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Municipal consolidation: Will it mean mergers or collisions?

shotgun wedding


Updated on September 3, 2017 at 8:02 AM Posted on September 3, 2017 at 6:30 AM

With an election coming up, we’re hearing a lot about consolidating towns and school districts as a means of solving our property-tax problem.

Before this goes any further, let me warn all involved about the nature of such transactions.

Consolidations are like weddings. There are two types: weddings of attraction, into which both partners enter willingly; and shotgun weddings, in which one party takes part only because of compulsion.

The latter describes one Monmouth County town that I covered in the waning days of the Corzine administration, Loch Arbour.

The elected officials of this charming little town by the sea entered into a mutually beneficial pact with nearby Ocean Township when they set up a shared-services agreement. They would send their kids to Ocean schools in return for a per-pupil payment of about $15,000 per year.