The summer is winding down, and 2011 is about 2/3 over. Time for a little “almost midterm” review of the first almost two years of a Christie administration. What did Chris Christie do that was good since we last met in Trenton and what kind of grades can I give him? So here’s my report card for the Governor.
Equal Opportunity for all our residents: D
The Governor stood up to the “crazies” (his word) who tried to make the case that the appointment of a Superior Court Judge who happened to be Muslim would lead the State of New Jersey down the road to Shiria law. I actually telephoned the Governor’s office to thank him. He didn’t take the call and didn’t return the message. Then of course, there’s marriage equality which he said he would veto. No “crazies” here I guess.
School Superintendents can’t earn more than the Governor; we don’t care what local school boards and residents think. Rutgers University pays an inordinate amount of money to their athletic program and the football coach is paid $2million (+). Let the marketplace decide. says our Governor. Gee, those taxpayer dollars are going to the sports program even if we have to cut history professors. That must be the marketplace at work.
We must root out waste and abuse wherever we find it. New York’s audit of the Port Authority showing huge amounts of overtime and lack of oversight in various areas. So what? Give them the toll increases and then we’ll do the audit. Double digit salary increases at the PA? Not my job! Cancel the ARC tunnel because of cost overruns, but give the PA more money when they have cost overruns.
Communication Skills: D-
Even this tough Jersey Guy couldn’t convince the media or our residents that no one informed him about the impending PA toll increases. (More about that later in this article.)
Good Manners And Plays Well With Others: F
Calling Mayor Bloomberg names. Inserting his opinions publicly into the New York 9/11 observances in his usual boorish way. Of course, I haven’t forgotten about: Watson Coleman is a murderer; Oliver is a liar; Huttle is a jerk; and take the bat at……
Good Citizenship Skills: F
Anyone in the GOP caucus steps out of line from what the Gov dictates, smack him/her down. Play mind games with one of the state’s most important programs to help victims of child abuse; defund women’s health centers.
Put caps on local spending; blame public employees for all our budget woes, then don’t pay the state’s obligation to the pension funds; Must be someone else’s fault when NJ’s bond rating is lowered (definitely someone else’s fault); toll increases are a “user fee”, not a new tax; don’t put a tax increase on the super rich, but make sure the working poor pay more.
Even if NJ’s unemployment rate continues to be higher than the national average, things straightened out as soon as the big Jersey guy, introduced his first budget. There’s been no problem with women’s access to reproductive health, because he’s the Governor, and he said so.
But I also have a class note to add about the Port Authority toll increases.
I found the process absolutely deplorable. Where were our good government types? Was my former colleague, Bill Baroni’s voice heard anywhere? When I interviewed and voted for William “Pat” Schuber as a new commissioner on the PA, I told him how comfortable I felt knowing Bergen County would have a voice there. Neither Pat (nor any other commissioner) showed up at any of the so-called hearings held on this issue. They were all held on one day in inaccessible locations. The one in Bergen County (whose residents will pay a larger portion of these increases) was convened in an old bus garage which had to be adjourned when pieces of pipe landed on the dais.
The hearings concluded Tuesday evening and they voted Friday morning.
Did they each even bother to read the testimony given, and when did they get the full transcripts? Wednesday? Thursday? So the Port Authority Commissioners get an F for democratic governance.
So that’s my “almost mid-term review”. Feel free to add your own subjects and your own grades.