NEW JERSEY – Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho and approved Thursday by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee would eliminate a mandate on small municipalities and help ease the burden of filling boards of health for small towns.
“Every municipality is required to have a board of health, but for towns with small populations, it can be a challenge to find volunteers willing to serve on local boards and commissions, including the board of health,” Oroho (R-24) said. “This bill (S-1416) approved today helps solve the problem, allowing municipal governing bodies to serve as boards of health. It is a sensible and efficient solution.”
Currently, the township committee members of municipalities that have a population of not more than 20,000 residents are permitted to serve as the municipal board of health. However, members of local governing bodies serving in other forms of governments – borough, town, city, and village – have no such ability in statute.
“This simply treats all small municipalities the same, no matter their form of government and extends the same courtesy to slightly larger municipalities by increasing the population threshold in the bill to 30,000,” Oroho said. “We are eliminating a mandate on small municipalities while making it easier for local governments to meet their statutory responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of it residents. The more mandates from the State we can eliminate, the easier it will be for municipalities to control spending and hold the line on local property taxes.”
Andover Borough first brought this idea to the attention of the 24th District legislators. Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths (both R-24) are sponsors of the companion bill in the Assembly.