Photo credit: Tap Into Red Bank
On Thursday July 28, 2023, KMC Partner Michael L. Collins made a presentation to the Red Bank Mayor and Council regarding the new form of government that was adopted by voters and took effect on July 1, 2023.
He explained the differences between Red Bank’s former Borough form of government and newly-adopted council-manager form under the Faulkner Act.
Collins’ presentation was covered in numerous local news outlets:
At its July 27 session, the council heard the details of a plan to implement the new council-manager form of government by revising its “code,” or ordinance book.
The walk-through was provided by Michael Collins, who served as attorney to the Charter Study Commission, which over eight months ending in July, 2022 sorted through various forms of government available under New Jersey’s Optional Municipal Charter Law, also known as the Faulkner Act.
The commission recommended the “council-manager” form, which voters approved by a wide margin in a referendum last November.
Collins, who is now a member of the borough’s “special legal counsel pool,” offered an overview of the changes brought about by adoption of the new form, which on July 1 replaced the borough form in effect since 1098.
Attorney Michael Collins gave a detailed presentation to the council, saying it was, “… an overview of the differences between the former borough’s form of government…, and what this new form requires.” In conclusion, attorney Collins stated, “I do think the borough’s going to want to focus on mainly the organization of the borough in which you establish an ordinance so that you know your who department heads are and what positions there are.
Attorney Michael L. Collins, who had been the Charter Study Commission attorney, made a presentation to the council and public regarding the overhaul of borough codes required by state law. Collins is special counsel for the borough on the matter[.]
In the next 90 days, council must pass an “overhaul ordinance,” Collins said, that implements the new form of government.
It will focus on the organization of the borough, such as department heads, for example. Collins said he welcomes any guidance from the council on these issues and will work through Borough Attorney Gregory Cannon and will also have public hearings on the changes.
He said state law sets a 90-day period to do this work, so the borough has until Oct. 1 for introduction and adoption. The updated provisions will take effect 90 days after that.
And he said that by Thanksgiving the council should be “good to go” with the Council/Manager form of government.
In July, attorney Michael Collins, special counsel for the borough, outlined the new codes to be implemented with the change in government, including the borough manager role. According to Collins, the person filling the position in Red Bank will carry out policies established by the council and serve as a chief executive and administrative official for the borough to execute all laws and ordinances, appoint and remove department officials – except the tax assessor – make recommendations to the council for municipal improvements, attend all meetings as a nonvoting member of the council, prepare the municipal budget and more. The manager is appointed by the full governing body and is subject to removal by a simple majority vote of the council upon notice and public hearing, if requested.
Collins previously served as attorney for the Red Bank Charter Study Commission, writing its report that was overwhelmingly approved by voters, and currently serves as Special Counsel to Red Bank.
If a municipality or governing body is interested in changing forms of government under the Faulkner Act, contact Michael L. Collins at 732-546-3670 or mcollins [at] kingmoench.com.