August 2, 2019  

I.   State Issues
II.  Federal Issues
III. Annual League Conference
IV. Also of Interest
Municipal Clerks:  Please forward to your Mayor, Governing Body and Department Heads. 

I. State Issues

a. Interest Arbitration Seminar Recap

On Wednesday a sold-out crowd attended the Interest Arbitration Workshop held by the New Jersey Association of Counties, New Jersey Municipal Managers Association, the Government Finance Officers Association of New Jersey and the League . Speaking at the workshop, Senator Declan O’Scanlon noted that municipal levy and appropriation caps can be unnecessary burdens, especially now that arbitrators can issue awards above the 2% cap.  He further noted that such awards would force local governments to either go to referendum for voter approval to increase their tax levy, or cut services to stay within the 2% levy cap.
In addition to Senator O’Scanlon, Matthew Giacobbe Esq., of Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri, & Jacobs, League Labor Counsel Joseph Hannon, Esq., Boonton Town Administrator Neil Henry, Wharton Administrator/Chief Financial Officer Jon Rheinhardt, and Harrison Town Chief Financial Officer Gabriela Simoes Dos Santos gave informative presentations navigating the unlevel playing field created by the failure of State leaders to permanently extend the 2% cap on binding interest arbitration awards.
For more on the seminar, please see "NJTV’s “Municipalities weigh options for future labor deals,” NJ Spotlight’s “Brave New World for Local Governments: No 2% Salary Caps for Cops, Firefighters” or NJ 101.5’s “How Lack  of Arbitration Cap is Reshaping Police Contract Talks.” 
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst,, 609-695-3481 x112.

b. NJEDA Opportunity Zone Challenge Program Grant applications

New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Opportunity Zone Challenge Program grant applications are now available. Proposals are due by September 16, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. The Opportunity Zone Challenge, available to the 75 Opportunity Zone municipalities, is a competitive grant program aimed at supporting community efforts to attract investment and build community capacity around economic development in Opportunity Zone communities across New Jersey.  If you have any questions or need additional information please contact

c. Murphy Administration Awards Grants Reviving Local Redevelopment

On Monday, Acting Governor (and DCA Commissioner) Sheila Y. Oliver announced the award of $2.5 million in Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) grants to 20 municipalities in New Jersey, and of nearly $350,000 in Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) grants to 17 Main Street district organizations throughout the state. The grants from both programs will help improve the quality of life for New Jersey residents by assisting communities with their downtown and neighborhood revitalization efforts.
This year marks the first time in its 30-year history that the MSNJ Program has awarded grants to designated MSNJ district organizations around the state. Also, it is the first time in 11 years that the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has awarded NPP grants. The grant funding is part of a larger effort by the Murphy Administration to commit more resources to community revitalization programs that focus on small businesses and neighborhood improvement projects. 
The MSNJ Program helps municipalities improve the economy, appearance, and image of their central business districts through the organization of local citizens and resources. Municipalities must apply and be selected to join the MSNJ Program, which was established in 1989. These designated communities receive technical support and training to assist in restoring their Main Streets as centers of economic and social activity. This year, designated communities were also eligible for the MSNJ grants, which are funding awards of $25,000 or less aimed at assisting projects such as storefront improvement,  placemaking, and transformation strategies development that can be completed in six months or less. 
The NPP program provides direct financial and technical assistance to municipalities over a three- to five-year period to conduct activities that strengthen threatened but viable neighborhoods through local planning, community participation, and building local capacity and coordination. Eligible grant activities include community development planning, commercial retail and residential property renovations, code enforcement, historic preservation, support of community/neighborhood organizations, and public facilities improvement. Municipal grantees had to show a commitment of resources from the neighborhood and municipality, as well as support from community organizations and residents. Further information on the MSNJ Program can be found on the DCA website.  

