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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

05/15/14 COMMITTEE OF PETITIONERS FOR THE REPEAL OF ORDINANCE NUMBER 522 (2013) OF THE BORO OF WEST WILDWOOD VS. FREDERICK A-0870-13T3


05/15/14 COMMITTEE OF PETITIONERS FOR THE REPEAL OF ORDINANCE
NUMBER 522 (2013) OF THE BORO OF WEST WILDWOOD
VS.  FREDERICK
A-0870-13T3


We review the interplay of the referenda procedures outlined in the Home Rule Act, N.J.S.A. 40:49-27, and the Walsh Act, N.J.S.A. 40:74-5. Defendants urge reversal of the Law Division's order, which considered the plaintiff's complaint in lieu of prerogative writs seeking a referendum to repeal the adoption of a municipal bond ordinance. Defendants argued the trial judge erred because the protest was untimely. Alternatively,  defendants challenge the judge's legal finding that the procedural requirements for referenda set forth in the Walsh Act are not required to be followed when citizens protest an ordinance incurring indebtedness, which is guided by the procedures outlined in the Home Rule Act. We affirm concluding a voter protest of a bond ordinance is governed by the procedures set forth in the Home Rule Act, which purposefully do not mirror the referenda provisions governing other types of ordinance challenges in a municipality formed under the Walsh Act.