§2 - Note





P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 39, approved March 24, 1997

Senate, No. 1891

 

 

 

An Act concerning certain county utilities authorities and amending P.L.1972, c.154.

 

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

 

    1. Section 30 of P.L.1972, c.154 (C.40:41A-30) is amended to read as follows:

    30. The grant of powers under this act is intended to be as broad as is consistent with the Constitution of New Jersey and with general law relating to local government. The grant of powers shall be construed as liberally as possible in regard to the county's right to reorganize its own form of government, to reorganize its structure and to alter or abolish its agencies, subject to the general mandate of performing services, whether they be performed by the agency previously established or by a new agency or another department of county government. All county offices, boards, commissions and authorities authorized or established by statute, other than an authority organized under the "municipal and county utilities authorities law," P.L.1957, c.183 (C.40:14B-1 et seq.), those boards and offices which are subject to the provisions of subsection b. of section 125 of P.L.1972, c.154 (C.40:41A-125b.), and other than educational institutions authorized or established pursuant to Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, shall be considered to be county agencies for the purposes of this section.

    Based on the need to develop effective services to meet problems which cross municipal boundaries and which cannot be met effectively on an individual basis by the municipalities or the State, this act shall be construed as intending to give the county power to establish innovative programs and to perform such regional services as any municipality or the State may determine, in its own best interest, to have the county perform on a contractual basis.

(cf: P.L.1981, c.48, s.2)


    2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any action to reorganize or to alter or abolish a county utilities authority organized under the "municipal and county utilities authorities law," P.L.1957, c.183 (C.40:14B-1 et seq.), adopted or approved pursuant to section 30 of P.L.1972, c.154 (C.40:41A-30), on or after March 3, 1997.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill would prohibit the board of freeholders of a county organized under the "Optional County Charter Law," P.L.1972, c.154 (C. 40:41A-1 et seq.), from purging the members of a county utilities authority through its power to "reorganize" an authority pursuant to section 30 of P.L.1972, c.154 (C.40:41A-30). The "municipal and county utilities authorities law," P.L.1957, c.183 (C.40:14B-1 et seq.), contains sufficient procedures for dissolving an authority or removing authority members for inefficiency, neglect of duty or misconduct in office that a freeholder board should not need to resort to a vague "reorganization" power that has a great potential for political abuse.

    The bill would apply to any action to reorganize or to alter or abolish a county utilities authority organized under the "municipal and county utilities authorities law," P.L.1957, c.183 (C.40:14B-1 et seq.), adopted or approved pursuant to section 30 of P.L.1972, c.154 (C.40:41A-30), on or after March 3, 1997, so that such action would be null and void.

 

 

                             

Requires use of authorities law to reorganize county utility authority.