Forms of Government in NJ


There are four basic forms of municipal government, each deriving its powers from the state Legislature. The four forms of government are borough, city, town, and township. Actually, a fifth basic "form" of government exists in only one municipality in New Jersey, that being the village form of government in Loch Arbour.

    The borough form of government was created in 1878 and modified by the Borough Act of 1987. There are approximately 218 municipalities using the borough form of government, which is supervised by a mayor and six council members, all of whom are elected at large.

    Under the city form of government, the mayor and one city council member are elected at large. The other six city council members are each elected from wards. 

    The township form of government is the oldest form, having been first established in 1798, and enhanced by the Township Act of 1989. All committee members are elected at large. Each year, at the annual reorganization meeting, the township committee selects one of its members to preside as mayor for the year. It is the only form of government in which the mayor is not elected directly by the voters of the municipality. 

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