SCOTCH PLAINS & FANWOOD – As residents of both towns continue to clean up from Hurricane Sandy, Courage to Reconnect Scotch Plains and Fanwood has extended the application period for those interested in serving on a municipal consolidation commission.
Courage to Reconnect Scotch Plains and Fanwood, a non-partisan, grassroots group of citizens who have secured state approval for a municipal consolidation study for both towns, has extended the application deadline to Nov. 30.
The group has already received applications from a number of qualified individuals from both towns, but wants to ensure that every resident interested in serving on the commission has the opportunity to apply.
Four members of the 10-member commission will be appointed by the grassroots group, actively seeking civic-minded residents from both communities who can analyze information objectively and without political bias. Other commission members will be selected through the citizens group and representatives of the municipal governments of Scotch Plains and Fanwood.
“The purpose of this municipal consolidation commission is to implement a fair and balanced assessment about the pros and cons of merging the government structure of the two towns,” said Fred Lange of Scotch Plains, a founder of the grassroots group. “The ultimate findings may show the towns are better together, or better apart. There are no pre-conceived notions as we approach this.”
Dan Winigrad of Fanwood, another group member, said there have been disturbing misconceptions that such a commission is designed to force a merger. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “That is why we are asking elected representatives of both towns to appoint commissioners. And that is why this process is being closely monitored by the state Department of Community Affairs. We are simply conducting a transparent study; voters will ultimately decide – once they are equipped with unbiased information, presented independently, outside the lens of our elected representatives or municipal workforce.”
Those interested in serving on the study commission should send a cover letter explaining their interest, ability to satisfy a time commitment of one meeting a week for six months and a resume to: Courage to Reconnect Scotch Plains and Fanwood, P.O. Box 481 in Scotch Plains, NJ 07076. Interested individuals can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on NJToday. Click here to read the full article.