Form of Government

Since 1990, the Borough of Hawthorne has operated under a Mayor - Council form of government, as authorized by the State of New Jersey's Faulkner Act (N.J.S.A. 40A: 69A-31 et seq), with a charter approved by the local voters. Under this form of government, similar in concept to our federal government, the Mayor and the Council are two separate but co-equal power centers. The Mayor serves as Chief Executive of the Borough, responsible for supervising the operations of government and seeing that the laws are enforced, while the Borough Council serves as the Borough's legislative body, passing local ordinances and resolutions.

All elected officials serve a term of four years. Municipal elections are held every two years on a partisan basis, with the terms of the Mayor and at-large council members overlapping those of the ward council representatives.

  1. Mayor
  2. Council
  3. Administration
  4. Boards
  5. State


The Mayor of Hawthorne is elected directly by the voters. He is not a member of and therefore does not have a vote on the Council, but does have the right to attend and participate in discussions at all meetings. Among the powers and duties the Mayor exercises as chief executive are as follows:

  • Enforce the charter, ordinances and general laws
  • Report annually to the Council and the public on the state of the Borough
  • Supervise, direct and control all departments of Borough government
  • Prepare and submit to the Council an annual operating and capital budget
  • Supervise the care and custody of all Borough property
  • Negotiate contracts for the Borough
  • Serve as ex officio nonvoting member of all appointive bodies in the Borough government
  • Appoint a borough administrator, a Borough attorney, other department heads (Revenue and Finance; Public Works), a Borough engineer, a tax assessor, a municipal court judge and prosecutor, members of various boards and commissions (planning, zoning, library, recreation, health, shade tree, environmental, etc.), and various other officials.
  • Serve as head of the department of public safety
  • Veto of ordinances adopted by the Council
  • Designation of an acting mayor when prevented from attending to the duties of the office