Two Municipal Consolidation Experts Join Courage to Connect NJ

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LONG HILL – They went to high school together in Morristown. Now, as graduates of prestigious law schools, they are working to save New Jersey from bankruptcy.

Andrew J. Bruck, Esq. and H. Joseph Pinto III, Esq. – co-authors of a journal that provides a historical and legal analysis of municipal consolidation in New Jersey – were today appointed to the Board of Directors of Courage to Connect New Jersey (CTC-NJ).

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CTC-NJ is a statewide, non-profit organization that educates the public about the governmental structure of New Jersey and advocates for consolidation to reduce the high cost of property taxes in maintaining 566 municipalities.

Founded by former Long Hill Mayor Gina Genovese, the charitable organization believes the only solution to New Jersey’s financial crisis is to connect five to ten municipalities under one administration while strengthening the individuality of each community. Towns should be “connected” statewide where it makes fiscal sense.

Bruck and Pinto, who graduated together from the Delbarton School in Morristown, are authors of a journal titled “Overruled by Home Rule: The Problems with New Jersey’s Latest Efforts to Consolidate Municipalities” The contribution, which explains how New Jersey ended up with 566 towns and how expensive the system has become, is part of the 2008 Seton Hall Legislative Journal.

Bruck, a native of Montclair and Mendham Township and a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, said today he is pleased to be affiliated with CTC-NJ. He looks forward to helping solve the many challenges that exist within the state’s labyrinth of towns.

“For over a century, New Jersey’s politicians and civic activists have told us we have too many towns,” Bruck said. “Finally, someone’s doing something about it. I’m excited to be a part of Mayor Genovese’s groundbreaking effort to educate communities about how they’ll benefit from merging local governments.”

Bruck, an attorney in Manhattan, received his law degree from Stanford University, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Law & Policy Review. Bruck has been published in the Harvard Law & Policy Review, Stanford Law Review, and California Daily Journal, among others. Bruck clerked for the Hon. Stuart Rabner, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Pinto, of Mendham Township, earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was president of the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic, which helps low income Philadelphians with family law issues. He was also senior editor of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. He now works as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.

“The economic downturn has made crystal clear the fact that New Jersey needs to fix its bloated government structure in order to provide relief to overburdened taxpayers and allow the state to prosper,” Pinto said. “I am proud to join Mayor Genovese’s effort to educate New Jerseyans about how municipal consolidation will benefit them individually and the state as a whole.”

“Courage to Connect NJ is a non-partisan group that is only interested in making New Jersey a better and more affordable place to live,” Genovese said. “Andrew and Joe share our serious concerns about the road New Jersey is on. They will work with us to bring the state back from the verge of bankruptcy. Andrew and Joe will play a critical role in moving this important issue forward.”

For more information, visit www.couragetoconnectnj.org.


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