SENATE, No. 967

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

211th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 9, 2004

 

 

Sponsored by:

Senator SHARPE JAMES

District 29 (Essex and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Clarifies mayor's authority to determine conditions of acquisition and sale of real property in mayor-council form of government.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 


An Act concerning public acquisition and sales of real property and amending P.L.1971, c.199.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. Section 2 of P.L.1971, c.199 (C.40A:12-2) is amended to read as follows:

    2. Definitions. The following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates the contrary:

    (a) "Acquire" shall include acquisition by gift, devise, purchase, exchange, grant, lease, condemnation, or installment purchase agreement unless otherwise indicated.

    (b) "Buildings" shall include any building or buildings and any structures, improvements, ingress or egress, grounds or plazas, necessary and incidental to the purpose of the building and the safety, comfort and well-being of its occupants.

    (c) "Capital improvements" shall include, in addition to buildings, any structures, fixtures, edifices, byways, parking lots, service facilities, and any other facility necessary and incidental to the lawful performance of any function of a county or municipality.

    (d) "County" means any county of this State of whatever class.

    (e) "Municipality" means any town, township, borough, village or city of whatever class heretofore or hereafter created under general or special charter.

    (f) "Personal property" shall mean any personal property necessary and incidental to the furnishing, refurnishing or refurbishing of a building. "Personal property" shall also include, but not be limited to, office furniture, office equipment, office supplies, computers, computer equipment, telephone equipment, cameras, tractors, lawn mowers, dump trucks, golf carts, modular office trailers, tools, janitorial supplies and farm animals.

    (g) "Real property" shall include, in addition to the usual connotations thereof, development rights or easements, or any right, interest or estate in the area extending above any real property, or capital improvement thereon, to such a height or altitude as any title, interest or estate in real property may extend, commonly known as "air rights."

    (h) "Resolution" or "ordinance" when used in connection with the action of a county or municipality means a resolution or ordinance adopted by the governing body of the county or municipality. In any case in which a resolution or ordinance authorizing the expenditure of public moneys is required to be approved by any other board, body or commission of the State, county or municipality, "resolution" or "ordinance" shall mean also adopted or approved by the board, body or commission authorized to take such action on behalf of the State, county or municipality. In the case of a municipality which has adopted a "Mayor-Council Plan" of government pursuant to the provisions of the "Optional Municipal Charter Law," P.L.1950, c.210 (C.40:69A-1 et seq.), no resolution pertaining to an acquisition or sale of real property shall be adopted by the municipal council unless first presented by the mayor. Nothing in P.L.1979, c.199 (C.40A:12-1 et seq.) shall be interpreted as altering the separation of powers that exists in municipalities that have adopted a "Mayor-Council" plan of government pursuant to the provisions of the "Optional Municipal Charter Law," P.L.1950, c.210 (C.40:69A-1 et seq.), or assigning to the municipal council in such municipalities the entire and exclusive function, including all constitutent elements, of acquiring and conveying real property. In municipalities that have adopted a "Mayor-Council" plan of government pursuant to the provisions of the "Optional Municipal Charter Law," P.L.1950, c.210 (C.40:69A-1 et seq.), all administrative functions pertaining to the acquisition and conveyance of municipal property, including identifying the parcels to be acquirered or conveyed, identifying prospective sellers, purchasers or transferees and negotiating the terms and conditions of sale, shall be exercised by the mayor or his designee, subject to approval by the municipal council.

    (i) "Sale" shall include the conveyance of any estate, interest, easement or title to, or the waiver, release, or modification of any conditions, restrictions or limitations on any real property, capital improvement or personal property of the county or municipality, but shall not include any lease or exchange of such property.

(cf: P.L.1995, c.12, s.1)

 

    2. This act shall take effect immediately, and shall be retroactive to January 1, 2002.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill would amend the definitional section of the "Local Lands and Buildings Law," section 2 of P.L.1971, c.199 (C.40A:12-2), to clarify the role of the mayor in determining the conditions of the acquisition, sale, transfer, or lease of real property in the mayor-council form of government. The bill adds to the law's definition of "resolution" to provide that, in the case of a municipality which has adopted a "Mayor-Council Plan" of government pursuant to the provisions of the "Optional Municipal Charter Law," P.L.1950, c.210 (C.40:69A-1 et seq.), no resolution concerning the acquisition, sale, transfer, or lease of local lands and buildings shall be adopted unless first presented to the council by the mayor. This bill is specifically intended to overrule the holding in Council of the City of Newark v. James, 232 N.J.Super. 449 (App. Div. 1989), which asserted that the statutes authorizing the public sale of real property, by resolution or ordinance, assigned to the city council and not to the mayor, of municipalities operating under the mayor-council plan, the choice of what properties to sell and the conditions of the sale. It is more consistent with the mayor-council plan to recognize the authority of the mayor, as the chief executive officer of the municipality, to initiate those land purchase and sale decisions and determine the terms and conditions for acquisition and sale, upon approval by council, rather than to cut the mayor out of the process.