Consolidation Study Approved
Saturday, September 15, 2012 • 9:17pm
SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – The State Local Finance Board has approved the application for a Consolidation Study presented by the citizens group Courage to ReConnect, in spite of many objections put forward.
A Commission will be established to complete the Consolidation Study over the next three years with five Scotch Plains and five Fanwood residents, and the commission will not be funded by taxpayer dollars.
“Ultimately, if the process moves forward it will be the voters of both Scotch Plains and Fanwood that have the final say on the matter. We see no reason to stand in the way of letting the voters be heard if this gets to a referendum,” said Scotch Plains Mayor Mary DePaola. “In my mind, the biggest concern right now on this matter is how this study commission will be funded.”
Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr agrees. “The Commission, once established, will have to raise a significant amount of money to start this study. I’m going to speak with my Council on Tuesday night about the outcome of the decision and I strongly encourage residents to attend the meeting if they have any concerns regarding the Local Finance Board’s decision to approve the Study.”
Mayor Mahr went on to indicate that a three year study would have an impact on the proposed police merger and would be “woven into the fabric of our community” for the next three years. “As far as the police merger goes, there have been regular meetings scheduled, although we did not meet in August, we will meet again before the end of September. We’ll be back at the table with Scotch Plains to pick up the conversation where we left it earlier in the summer and our goal will be to roll out something specific for the residents to comment on in the near future”
Scotch Plains Councilman Saridaki added, “While the prospect of a full consolidation is intriguing, right now The Scotch Plains Township Council is focused on moving forward with a consolidation of the Scotch Plains and Fanwood Police Departments. We have bi-partisan support on our Council and we are hopeful that the final details will be worked out with our colleagues in Fanwood so the police consolidation can be ready to implement in the near future.”