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NJ Turnpike Authority Should Be Held Accountable, And It Begins At The Local Level

Garden State Parkway, economic development

On December 4th, representatives of the NJ Turnpike Authority visited Galloway regarding the changes to exits 41 and 44.

The proposed changes are anticipated to produce a positive impact on the Richard Stockton College community.

Galloway residents and elected officials voiced their frustration over the lack of real democratic involvement in the process and the focus of the proposed Parkway improvements.

Galloway, our county and state arrive at a critical moment in which we need to further a discussion of priorities.

The absence of a discussion in the planning process for a full Route 30 Garden State Parkway interchange as a possible solution for the traffic, safety and economic development issues that face our community demonstrates the disconnect between the various levels of government.

The quality of a community’s education system is one of multiple determining factors for projecting a region’s economic growth. The proposed Garden State Parkway changes are anticipated to enhance the accessibility to Stockton College, among other benefits. 

A question remains unanswered: could we have developed a plan that addresses multiple issues and produces a more encompassing outcome?

A. Matthew Boxer, NJ State Comptroller, has suggested that investment in areas of infrastructure development (roads) produce better economic development outcomes than a business tax break (also known as corporate welfare), which Galloway has on the table as an incentive for businesses to relocate.

Nonetheless, NJ state officials have continued to drain resources by diverting revenue from local communities and the NJ Transportation Fund which would produce a greater economic outcome than tax breaks to businesses

Although the NJ Turnpike Authority appears to be unaccountable to citizens, the fact is they are accountable to our elected leaders who are in turn accountable to the citizens.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is governed by an eight-member Board of Commissioners. The Governor appoints most of the members and designates the chairman. He has the authority to overturn an action of the Board by vetoing the minutes of the meeting at which the action was taken.

The NJ Governor wields more power than the majority of US Governors. This past summer when the Governor visited Galloway Middle School, it was disheartening that the Governor was unaware of the residents’ concern over the proposed Garden State Parkway changes.

Citizens should direct their energy toward contacting local and state elected representatives. They should encourage them to contact the Governor’s office voicing their constituents’ opinions.

After all, didn't the Governor stop the construction of the NJ/NY Rail Tunnel project? Galloway’s economic development cannot afford to wait ten years for a full GSP interchange at Route 30 to be developed.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

VTPat December 07, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Galloway has been poorly represented on the state level, that is obvious. Sure, Jim Whelan will point to a couple of press releases and some Press story echoing his empty words well after the fact. As is usually the case with him, mere words. I guess it is better than the two republicans who barely mustered a lame press conference so as to not be outshone Jim Whelan. Amodeo was too busy worrying about getting his buddy boys jobs on the failed Revel project and Pollistina was, as always, chasing public contracts and trying to pad his pension. When we were re-districted into the ninth I thought we would have a better chance of being represented...wrong again. The proof? The fact that this problem has existed for so long. These guys are / were so inept that even the sweet smell of transportation contracts wasn't enough. If this was north jersey there would be 2 exits for the WHP in Galloway. kevin is right on the money here and I applaud the fact that he points out the obvious ineptness of our legislators past and present.

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