II. Federal Issues

a. Senate Committee Introduces Infrastructure Spending Bill

On Tuesday, in Washington, the Senate Public Works and Environment Committee began consideration of a surface transportation infrastructure bill that would allocate $287 billion over five years to fix and maintain highways and bridges across the United States. The proposal under consideration does not identify a funding source.
The legislation would extend funding currently appropriated through the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which authorized $305 billion in spending on highways, bridges and other transportation infrastructure, and which is set to expire on September 30, 2020. 
The America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 would increase spending for highway infrastructure by 27 percent, according to the committee. The bipartisan bill also contains several provisions aimed at addressing climate change. Most of the money appropriated through the bill—$259 billion—would be allocated to states through formula grants that automatically apportion funding. About $10 billion in funding would be invested in policies and innovative projects meant to address climate change, including a competitive grant program to build alternative fuel vehicle charging and fueling infrastructure along specific corridors. Other climate initiatives include grants to reduce carbon emissions and relieve traffic congestion.
Without a new funding source, the Congressional Budget Office projects that outlays for the Highway Trust Fund will exceed reserves by $119 billion by 2028. As Americans continue to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles, the revenue gap of the Highway Trust Fund, which relies on motor fuels taxes, continues to grow. The nationwide investment backlog for transportation funding totals $836 billion in highway and bridge projects and $122 billion in transit projects, experts told the committee at a recent hearing.
The American Society of Civil Engineers began a campaign on Friday pushing for a 25-cent-per-gallon tax increase, which hasn’t been changed since 1993. Other organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have also come out in favor of a gas tax hike. Others are looking for ways to ask the drivers of electric vehicles to contribute their fair share to the fund.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst,, 609-695-3481 x121.

b. Census Bureau Schedules News Briefing on Address Canvassing

The U.S. Census Bureau will hold an online news conference to share details on address canvassing, the first major field operation of the 2020 Census.
The Address Canvassing Operation improves and refines the Census Bureau’s address list in communities nationwide and is essential to ensuring a complete and accurate count for the 2020 Census. Census Bureau leaders will discuss the timeline for the Address Canvassing Operation, highlight key 2020 Census operational milestones and provide an update on additional operations on track for the 2020 Census. Speakers will take questions from the media during the news conference.

The briefing will take place Monday, August 12, 2019, at 1 p.m. EDT.

The news briefing will consist of a simultaneous audio conference and online presentation. Please note: Only media members will be able to ask questions following the presentation.
If you or a member of your Complete Count group is interested, here are the contact details.
Audio conference access information:
Toll-free number: 800-857-9695
Participant passcode: 1233382
Online presentation access information:

The Census Bureau will broadcast the event live on <>.  An updated browser is recommended.

III. Annual League Conference

a. 104th Annual League Conference Pre-Registration Opened Aug. 1

Pre-Registration for the 104th Annual League Conference has begun! Costs for pre-registration are $55 for government officials and $ 105 for non-government officials. Pre-registration runs through October 1. After the pre-registration period has ended, attendees must pay for their registration onsite at the Atlantic City Convention Center. On-site registration rates are $65 for Government Officials and $125 for non-government officials.
For more information on pre-registration, please visit the Conference website.
Contact: Johnnifer Harris, Assistant Financial Administrator,  x119.

b.  NJLM Annual Conference Exhibit Booth Registration is Open!

Invite your vendors to exhibit at the 2019 NJLM Annual Conference and showcase their product or service to other municipalities. Exhibit space is over 80% sold out so contact your vendors today – or send us a note and we’ll reach out to them!  The 2019 Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus (PDF), Interactive Floor Plan and other exhibit information can be downloaded on the League web site.
Contact: Kristin Lawrence, Director of Exhibition and Sponsorships, 609-695-3481 x125,

c.  Reserve Your Hotel for the Annual League Conference 

Preparations for the Annual League Conference November 19-21 are underway and the hotel reservations system is open for attendees and exhibitors at the League Conference Web Page. There you will also see a preliminary schedule of conference sessions.

