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League of Municipalities Executive Director To Retire

April 28th, 2015 by


Bill Dressel

While we can all debate the proper balance between “home rule” and regional land-use decision-making, one thing is clear – Bill Dressel has been a strong advocate on behalf of his 565 home-rule member municipalities. After 41 years at the helm of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Executive Director Bill Dressel has announced he will retire on June 30, 2015.

When Dressel arrived in New Jersey in 1974, the state Legislature was beginning to open the committee hearing process to public comment. Dressel seized that opportunity and established the league as a constant presence in the statehouse, ensuring that the local impacts of proposed state policies were clearly communicated and understood. Local elected officials came to rely on him as their eyes, ears and voice in Trenton, where he has been a consistent and respected advocate for their interests. (Read the League’s full profile of him.)

Under Bill’s leadership, the League has helped New Jersey Future advance important legislation, including the 2004 Statewide Transfer of Development Rights Act and amendments to the Municipal Land Use Law in 2013 that expand provisions for noncontiguous cluster development. The League played an important role in developing and championing what became known as the Smart Housing initiative, which would have provided municipal incentives for higher-density housing. The legislation did not advance but provided an opportunity for common ground among towns, developers and environmentalists. New Jersey Future is also proud to be an ongoing partner with Sustainable Jersey, a community rating system initiated and led by the League.

Bill has also been a quiet champion for the city of Trenton, and we will miss him as a neighbor. Bill Dressel will be honored at the League of Municipalities at its 100th Anniversary Banquet May 7. We join his many friends and colleagues in thanking him for his service and wishing him all the best in his retirement.

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