Hillsborough tries again.

Fourteen to run for Hillsborough Township Charter Study Commission:

Courier News article

Let’s look at this article in depth:

By PAMELA SROKA
Staff Writer

HILLSBOROUGH — Fourteen residents have filed nominating petitions to seek election in November to a five-member charter study commission if it is approved by voters.

Filing petitions were Sam Conard, Amedeo D’Adamo, Douglas J. DeCicco, Michael Detsis, George R. Farley, George Fenwick Jr., Frank Herbert, Chris Jensen, Andy Levin, Gloria McCauley, George A. Ostergren, William L. Page, James R. Ruocco and Glenn Van Lier.

I was surprised the number got as high as 14. I think this shows there is a lot of interest in the measure.

Additionally, at least two of the citizen’s group that started the Reform initiative (van Lier and Ostergren) have filed. And apparently some RAW people filed. Since the original “Q3″ ballot question only failed by 48% to 52%, it is good to see that at least SOME of the 48% is represented in the list!

The 14 candidates will appear on the November ballot, along with the question of whether to create the commission, which will study whether to change the township’s form of government.

Watch the anti-change people come up with an excuse to vote down the entire charter study commission. That would just prove what a bunch of liars they were last year. (They really never wanted any change at all!)

The commissioners would serve for nine months.

To the people reading about it, it will seem like nine years.

After voters rejected a referendum in November 2005 that would have instituted a mayor-council form of government and divided the township into four wards, the Township Committee unanimously approved an ordinance to put a question on this November’s ballot asking whether a charter study commission should investigate changing the form of government.

Two slight errors:

The referendum would have set up a Mayor-Council form of government with a Council selected BOTH at-large and by wards. (Three at-large, four wards.)

The Township Committee promised to put a charter study on the ballot in 2007 BEFORE the 2005 vote was taken, so as to influence the outcome.

Last year’s rejected referendum — put forth by a group of citizens after numerous legal fights — would have taken the township directly to a council form of government with wards and a directly elected mayor starting in January 2007. The earliest the township could have a new form of government now is January 2009.

Last year’s rejected referendum — put forth despite numerous legal fights by the local government to block it — would have taken the township directly to a mayor-council form of government (a council of 3 at-large and 4 ward members), and a directly elected mayor started in January 2007. The earliest the township could have a new form of government now is January 2009 if the Charter Study is approved.

Hillsborough is governed by a five-member Township Committee. The mayor, who serves a one-year term, is elected by members of the committee.

Hillsborough has been governed for over 200 years by a Township Committee. There is technically no mayor, but a committee chairman who is called “mayor”.

The charter study commission would study the different forms of government allowed by the 1950 Optional Municipal Charter Law, also known as the Faulkner Act.

The charter study commission also provides a route for opponents of any change to Hillsborough’s government to get another shot at defeating a Faulkner Act form, as Township Administrator Kevin Davis makes clear:

“The charter commission can also choose ‘no change’ or could ask the Legislature to approve a special form of government,” Township Administrator Kevin Davis said. “Everything, except no change, must be put before the voters at next year’s election for approval.”

from the Courier News website http://www.c-n.com