In the early 2000s, licensing and professionalization of many critical municipal positions led to an increased requirement for formal continuing education as part of professional certification. The League's training program responded by tailoring special training that met the needs imposed on local officials.
Following the September 11 terrorists attacks on America, New Jersey municipalities lend First Responders and rescue equipment to assist New York City health and safety operations. In the aftermath, through the League, New Jersey local officials and employees generously contribute to scholarship funds for the survivors of victims.
The Citizens Convention Coalition (CCC), consisting of 13 member organizations, banded together as a strong and determined advocate for the reform of New Jersey's oppressive and unfair property tax system. The Coalition's Chairman was Gary Passanante, the Mayor of Somerdale in Camden County, who also serves on the League's Executive Board and as co-chair of the League of Municipalities Property Tax Reform Committee. Members included AARP-NJ, the League of Women Voters, the Black Ministers' Council of New Jersey, former State Senator Bill Schluter and a number of passionate citizens.
Given the failure of successive legislatures to deliver true property tax reform, the Coalition called for a Citizens' Convention to break the political log-jam and offer, directly to the voters, a comprehensive plan for permanent and sustainable property tax reform. After years of work, in 2003, enabling legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts passed the Assembly, only to be ignored by the State Senate. In the absence of real reform, New Jersey citizens continue to pay the highest property taxes in America. View a history of Property Tax Reform.
The Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) supports mayors as champions of community health. The goal is to increase opportunities for New Jersey residents to participate in daily physical activity with a long-term goal of reducing health care costs secondary to obesity. Wellness Campaign supports mayors as champions of community health. The goal is to increase opportunities for New Jersey residents to participate in daily physical activity with a long-term goal of reducing health care costs secondary to obesity. Through public-private partnerships, the MWC provides structure and resources for healthy community initiatives. By encouraging Mayors to play a leadership role in supporting local opportunities for active, healthy lifestyles, the intent of the MWC is to improve health and make New Jersey a national leader in community-based health interventions.
During the years 2005 through 2006, the League restored the former Ferdinand Roebling Mansion at 222 West State Street. This building currently acts as the League's headquarters. Grants, loans and capital totaling $6 million were used to historically restore and expand the building to 15,000 square feet.
The architectural rendering of the finished concept was displayed at the closing of 222 West State Street. Next to the rendering is League Past President Ginny Hook, who served as President of the 222nd West State Street Urban Renewal Corp., 2005.
The League's official magazine, New Jersey Municipalities, was recognized for its excellence through winning the APEX Award for Publication Excellence.
In January of 2007 the League moved into its new headquarters, centrally located in the heart of the State House District. The League occupies 7,500 square feet of the historic portion of the building and leases the remaining 7,500 square feet to tenants.
Ribbon cutting during the Roebling Mansion dedication, March 24, 2007.
New Jersey State League of Municipalities Executive Officers established the Women in Municipal Government Committee (WIMG). WIMG membership consists of all elected and appointed women mayors and council-members in New Jersey. A primary goal of this Committee is to encourage the active involvement and full participation of women in municipal government through such venues as professional development, mentoring/networking seminars and other programs and activities as may be determined. This committee also functions as a resource to those women contemplating a run for municipal office. WIMG is an outgrowth of the NJ Association of Elected Women Officials.
2009 New Jersey State League of Municipalities President Timothy C. McDonough, Mayor Hope, reads to children during a Mayor's Book Club event as Douglas Palmer, then Mayor Trenton, listens, September 22, 2009.
To further expand its educational offerings, the New Jersey League of Municipalities Educational Foundation (NJLMEF) was created in late 2007. Since its inception, the New Jersey State League of MunicipalitiesEF has conducted Done Editing numerous educational programs. In September 2008 the Foundation teamed up with the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families to create the Mayors Book Club literacy initiative in New Jersey.
This program, through the mayors' offices, shows New Jersey municipalities how to promote literacy in families and young children. The Foundation has sponsored educational programs on affordable housing, energy infrastructure, encouraging civility in public meetings and a wide range of issues of interest to local officials and taxpayers. In January 2009, the Foundation partnered with other public policy oriented organizations to begin publishing "white papers" on issues of interest to local government.
These white papers, published quarterly, are part of the "Friends of Local Government Series" and available for free online. For more information on the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, visit the New Jersey State League of Municipalities website.