Not long ago, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat who represents Mercer County, introduced a bill that would merge several Shore towns. While consolidation seems to be a perennial topic of debate in Jersey, what was odd about Gusciora's proposal was that he was pushing for a merger among towns he doesn't represent. The people affected don't get to vote for him, and the people who do vote for him wouldn't be affected. (The Inquirer's Adrienne Lu wrote a story exploring the idea).

The plan reflected a common way of thinking in New Jersey when it comes to many money saving ideas: everyone else should it.

Assemblyman Bill Wolfe, an Ocean County Republican who represents the towns Gusciora wanted to merge, fired back this week with a similar idea: merge some of the Democrats' towns.

"This is in the spirit of helping a colleague realize that there is such a thing as legislative courtesy when you introduce legislation affecting a county you do not represent," Wolfe said in a statement. "If Assemblyman Gusciora can see the benefits of consolidating municipalities in Ocean County, perhaps he will see those same benefits in doing so in his own county."

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