Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Herb Conaway, Jr., MD and Troy Singleton (both D-Burlington) to modernize the election process for the Board of Island Managers of Burlington Island received final legislative approval unanimously from the full Senate on Monday.
Conaway and Singleton represent the 7th legislative district, which includes Burlington City and Burlington Island.
"We have worked closely with the Board of Island Managers in drafting this legislation to modernize this election process -- a process established by legislation over 150 years ago. At a recent meeting, the Board unanimously endorsed this proposal. My goal in sponsoring this bill is to increase voter participation and decrease cost," said Conaway.
"As one of the authors of the recent law to consolidate school board elections to a single date, this is an example of how collaborative government should work for the good of the people. By bringing this statute in line with that earlier change, it will bring the election process for the Board of Island Managers into the 21st Century, promote transparency, and eliminate a costly special election," said Singleton, recently named Chairman of the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.
The Board of Island Managers was established by charter in 1682. In 1852, the New Jersey Legislature designated that the Island Managers election be held on the first Monday in April between the hours of two and five o'clock in the afternoon at City Hall. While there have been updates to the law governing the Board, the date of the election has remained unchanged. The legislation sponsored by Conaway and Singleton is a much desired update to the 1852 law governing the board.
Since the date is set by New Jersey statute, the election can only be moved by an act of the legislature. The legislation would move the date of the Board of Island Managers election to the general election in November in the same manner as other municipal elections.
The legislation was approved by the Assembly in June and now heads to the governor's desk.