Changes at the Economic Development Authority Will Cost The Taxpayers

promoted by Rosi

After serving over 18 years and Governors of both parties, it was announced the other day that Caren Franzini would be resigning as head of the Economic Development Authority. Also announced, her replacement will be long-time Christie aide Michele Brown.

Ms. Brown’s appointment was recommended by the chairman of the authority’s board, Alfred C. Koeppe, an appointee of Mr. Christie, and was approved unanimously by board members on Wednesday. She will make $225,000 in her new post – a raise from the $140,000 she earns as the governor’s aide.

The Record let readers know what Christie thinks of the EDA:

Brown’s arrival puts a Christie confidante at the head of the EDA, which he describes often as “the state’s bank.”

I’ll have more on her salary momentarily, but first the NY Times had this interesting section about her qualifications for the “state’s bank:”

It was not clear what background Ms. Brown has in economic development. She spent 18 years in the United States attorney’s office and then worked as a white-collar criminal defense lawyer.

In a memo to other board members, Mr. Koeppe described Ms. Brown’s position as being strategic in its focus. The board also created a new post of president and chief operating officer and appointed Timothy J. Lizura, a senior vice president of the economic development authority, to it. The organization is often described as one of the largest state-sponsored development banks in the country.

That basically sounds like she isn’t qualified past knowing Christie, so the job of one person has now become the job of two.  Follow me below for the impact on the taxpayers and what it all means.

So they say that Brown’s salary leading the agency will be $225,000, a substantial salary raise up from the $140,000 she makes now.  But it’s also up from what Franzini was making to do the job herself because according to the Asbury Park Press Data Universe (note: as this posts, APP’s website seems to be currently down):

As you can see, Franzini was only making $186,600.  So the new head of the agency is making nearly $40,000 more than her predecessor, to do only half the job. Timothy Lizura will now be making $201,000 to do the other half of the job that Brown can’t do, which is a raise for him as well according to the data universe:

So taxpayers will now be paying $426,000 in salary each year to do the job that was being paid $186,600. That is a 128% percent increase to get the same job done and doesn’t even count the hit on the pension side, which the Governor likes to rail on oh so much. So much for fiscal conservatism. It continues to pay to be Friends of Christie.


Comments (2)

  1. robosz

    I will always remember learning that Frank Hague got elected into his first office under a campaign pitch that he would clean up all the corruption in Jersey City.  He did eventually “clean up” in segments where he had no influence or allies, but he shifted the patronage elsewhere and would eventually become the master of corruption.

    But that schtick of being a corruption-fighter helps you even as you do what everybody does to employ the power of patronage.

  2. JackHarris

    The redevelopment plans for Fort Monmouth are a huge issue in my neck of the woods.

    The lack of regional planning approaches and transparency are already issues with this process and the existing plans.

    It will be interesting to see how how this management transition impacts the Fort Monmouth redevelopment.  


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