Timothy J. Cunningham focuses his practice on public affairs and public finance. Prior to joining the firm, Tim served as the Director of the Division of Local Government Services within the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and Chairperson of the State’s Local Finance Board. Through this regulatory oversight role, Tim has become one of the most prominent voices in New Jersey’s local government and public finance communities as he was responsible for the State’s oversight of its 565 municipalities, 21 counties and numerous other authorities, commissions and fire districts. Tim also has unique experience working with New Jersey’s Local Government Ethics Law, having led the Local Finance Board’s investigations of complaints filed against local officials along with the determination of violations and associated financial penalties.
As Chairman of the Local Finance Board, Tim led the Board’s review of financing applications submitted by New Jersey counties, municipalities, authorities and fire districts. Applications routinely submitted for approval or positive findings by the Board during Tim’s tenure included:
- Proposed fire district project financings
- Issuance of Refunding Bonds
- Pooled note and bond programs
- Energy Improvement Savings Bonds
- Redevelopment Area Bonds (RABs)
- Financings undertaken by County Improvement Authorities
- Issuance of bonds under the Qualified Bond Act
- Requests for non-conforming maturity schedules
- Waivers of down payment requirements
- Guarantees of credit
- Rental Assistance Demonstration Bonds
Tim has particular experience providing assistance to – and developing solutions for – financially challenged municipalities. Through his oversight of those New Jersey municipalities receiving discretionary aid through the State budget, Tim oversaw collective bargaining, procurement, contracting and budgets of New Jersey’s largest urban centers including Newark, Paterson, Camden and Trenton. Additionally, he was granted sweeping powers over the City of Atlantic City pursuant to the legislative passage of the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act. As the person charged with the day-to-day operations of the City, he assembled a team and helped lead the successful reduction of the City’s legacy debt (largely made-up of unfunded tax appeal judgments), established new collective bargaining agreements for the City’s workforce and was able to pass two successive budgets that contained no increase in the municipal tax rate.
Tim was previously Assistant Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs where he was part of a team that oversaw the Department’s Superstorm Sandy recovery effects. He had also served in various policy positions within the Office of the Governor where he advised the Governor, Lt. Governor, and cabinet officials on policy matters for key executive branch departments and agencies. Most notably, Tim had a leading role in the State’s response to Superstorm Sandy – acting as the policy liaison between the State and FEMA. He was also among the architects of the Camden County Regional Police Department; a county police force established to replace and improve upon the City’s police force. Further, Tim helped draft the State’s revised personal injury protection insurance regulations and aided in efforts to reform and stabilize the New Jersey’s Unemployment Insurance Fund. He was also appointed to the State’s Interest Arbitration Task Force by former Governor Christie.
Tim is also a member of Archer’s COVID-19 Task Force and represents clients in various industries with respect to government disaster loan programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Often called upon as a presenter, Tim speaks on matters involving local government and public finance.