Article from local newspaper in NJ re the Pluses and Minuses of Home Rule.
Proponents of home rule say the practice puts decisions in the hands of those most intimately familiar with a town’s needs — the town itself. But critics contend the practice leads to higher costs and results in some towns making decisions to the detriment of their neighbor.
“Home rule was nice when we could afford it,” said former Gov. Thomas Kean, who battled legislators and local officials on the issue when he was in office in the 1980s, even launching the first effort for a coastal commission that would have broad power over shore development. “Now it raises property taxes, increases the cost of everything we do and makes it very hard to make decisions affecting more than one town at a time.”
“On a simple planning level, the kind of impacts we’re talking about with sea level rise and climate change, they’re bigger system impacts and they don’t respect political boundaries,” said Peter Kasabach, executive director of New Jersey Future, a planning-advocacy group,