New Jersey delays fire district consolidation over ‘poison pill’ provision

  • Source: The Trentonian
  • Published: 01/10/2019 12:00 AM

The consolidation of Hamilton’s big government fire service has been stalled and set back because of concerns voiced by the state Department of Community Affairs. The Democratic-led Hamilton Council last September voted 4-1 to introduce an ordinance calling for Hamilton Fire Districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to be “hereby dissolved and abolished effective Jan. 1, 2019, or such later date, conditioned upon Local Finance Board approval, Civil Service approval/readiness, and a fully executed and approved Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/Collective Negotiations Agreement (CAN) between representatives unions and Township.” Fast forward to 2019, and DCA’s Division of Local Government Services last Friday put the brakes on Hamilton’s consolidation process due to the provision requiring a fully negotiated and settled labor agreement before the districts could be dissolved and merged into a municipal fire department, according to Hamilton Business Administrator Dave Kenny. It could potentially take one year before contract negotiations between Hamilton’s FMBA firefighter unions and the Yaede administration result in an agreement, according to Kenny, who said the Local Finance Board within DCA’s Division of Local Government Services is “concerned” that “a lot of things could change in that one-year period.”


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