districts consolidate, Genovese said that the process has not been as quick for others because it is a complicated issue.

In the past, Gov. Chris Christie has talked in favor of consolidation and his administration had been offering incentives to do so. According to Genovese, there needs to be more incentives and that legislation needs to be made easier for towns and school districts to regionalize.

Now that the Princetons have become one, Genovese said that the implementation is going to be tracked to see how much savings it will provide in the future.

According to Genovese, Mount Arlington and Roxbury are starting an initiative for both towns and school districts to combine.

Whether consolidating is becoming strong in any part of the state, Genovese said, “It all depends and that’s why it really has come from the ground up because New Jersey is so diverse, but I think that we’re going to start to see more and more of it.”