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Metuchen Recorder

Saturday, January 20, 1900

To Borough Or Not To Borough

That's the question which was discussed. An Interesting Meeting in Robins Hall, on Thursday Night, to Decide the Matter.

In answer to the call for a meeting of the citizens of Metuchen to discuss the subject of a borough government, a large audience assembled in Robins Hall at the hour appointed, on last Thursday night. Mr. E.M. Clark called the meeting to order and Mr. Wilson was nominated and elected chairman. Mr. Wilson tendered his thanks for the honor conferred and called for nominations for secretary and Mr. J.B. Adams was duly elected.

Mr. Wilson stated the object of the meeting and in a neat speech clearly placed before the meeting the reasons which induced those interested to endeavor to secure a government by borough instead of remaining under the township law, which would go into effect in February next. He further said this was a matter to be discussed from a business, and not from a political standpoint, and, urging brevity he called for remarks. There was a lull in the proceedings for awhile and Mr. Keenan said, as there seemed to be nothing before us, he moved that we adjourn. Mr. A.C. Kelly said he understood that certain persons were to be here to argue the question for and against it. He asked the Chairman to explain the condition of the laws present and proposed. The Chairman answered by saying that it might be summed up in the question how may we best retain our present improvements whether by township or by borough law.

Luther Tappen asked who called the meeting, and said those who signed the "legal notice" ought to be here to tell us why they want a borough. The Chairman further explained the new law stating the authority it gave to the township officers.

Mr. Poole asked if any resolution was before the meeting and being told there was not offered a resolution that it is the sense of this meeting that we remain under the township law. This was duly seconded and at his suggestion the borough side of the subject was presented first.

Mr. C.L. Corbin was called upon and he made a plain exposition of the necessity for some action being taken in view of the new township law. He very clearly explained how the village would be under the control of the township and all our present improvements blotted out or retarded seriously. This would be most unfortunate and therefore something should be done and as it was not at all probable that the new township law would be amended or repealed, a borough government was the simplest and best way. In view of all this the notice was given and no specific number of signatures was required but only publication for a sufficient number of days was necessary. The authority conferred upon the borough officers was almost precisely the same as that of the township and the taxes would be no higher. The Mayor and six councilmen would have no salary and no more money could be expended than was voted upon by special election. Taxes depend not on the form of government. The highest rate he ever knew was in a township. He was urged by many citizens to do something to save our lights and water improvements and he was ready for any plan which would best serve this end.

It was evident that Mr. Corbin's speech and explanations cleared away the objections of many, and A.C. Kelly after asking a question or two which were answered affirmatively, declared he was in favor of a borough....

The resolution was then amended so as to make it in favor of a borough government and was adopted by a vote of 73 to 50 for the amendment and then adopted as a whole. On motion the meeting then adjourned.


Editor of the Metuchen Recorder:

At the public meeting held Thursday evening I stated that the new township act repealed the statutes which enable us to maintain a separate lighting district in Metuchen. I made the statement on information from others and on a hasty examination of the new act. On a more careful study of recent laws I find that although several of the township lighting acts were repealed yet that in 1896 an act was passed which authorizes our present system and which has not been repealed. My argument for a borough so far as it was founded on its necessity to preserve our street lighting was not well founded. Charles L. Corbin

In and Around the Village

The Grosvenor Assembly was held in Robins hall on Tuesday evening last. This annual dance is always an enjoyable affair and the last was certainly no exception to the rule. Ever since the cards of invitation were issued, society in Metuchen has been looking forward with anticipations of pleasure and delight. Parties who have been prominent in Metuchen circles and who have moved elsewhere always try to be present at the annual Grosvenor not only enjoying it themselves but adding to the pleasure of the occasion by allowing former acquaintances and friends to greet them again. The merry dance was kept up until 1:30 in the morning and the evening seemed too short for those who were fortunate enough to be numbered among those present. The music was furnished by Garland, and the refreshments which were served shortly before midnight were furnished by Morrow and Day of Jersey City.

Brief Records

Arrangements have been made for the Telephone Exchange to be in operation on or before the close of this month. It is to be located in the Metuchen Pharmacy.


Mr. Carmen, our genial deputy sheriff, ran over to New York on Tuesday night and attended the York Commandery reception.

Miss Alden is home again after a pleasant visit to Saratoga.


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