On the fourth try last November, voters of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township finally agreed to merge into a single municipality and subsequently chose the simple name of Princeton and a borough form of government.
The two municipalities have until January 1 to finish the job — choosing new political leaders, administrative staff, town facilities and a single set of regulations to live by. It’s a daunting task made no easier by the fact the towns already share a school system, library board and regional planning board.
Nevertheless, Princeton’s actions are likely to become a blueprint for the rest of New Jersey, as many municipalities consider sharing services or outright consolidation in order to save costs. In Princeton’s case, they expect to save $3 million on a recurring basis.
NJ Spotlight is following the Princeton merger in an occasional series with an eye to helping other municipalities understand what’s involved. Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight editor-at-large, speaks with Josh Simeone of WHYY in this podcast about the Princetons and how it’s going. The podcast is a weekly feature of NJ Spotlight and its partners Newsworks and WHYY Radio.
To listen to the discussion,