Staying in Atlantic City for the Conference is a great way to get the most from your attendance at the Conference.  Staying over will maximize your time and opportunities to participate in the educational, informational, and networking opportunities offered throughout the Annual League Conference. 

d. Unauthorized Hotel Reservation Services

Every year there are unauthorized firms soliciting housing and hotel reservations from attendees at the Annual League Conference.  We assure you that the only firm authorized to handle our conference housing reservations is AC Central Reservations. This information is on the top of the official conference housing form sent to all municipal clerks and posted on the League web site.
Using unauthorized reservation services creates real problems for you and the conference as a whole. You cannot be assured your credit card information is secure and your room reservation may not actually be made. Using unauthorized services means your room will not be part of the official conference housing block and you will not get emergency housing information (which happened in both 2011 and 2012), nor will there be adequate shuttle bus services to your hotel.
As always, the League is available to answer your questions on any aspect of the annual conference and we strive to make your participation both enjoyable and highly productive.
Contact: Michael J. Darcy, CAE, Executive Director,, 609-695-3481 x116.

IV. Also of Interest

a. Reminder of Importance of Cybersecurity After Recent Ransomware

We would like to remind our members of the importance of cybersecurity after three Louisiana school districts and the Georgia Department of Public Safety’s computer systems were taken off line due to ransomware.  These are just the latest in a string of attacks targeted at state and local governments. 
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), National Governors Associations (NGA), and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) all recommend local governments take steps to increase resiliency against ransomware.   Please see the July 29, 2019 Joint Press Release from these organizations for more information on the attacks and steps you can take to secure your systems. In addition, New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications provides resources for governments such as tips and best practices which is available on their website.
If you unfortunately experience such attacks, we encourage you to report them to the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell, Cyber Liaison Officers at 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ (866-472-3365) or by email at
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney,, 609-695-3481 x137.

b. Mayors' Hall of Fame

Nominations are being accepted for the Mayors Hall of Fame.  The Mayors' Hall of Fame was rolled out on November 15, 1995, at the Mayors' Luncheon during the 80th Annual League Conference in Atlantic City.
There are three recognition levels:

  • Silver Level (10 Years)

  • Gold Level (20 Years)

  • White Level (30 Years)

Mayors, who are currently serving and have served a total of 10, 20, or 30 years as mayor, are eligible for nomination by associates or for themselves. Mayors who rotate into office are eligible for this recognition.  Find details and nomination forms on the League web site.

c. The League is Now Accepting Applications for the Innovation in
    Governance Program!

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities will again acknowledge and promote Innovation in Governance through our annual recognition program. This is a great opportunity to showcase innovative solutions to any problems that have cropped up – either suddenly or overtime – in your municipality. It can also be an opportunity to let your peers in on innovations that prevented problems from even arising.
Visit our awards page to see previous years of impressive ideas created by our winning municipalities as well as the full invitation and application to this year’s program.
Contact: Ciara Bradley, Legislative Administrator,, 609-695-3481 x128.

d. 17th Annual Michael A. Pane Award Nominations Are Now Being

In honor of the memory of Michael A. Pane, the 17th annual award will be presented to a professional (attorney, engineer, or planner) that personifies outstanding ability, integrity, and a high standard of ethics in his or her dealings with local government. This award includes a $500 honorarium.
Mr. Pane personified and promoted integrity in local government, and it is the purpose of this award to recognize an individual who has over a period of years demonstrated the same professional commitment to service and, who by so doing, has set high standards that all involved in local government should strive to match.
The award ceremony will be held during the League’s Annual Conference in Atlantic City, on Thursday, November 21, during a session of the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys.  Nominations for this award will be accepted through September 15, 2019.  Please mail, fax, or email your nomination to:

Johnnifer Harris
c/o NJLM Educational Foundation, Inc.
222 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
Fax: 609-695-5156, Email:

“The League thanks the NJLM Educational Foundation for making this possible and is honored to participate in the promotion of the Michael A. Pane Award,” said League Executive Director Michael J. Darcy.  A list of past award winners can be found on the League Website.
For additional information, call John Gillespie 732-530-4226.

222 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608 Phone: 609-695-3481 Web:

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