TRENTON, NJ – Michael Darcy, current executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities (NJLM), announced last week plans to retire from the local government advocacy organization he has served for some 30 years, effective June 30, 2020. 

“I don’t know that my reason for retiring is different than anyone else’s reason for retiring [other than] you find a particular point in your life where you have an opportunity to do other things. Why not seize the opportunity while it is there,” Darcy, a resident of Clinton Township, told TAPinto. “If I do something different now, my life could have a whole other chapter to it than the over 30 years I have done here at the League.”

The League, located at 222 West State Street in Trenton, was established in 1915 and represents all of the state’s 565 municipalities and over 13,000 elected and appointed municipal officials and is highly regarded as being the ‘municipal voice’ on both federal and state legislative matters. According to its website (www.njlm.org), NJLM is a ‘voluntary association created to help communities do a better job of self-government through pooling information resources and brain power.’ 

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“The League provides all the services and does all the things many associations across the country do; it provide services to its members, stimulates knowledge and information that it gives back to its members; it produces networking events; it retains a library of information, research, and resources that its members can access when they need it,” said Darcy. 

Darcy began his career in the private sector and, in 1990, while attending Rutgers University for his masters in political science, applied for a job with NJLM that he saw posted on one of the college’s bulletin boards. He went in for an interview and was initially hired as an advertising manager for the organization’s New Jersey Municipalities magazine. 

Over the years, he has held positions in ‘every program, service, and management area’ including serving as program specialist in charge of seminars and exhibit manager for the Annual League Conference - the largest municipal conference in the United States - as well as a staff administrator for one of NJLM’s legislative sub-committee. 

In July 2015, Darcy was named NJLM’s executive director and, in that capacity, has been responsible for overall administration of the League staff, member programs and services, business operations, and administration of the organization’s executive board. Darcy is also a New Jersey registered lobbyist and represents the League’s interests to external partners and issue stakeholders. Additionally, he also serves as executive director of NJLM’s 501{c)3 Educational Foundation and the 222 West State Street Urban Renewal Corporation.

“It has all been good and I have not necessarily preferred one part of the job over the other but I have treasured ‘the outreach’ aspect and being able to get out, meet, and speak with local government officials. I enjoy face-to-face and getting to hear what they do on a day-to-day basis. That is really the mission of what this organization is designed to serve,” said Darcy, adding,  “Working for the League has been a constant source of new ideas and new educational experiences for me; that’s perhaps the most stimulating part of this job. Time – decades – go by very quickly because you’re constantly dealing with new people, new ideas, and new things.”

In retirement, Darcy said he hopes to travel within the United States, stating that he finds ‘exploring other communities and other states to be infinitely interesting’ and would like to see and learn more about ‘how they do what they do in different parts of the country.’ 

Although he can pursue a position in local government six months after retirement, Darcy said he doesn’t have any intention of running for public office or working in politics. Instead, he would like to pursue local, personal interests and said he can ‘certainly see’ himself volunteering with and engaging in local government opportunities. 

“My intention is only to do volunteer work from here on out,” Darcy said. 

Darcy’s retirement was announced by the NJLM Executive Board on Dec. 11 and, at the same time, a transition committee comprised of current NJLM vice presidents and recent past presidents was formed. 

“On behalf of the board, we thank Michael Darcy for his three decades of service. His leadership has seen the services offered to the League membership expand and the League’s annual conference continues as the largest municipal conference in the country,” stated League President and Hardwick Committeeman James Perry, Sr.

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