New Jersey Revised Statutes § 40:44-9-17 — Division Into Wards By Ward Commissioners
40:44-9. Short title
This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Municipal Ward Law.”
L.1981, c. 496, s. 1, eff. Jan. 12, 1982.
40:44-10. Application to and governance of municipalities divided into wards
This act shall apply to and govern any municipality having adopted a charter or form of government, or ordinance, providing that the municipality shall be divided into wards, or other similar representation districts, for the purpose of the election or appointment of any municipal officers. It shall constitute the exclusive method whereby the boundaries of wards, or other similar representation districts, in municipalities shall be fixed and determined, and to this end all acts or parts of acts, whether of a general or special character, which conflict or are incompatible with its provisions are superseded to the degree of the conflict or incompatibility. Nothing in this act shall be sufficient in itself to authorize any municipality to divide into wards or other similar representation districts, nor to increase or decrease the number of its wards or similar representation districts.
L.1981, c. 496, s. 2, eff. Jan. 12, 1982.
40:44-11. Division into wards by ward commissioners
A municipality shall be divided by the ward commissioners, in the manner provided in this act, into so many wards as the charter or form of government, or ordinance, may provide. The members of the county board of elections of the county in which the municipality is located, together with the municipal clerk, shall constitute the ward commissioners.
L.1981, c. 496, s. 3, eff. Jan. 12, 1982.
40:44-12. Compensation of ward commissioners, assistance
Each ward commissioner shall be entitled to be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his duties and to such compensation as the governing body may provide by ordinance or resolution.
The ward commissioners shall be entitled in the performance of their duties to the assistance of a surveyor or engineer, and, when they deem necessary, may employ a surveyor or engineer and such other assistants as shall be necessary to aid them in the discharge of their duties.
The governing body of the municipality shall provide, upon certification of the ward commissioners, for payment of the expenses of the ward commissioners, their compensation as determined by ordinance or resolution, and the expenses for the services of the surveyor, engineer or other assistants as the ward commissioners shall have incurred. No person employed under this section shall be compensated by receiving a percentage of the contract under which he renders services.
L.1981,c.496,s.4; amended 1991,c.501.
40:44-13. Meetings; oath; division into wards or change in boundaries
a. Within 5 days following any election at which the voters of the municipality shall have adopted a charter, or an amendment thereof, or a form of government requiring the division of the municipality into a number of wards, the ward commissioners shall meet and, having first taken and subscribed, before an officer authorized to administer oaths, an oath to faithfully and impartially perform their duties, shall proceed to divide the municipality into wards as required by the charter or form of government and this act.
b. Within 30 days following the final adoption pursuant to law by the municipal governing body of any ordinance which by its terms requires that the municipality be divided into wards, or that the existing wards of the municipality be increased or decreased, or that the existing ward boundaries of the municipality be adjusted to allow for the annexation or deannexation of territory, the ward commissioners shall meet in the manner provided in subsection a. of this section and proceed to divide the municipality into wards, or to make such adjustments in ward boundaries, as shall be required to conform with the provisions of the ordinance and this act.
c. Within 3 months following the promulgation by the Governor pursuant to law of each Federal decennial census, the ward commissioners shall meet in the manner provided in subsection a. of this section and proceed to make such adjustments in ward boundaries as shall be necessary to conform them to the requirements of this act.
L.1981, c. 496, s. 5, eff. Jan. 12, 1982.
40:44-14. Boundaries; requirements
The ward commissioners shall fix and determine the ward boundaries so that each ward is formed of compact and contiguous territory. The population of the most populous ward so created shall not differ from the population of the least populous ward so created by more than 10% of the mean population of the wards derived by dividing the total population of the municipality by the number of wards created. The most recent Federal decennial census shall be used as the population determinant.
L.1981, c. 496, s. 6, eff. Jan. 12, 1982.
40:44-15. Report on ward boundaries; certification; filing
Within 30 days following their initial meeting pursuant to section 5 of this act, the ward commissioners shall file their report, certified by at least three of their signatures, setting forth and properly describing the ward boundaries fixed and determined. There shall be annexed to the report a map of the municipality with the ward boundaries clearly marked thereon.
The report so certified shall be filed in the office of the county clerk, and copies shall be filed with the Secretary of State and in the office of the municipal clerk.
L.1981, c. 496, s. 7, eff. Jan. 12, 1982.
40:44-16 Publication of notice of ward boundaries.
8.Within 2 weeks immediately following the filing of the certified report by the ward commissioners, the municipal clerk shall cause to be published at least once in at least one newspaper generally circulating in the municipality a notice of the ward boundaries as fixed and determined in the report.
Upon completion of the publication, the former wards, if any, shall be superseded, and thereafter all officers elected or appointed in the municipality for or representing the wards thereof shall be elected from, or appointed for, the wards fixed and determined by the ward commissioners; except that, in municipalities wherein municipal officers are elected at the general election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, if the publication shall be completed in a year in which municipal officers are elected during the period between the date 75 days before the primary election for the general election and the date of the general election, the wards so fixed and determined shall take effect on the day following the holding of that general election; and, in municipalities wherein municipal officers are elected at a regular municipal election held on the second Tuesday in May, if the publication shall be completed in a year in which municipal officers are elected during the period between the date 75 days before the regular municipal election and the date of the election, the wards so fixed and determined shall take effect on the day following the holding of that regular municipal election.
L.1981, c.496, s.8; amended 2005, c.136, s.63; 2011, c.134, s.61.
Whenever the boundaries of existing wards are adjusted pursuant to subsection b. or c. of section 5 of this act, all officers elected therefor shall continue in office until their respective terms of office shall expire and until their successors are elected and qualified from adjusted wards.
L.1981, c. 496, s. 9, eff. Jan. 12, 1982.