Charter Study Commission

A Charter Study Commission is one of two options available to residents of New Jersey to pursue a change in their form of government. The other option is a direct petition. The charter study commission approach is only available under the Faulkner Act.

A charter study commission can be elected, most often when residents are dissatisfied with the existing form of government, but there is no agreement as to what new form should be implemented.

A ballot question to form a charter study commission can be performed through a petition or by the existing municipal governing body enacting an ordinance to form a commission. Voters simultaneously vote yes / no to form a commission and also vote to select its members (if it passes), with the top five candidates becoming the members of the commission.

A charter study commission can recommend that the municipality change to one of the Faulkner Act forms of government, a choice that must be ratified by the voters within the municipality. The charter study commission also may recommend a Special Charter, with further action being required, but the study commission by the New Jersey Legislature to approve the recommended variant form of government.

Some municipal governments have appointed a charter study committee (in contrast to the charter study commission). A charter study committee operates on a purely advisory basis. While it may perform the same research functions as a commission, a committee cannot place its recommendations on the ballot, but must do so via the petition method.

External links

  • Change in New Jersey Municipal Organization

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