Assemblyman GORDON M. JOHNSON
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Modifies powers of Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act modifying the powers of the Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission and amending P.L.1995, c.260.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 3 of P.L.1995, c.260 (C.13:15B-3) is amended to read as follows:
3. The Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission shall have the following powers:
a. [To sue and be sued in its own name, but the members of the commission shall be held harmless for acts performed in good faith;] (Deleted by amendment, P.L. , c. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)
b. To adopt a seal and alter the same at its pleasure;
c. To adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;
d. To maintain an office or offices at such place or places within the State as it may designate;
e. To appoint officers, who need not be members of the commission, in addition to a secretary and a treasurer, as the commission deems advisable, and to employ other employees and agents as may be necessary or desirable in its judgment, to fix their compensation, and to promote and discharge officers, employees and agents all without regard to the provisions of Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes;
f. To acquire in the name of the commission, hold and dispose of real and personal property in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties under this act;
g. To make, enter into, and perform all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this act, including agreements to indemnify and hold harmless a local government unit against any claim arising from the use of property leased from that local government unit by the Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission;
h. To request the State Historic Preservation Officer to place the lands and buildings under the commission's jurisdiction on the National Register of Historic Places pursuant to the "National Historic Preservation Act," Pub.L.89-665 (16 U.S.C. s.470 et al.), as amended and supplemented by the "National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980," Pub.L.96-515, and the "National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1992," Pub.L.102-575, or any future amendments or supplements thereto;
i. To acquire and hold real and personal property by gift, purchase, devise, bequest, or by other means and to preserve and administer these properties;
j. To conduct public information and education programs relating to the historic nature of the property under the commission's jurisdiction;
k. To apply to the Department of Environmental Protection for grants from the Green Acres or historic preservation bond programs or other appropriate funding sources, for the purpose of acquisitions pursuant to subsection f. of this section or for the purposes of development, preservation, or maintenance of those acquired properties; and
l. To do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted in this act.
(cf: P.L.2000, c.158, s.1)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would amend the law to eliminate the power of the Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission to sue and be sued. The language “sue and be sued,” which appears in the current version of the statute, presents a problem in that it incorrectly indicates that the commission may be held liable for damages, when, in fact, the provisions of the “New Jersey Tort Claims Act” ensure that the commission will be immune from suit. Moreover, there is no real need for the commission to have the power to sue, since the commission does not anticipate utilizing such a power in practice. Accordingly, because the current statutory language contradicts the insulatory provisions of the “New Jersey Tort Claims Act,” does not accurately exemplify the law regarding public entity liability, and fails to take into account the practical workings of the commission, this language should be removed.