New Jersey's Multiple Municipal Madness / Edition 1

New Jersey's Multiple Municipal Madness / Edition 1

by Alan Karcher, Alan J. Karcher
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0813525667

ISBN-13: 9780813525662

Pub. Date: 01/17/2001

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

A critical look at how and why the boundary lines of New Jersey's 566 municipalities were drawn, pointing to the irrationality of these excessive divisions.

Alan Karcher looks at the history and high cost of New Jersey's multiple municipalities. He investigates the economic considerations, political pressures, and personal agendas that created the bizarre

Overview

A critical look at how and why the boundary lines of New Jersey's 566 municipalities were drawn, pointing to the irrationality of these excessive divisions.

Alan Karcher looks at the history and high cost of New Jersey's multiple municipalities. He investigates the economic considerations, political pressures, and personal agendas that created the bizarre configurations dividing the Garden State, while analyzing the public policies that allowed and even encouraged the formation of new municipalities. Karcher also examines the political dynamics that thwarted every effort of New Jersey metropolises to join the front ranks of major American cities.

Karcher identifies the major motivations behind the unparalleled experience of New Jersey's municipal multiplication. He delves deeply into the primary causes of new lines being drawn, such as road appropriations, the location of a railroad station, control of a local school district, the regulation of alcohol sales, and the preservation of exclusivity prior to the acceptance of zoning. He also assesses the present situation and what has happened in the past 60 years since the municipal multiplication madness ceased, calling on elected officials to confront reality and correct yesterday's excesses.

The genesis of the present political map of the state is a story that while interesting is not always charming, while fascinating is far from edifying. Little in the history can be called quaint. Rather it is a story of separation and exclusion, of division and greed, of preservation of prerogatives and prejudices. It is a story that supports the conclusion that these lines are rarely the product of chance, rather they were drawn by politicians with very human foibles and frailties, and with very narrow agendas-agendas that have proven to be egregiously expensive for today's taxpayers.

Alan Karcher, the former Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly during the activist 1980s, currently practices municipal law in Middlesex County. He represents the third generation of his family to serve as a member of the New Jersey State Legislature.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813525662
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
01/17/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
254
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Introduction1
Part IBackground and Case Studies
1Motivations for Municipal Multiplication in New Jersey; or, What Moved the Hands that Drew the Lines9
2Historical Context of Municipal Creation15
3Case Study of Perth Amboy's South Ward19
4Shrewsbury: The Incredible Shrinking Township33
Part IISpecific Issues that Cause Division
5Municipalities Created by Street Fights47
6Railroad Towns: Jerkwater Depots and Real Suburbs61
7School-District Boroughs: Local Control as a Religion75
8Dry Towns versus Wet Towns: Drawing the Line at Abstinence89
9Exclusive Enclaves: The Pre-Zoning Prophylactic101
10Happy, Sad, and Interesting Origins112
Part IIIFactors Thwarting Consolidation and Case Studies of the Largest Cities
11The Effects of New Jersey's Anti-Urban Bias133
12Perth Amboy and Burlington: Capital Cities that Did Not Capitalize145
13Camden: The Missed Opportunities154
14Newark: The Mistakes164
15Jersey City: The Exploited Victim177
Part IVCorrecting Yesterday's Mistakes: Is It Possible?
16Once the Municipal Multiplication Madness Stopped193
17Reasons for Change203
18Some Suggested Solutions211
Conclusion219
Bibliography223
Index229

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