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New Jersey municipal government Flag of New Jersey
Traditional forms
Borough Township
City Town Village
Modern forms
Walsh Act commission
1923 municipal manager
Faulkner Act forms
Mayor–council Council–manager
Small municipality
Nonstandard forms
Special charter
Changing form of municipal government
Charter Study Commission

The Walsh Act is legislation in the U.S. state of New Jersey that permits municipalities to adopt a non-partisan commission form of government. The legislation was signed by Governor of New Jersey Woodrow Wilson on April 25, 1911. The commissions in Walsh Act municipalities are composed of either three or five members elected for four-year concurrent terms. The commissioners also serve as department heads in addition to their legislative functions. The commissioners elect one commissioner as mayor, who serves as chair of the commission. With few exceptions, Walsh Act mayors have no powers over and above their fellow commissioners, and are only responsible for their specific department(s).

The Walsh Act was modeled on the commission system that was set up in Galveston, Texas in the wake of the devastating Hurricane of 1900. As part of its reconstruction efforts, the city reorganized itself to a government system in which each elected official had a specific area of responsibility, combining executive and legislative responsibilities. The Walsh Act was enacted in 1911, and specified that commissioners would be elected at large in nonpartisan elections, and would serve four-year, concurrent terms of office. The Walsh Act was the first charter law in New Jersey to include options for ballot initiatives, referendums and recall.[1]


Municipalities that have a five member commissionEdit

Municipalities that have a three member commissionEdit

See alsoEdit


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