About the Borough of Fair Lawn

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Government Type: 

The Borough of Fair Lawn operates under the Council-Manager form of government as provided in New Jerseys Optional Municipal Charter Law commonly referred to as the Faulkner Act. 

There shall be a Council elected in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40: 69A-81 et seq., which shall be comprised of five members, elected at large, one of whom shall be elected by the Council as Mayor, as provided by law. One of the members of the Council shall also be elected by the Council to be Deputy Mayor, and one of the members of the Council shall be elected by the Council to be Deputy Mayor for Community Affairs. The term of office of each Councilperson elected at a regular general election shall serve for a term of four (4) years pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:69A-83. Vacancies in office shall be determined pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:16-1 et seq., known as the" Municipal Vacancy Law." 

The Mayor and Council have the responsibility for all legislative and policy matters, including the enactment of ordinances and resolutions. The Mayor and Council formulates policy and legislation based on input from the Borough Manager and his/her staff, general citizenry, advisory boards and committees (which they may create or abolish as needs change). 

As provided in NJSA 40:69A-91, the Council shall act in all manners as a body and may only deal with the administrative services solely through the Borough Manager and shall not give any orders to any subordinate of the Borough Manager, either privately or professionally. 

The Borough Manager is appointed by the Council to serve as the municipal chief executive and administrative official. The Borough Manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Borough. The Borough Manager hires all Borough employees, directs and supervises all Borough employees, directs and coordinates all Borough services and enforces the municipal ordinances established by the Mayor and Council.

The "Open Public Meetings Act", commonly known as the "Sunshine Law" allows a citizen to sit in on the business of both Regular & Work Session Meetings. However, the public is not permitted to attend "Closed Sessions" of these meetings. The "Closed Sessions" are usually related to matters in litigation or personnel issues.

To assist you in understanding the proceedings at the Borough Council meetings, the below summary has been prepared.  We hope that you will find this information useful in explaining the procedures your Governing Body must follow. Should you have any questions relating to local government, please contact the Municipal Clerk's Office at 201-794-5340 or the Borough Manager's Office at 201-794-5310.