News

Hearing on Scotch Plains-Fanwood Consolidation Tonight

This article originally appeared in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Patch. Click here to read the full article.

Courage to Re-connect, a local grassroots organization in favor of consolidating Scotch Plains and Fanwood, will be holding the second of three public hearings tonight, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. at 200 Forest Road in Fanwood.

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Question and Answer Segment from 6/18/12 Public Hearing on the Scotch Plains/Fanwood Application to create a Study Commission

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Fanwood Mayor, Council Question Effort to Consolidate Scotch Plains, Fanwood

This article originally appeared in the Scotch Plains Fanwood Times. Click here to read the full article.

A public hearing was held Monday night at the Scotch Plains Municipal Building on the application by the organization Courage to Reconnect Scotch Plains/Fanwood (CTR-SPF) seeking local and state endorsement to study consolidating the two towns.

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Letter to the Editor: Mayor Malool Discusses Police Merger and Consolidation

This article originally appeared in the Scotch-Plains- Fanwood Patch. Click here to read the full article.

To the Editor:

Consolidation or shared services? Both are riddled with obstacles, some more easily overcome than others. Towns have been sharing services for years; Scotch Plains and Fanwood have been sharing for decades. It is a sensible way to reduce costs and is becoming the ‘buzz word’ of local government.

The governing bodies of Scotch Plains and Fanwood currently are in the midst of exploring how we could merge our police departments in an effort to save money and provide more efficient services. Several obstacles stand in the way, but the two that seem the most difficult to resolve are funding and governance.

One option is to form a “Joint Meeting” and the second alternative is a contractual shared service. The joint meeting would involve creating another level of government, where each town would appoint a representative to oversee the police department with a ‘tie-breaking’ representative agreed upon by both towns.

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Scotch Plains, Fanwood residents begin process of merging 2 towns into 1

This article originally appeared in the Star-Ledger. Click here to read the full article.

Residents in Scotch Plains and Fanwood took a first step toward merging their towns Wednesday by applying for permission to create a consolidation commission.

The two municipalities already share a school district, a library catalogue system and have talked about merging police departments.

If the state Local Finance Board approves the citizen­driven application— the first of its kind — the towns will begin holding meetings in April. The commission would apply for grants to fund the study, according to the application.

Scotch Plains resident Fred Lange has spearheaded the effort. He formed a group, Courage to Re­Connect, about a year ago and has collected some 1,000 signatures to file the application, he said.

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SPF Residents Take Historic Step Towards Consolidation of Neighboring towns.

This article originally appeared in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Patch. Click here to read the full article.

Scotch Plains and Fanwood residents in favor of merging the two towns made history on February 15, becoming the first neighboring communities in the state to petition the Local Finance Board to commission a study on what consolidation would mean for the SPF tax payers.

Over the past year, this community has seen an escalation in discussions regarding shared services, including a possible police merger. Fanwood Mayor, Colleen Mahr, who has dedicated much of her time as Mayor to revitalizing downtown Fanwood, has remained adamant in her opposition to full consolidation. However, Scotch Plains Mayor, Nancy Malool of has openly voiced her support for pursuing a municipal consolidation study, under the Local Option Municipal Consolidation Act, passed in 2007.

Courage to Re-connect is the local grassroots organization that created the petition to commission the consolidation to study. The organization was founded by Scotch Plains resident, Fred Lange. Courage to Re-connect receives support from Courage to Connect New Jersey, a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to assisting municipalities to study consolidation where appropriate.

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SP-F BOE Appoints Reps. To Courage to Reconnect

This article originally appeared in The Westfield Leader and The Scotch Plains – Fanwood TIMES. Click here to read the full article.

SCOTCH PLAINS – In response to the request of the Courage to Reconnect group, members of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education last Thursday appointed two representatives to attend regular Courage to Reconnect meetings on beahalf of the board.

BOE members Amy Winkler, representing Fanwood, and former Board of Education member Donald Parisi of Scotch plains, will represent the BOE. Courage to Reconnect was created out of Courage to Connect New Jersey, a non-profit that is working to reduce New Jersey’s 566 municipalities by merging towns.

Fred Lange of Scotch Plains heads Courage to Reconnect and spoke during the public portion of the December 22 BOE meeting. Mr. Lange said that the purpose of the group is to merge the municipalities of Scotch Plains and Fanwood. He also noted that the group has been working on collecting signatures form residents of both communities in support the merger. He also noted that the group has been following the general guidelines for merging the two towns as suggested by the state.