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Even when town mergers make sense, voters fight
Efforts by Princeton, NJ, show challenges in municipal mergers _ even when they make sense
By The Associated Press

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) ' There are fewer than 30,000 residents in Princeton, but two mayors, two police chiefs and two treasurers, among other positions.

That's because one of each belongs to the Borough of Princeton, while the other belongs to Princeton Township, which wraps around the borough like a doughnut.

The two New Jersey towns have similar demographics and have tried three times before to merge, but voters have struck it down.



They'll try again in November, hoping to save millions of dollars per year.

But the issue is emotionally charged. Residents say they worry they'll lose their town identity and voice in local government.

And if voters say no, it raises a big question for a state with 566 municipalities: If a merger can't work in Princeton, can it work anywhere?


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