New Jersey lawmakers plan rally against turnpike lease

| 7/26/2007

Two state assemblymen in New Jersey have called for a rally in August to oppose the possible sale or lease of state assets such as the New Jersey Turnpike.

Assemblymen Jeff Van Drew and Nelson Albano, along with another First District hopeful, Matt Milam, announced the rally for 6 p.m., Aug. 9, at the Ocean View Fire Hall, 2545 Route 9, in Ocean View, NJ.

“We are going to have an old-fashioned rally to show the broad level of opposition to selling, leasing our toll roads, increasing our tolls, or borrowing on our roads,” Van Drew stated in a joint press release. “You do not sell your home to pay off your credit card debt.”

To RSVP to attend the rally, call (609) 463-1972 and leave a message for the organizers.

Gov. Jon Corzine has used the term “monetization” instead of “privatization” when referencing a proposal in early 2007 to increase state revenue by leveraging state assets to investors.

Corzine has more recently suggested the creation of a state-run agency to maintain public control over the assets.

Albano stated that revenue shortfalls exist because of mismanagement of transportation dollars over a number of years and administrations.

“The way to cure the issues is not by creating another problem and harming the integrity of our infrastructure,” Albano said.

Corzine stated in a press release June 28 that New Jersey’s roadways will not be sold or leased to a for-profit or foreign operator.

“New Jersey citizens will retain ownership and the benefits from both initial proceeds and ongoing operations,” Corzine stated in a document called “Core Principles on Asset Monetization.”

Corzine has promised 21 town hall meetings in 21 New Jersey counties to speak on the issue and to hear from the public.

– By David Tanner, staff writer