Freeholders board may offer next step for city-county merger

If the Board of Freeholders is established, it would take up the task formerly handled by the controversial Better Together organization. That group withdrew earlier this year a petition for a statewide vote.

Pat Kelly, executive director of the Municipal League, said his group started working in January on an initiative petition for a Board of Freeholders. The state Constitution says a number of voters equal to three percent of those who voted in the most recent governor’s race have to sign petitions in the city and county in order for the petitions to be validated. That amounts to 15,500 certified signatures in the county and 4,000 in the city.

The group hopes to submit all the signatures for a final count in September. After that, the Board of Freeholders may meet for up to 12 months. There must be a majority vote in the city and the county before a proposal is accepted.

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