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It is helpful for all residents of our community to
have a basic knowledge and understanding of how your local government
operates, and the duties and responsibilities of your elected officials.
In this respect, the following is a summary of the duties and functions of
the Township Committee, and the services provided by the various
departments in delivering services to the community.
The Township of Hanover is organized as a Township
form of municipal government as set forth under N.J.S.A. 40A:63-1 et seq.
The elected officers of every Township are the members of the Township
Committee, the governing body of the municipality. The Township has a five
member Township Committee whose terms of office begin on January 1st
following the preceding general election. Each member holds office for a
term of three years. Since the Township is not divided into wards, the
five members of the governing body serve at large, and represent all of
the people of the Township and not any one particular section or area.
On January 1st of every year, or during the first
seven days of January, State law requires that the Township Committee
convene a reorganization meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to
reorganize the government whereby the governing body makes appointments of
individuals to various boards, commissions and committees for the purpose
of conducting the business of the Township. Other business matters also
take place at this annual meeting.
It is during the traditional January 1st
Reorganization Meeting that the members of the governing body elect one of
their number as Chairman of the Committee whose responsibility it is to
preside at all meetings of the Township Committee and who shall be known
as the Mayor of the Township. However, as an equal member of the Township
Committee, the Mayor has no additional authority by virtue of his/her
designation as Mayor, except as may be provided by State law.
With the advice and consent of the Township
Committee, it is customary for the Mayor to assign governing body members
to head Township departments, and serve as liaison to the various boards,
commissions and committees. These assignments are made at the January 1st
Reorganization Meeting. A listing of the Township Committee assignments is
listed below. While a member of the governing body may be appointed to
serve as a department head, such as the Director of the Department of
Administration, it is the full Township Committee that ultimately bears
responsibility for the operations of all departments.
In serving as liaisons to Township boards and
commissions, members of the governing body attend meetings of the
Environmental and Landmark Commissions, Board of Recreation Commissioners,
Board of Health, Hanover Sewerage Authority, Cultural Arts Committee, the
Open Space Advisory Committee, the Garden Club and Whippanong Library
(which is funded by the Township but a private non-profit organization).
In accordance with the Municipal Land Use Law, the Mayor serves as a Class
I member to the Planning Board, and the Township Committee member serving
as Director of Planning also serves as a Class III Planning Board member.
As the policy making board, the Township Committee's
responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the adoption of
ordinances (i.e., Township laws), approval of resolutions, preparation of
the calendar year operating budget, management of finances, establishing
the municipal tax rate, appointing such officers as may be necessary to
perform those duties required by law and ordinances, and to execute and
perform all the executive responsibilities of the municipality not placed,
by general law or statute in the Office of the Mayor.
The Township Committee meets twice monthly on the
second and fourth Thursdays of each month. The governing body meets in
legal and conference work sessions at 7:30 p.m. in Conference Room
"A" at the Municipal Building. When legal and personnel issues
are discussed, portions of the legal work session may be closed to the
public in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act. A more formal
public session is held at 8:30 p.m. in the Main Meeting Room, at which
time ordinances and resolutions are voted upon, and members of the public
are given an opportunity to voice their comments. Members of the public
may also address the governing body at a designated time during the
conference work sessions.
Typically, only one Township Committee meeting is
held during the month of August. And, prior to the Thanksgiving and
Christmas holidays, the Township Committee meets on the Monday evening
immediately preceding Thanksgiving and Christmas.
You are cordially invited to attend the Township
Committee meetings to ask questions or make statements.
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