Contents 1 History 2 See also 3 References 4 External links

History[edit] Historically, a variety of legislation has been passed by the state legislature that has defined and refined the township form of municipal government: The Township Act of 1798 was the first state legislation to incorporate municipalities. The government defined was a form of direct democracy, similar to the New England town meeting, in which the vote was available to all white males, at least 21 years old, who were citizens of New Jersey, and residents of the township for at least six months; and who paid taxes in the township, or who owned land, or rented a home in the township for a rent of at least five dollars a year. A group of five freeholders was elected to one-year terms on the Township Committee, which was responsible to oversee the expenditure of revenue in between town meetings. The Township Act of 1899 abolished the town meeting and strengthened the role of the Township Committee, which was initially set at three and amended to allow for expansion to five members. Members were elected for staggered three-year terms. The Home Rule Act of 1917 legally defined the term "municipality" and recognized five types of government: borough, township, city, town, and village and granted each equal legal standing. The Township Act of 1989 simplified the much-amended Act of 1899. It retains a three or five member township committee serving staggered terms, whose members are generally elected at-large. The committee elects a mayor from among its members to serve a one-year term. Partisan elections are allowed under this law. Voters may initiate a referendum to change the membership to consist of either 3 or 5 members. While many township committees directly supervise the operation of their municipality, the revised act allows the committee to delegate all or a portion of its responsibilities to an appointed municipal administrator. A number of municipalities changed to the Township type, or the Township form of government, between 1979 and 1982.[1] A federal law, The State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972 provided funding to the states to be divided between state and municipal governments. In 1981, states were removed from the program and the law was amended to provide direct grants to the most popular form of local government in the United States - townships.[1] In Essex County alone, 11 municipal governments changed their form or name to take advantage of the program.[1]

See also[edit] New Jersey portal Township Township (United States) List of townships in New Jersey List of municipalities in New Jersey

References[edit] ^ a b c Karcher, Alan J. (1998). New Jersey's Multiple Municipal Madness. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-8135-2566-2. 

External links[edit] New Jersey State League of Municipalities Retrieved from "" Categories: Townships in New JerseyLocal government in New Jersey

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