Governor forced to shut down road work

Good job, Andover Township.  Thanks to the backroom chicanery of the Andover Township Committee (John Jack Burke, Tom Mo-Mo Walsh, et al) and others, the state's ability to fund road and bridge maintenance and repairs is at an end.  The Governor issued Executive Order 210 late yesterday and it was released this morning.  The main points of the order are as follows:


NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRIS CHRISTIE, Governor of the State of
New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the
Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, DO DECLARE and
PROCLAIM that a State of Emergency exists in the State of New
Jersey and I hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:

1. The Commissioner of DOT and the Executive Director of New
Jersey Transit are instructed to plan an immediate and orderly
shutdown of all ongoing work that is funded by the TTFA, with the
understanding that any work that is funded by federal funds may
continue.  The respective plans for such orderly shutdown shall be
completed no later than 11:59 pm on Saturday, July 2, 2016.

2. All work that is funded by the TTFA shall cease according
to the shutdown plans established respectively by the Commissioner
and Executive Director, with the understanding that any work that
is funded by federal funds may continue.   
 
3. The Commissioner of DOT shall take all appropriate steps
to ensure that work performed at the municipal level that is funded
by the TTFA, through grant or otherwise, shall cease in a manner
consistent with this Executive Order, with the understanding that
any work that is funded by federal funds may continue.
     
4. Notwithstanding the above paragraphs, transportation
project work may continue when it is, in the discretion of the
Commissioner and Executive Director, respectively, after
consultation with the Office of the Governor, determined that such
projects are absolutely essential for the protection of the health,
safety, and welfare of the citizens of the State of New Jersey, or
are required to ensure the receipt of federal funding.  

5. I authorize and empower the Attorney General, pursuant to
the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-213, acting through the
Superintendent of State Police, to determine the control and
direction of the flow of vehicular traffic on any State or
interstate highway, municipal or county road, and any access road,
including the right to detour, reroute, or divert any or all
traffic, and to prevent ingress or egress and further authorize all
law enforcement officers to enforce any such order of the
Superintendent of State Police within their respective
municipalities.

6. All State officials and agencies shall cooperate fully in
the implementation of this Order.

7. In accordance with N.J.S.A. App. A:9-34 and -51, I
reserve the right to utilize and employ all available resources of
the State government and of each and every political subdivision of
the State, whether of persons, properties, or instrumentalities,
and to commandeer and utilize any personal services and any
privately owned property necessary to protect against this
emergency.

8. In accordance with N.J.S.A. App. A:9-40, no municipality,
county, or any other agency or political subdivision of this State
shall enact or enforce any order, rule, regulation, ordinance, or
resolution, which will or might in any way conflict with any of the
provisions of this Order, or which will in any way interfere with
or impede the achievement of the purposes of this Order.

9. It shall be the duty of every person or entity in this
State or doing business in this State and of the members of the
governing body and every official, employee, or agent of every
political subdivision in this State and of each member of all other
governmental bodies, agencies, and authorities in this State of any
nature whatsoever, to cooperate fully with the Commissioner in all
matters concerning this state of emergency.

10. This Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain
in full force and effect until such time as it is determined by me
that an emergency no longer exists.



The New Jersey League of Municipalities and the New Jersey Association of Counties issued the following statement:

 


LOCAL GOVERNMENTS URGE STATE LEADERS TO RESTORE TRANSPORTATION FUNDING
For Immediate Release:  July 1, 2016
_______________________________________________________________________________

(Trenton) The New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJSLOM) and the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) are urging State leaders to reach a fair and equitable compromise on reauthorizing the insolvent Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) in the wake of Governor Chris Christie’s decision to declare a state of emergency and shut down all work funded by the TTF, which includes vital local road and bridge projects.  

“The declared state of emergency is forcing county and municipal governments across the State to shut down operations on critical road and bridge projects that will jeopardize local businesses and economies and place the safety of residents at risk,” said NJSLOM Executive Director Michael Darcy.  


County and municipal roads and bridges carry over 55% of the State’s overall traffic and depend on $190.0 million each year in Local Aid Allocations from the TTF to repair, replace, and rehabilitate functionally obsolete and structurally deficient bridges, and to pave, resurface, and construct local roads and highways.   


“Our state leaders must act now to establish a stable, dependable, and long-term source of dedicated funding for the TTF, and must further restore Local Aid allocations to reduce the reliance on the collection of property taxes, promote economic growth and job development, and ensure a safe and reliable transportation network,” said NJAC Executive Director John Donnadio


As county and municipal governments continue to struggle with delivering essential services in a cost effective manner, a declining ratable base, and unfunded State and federal mandates, failure to reauthorize the TTF and restore Local Aid allocations will force local property taxpayers to inequitably bear the burden of an expense that is not entirely a local one.  Please contact the NJSLOM’s Assistant Executive Director Michael Cerra at (609) 394-3481 or John Donnadio at (609) 394-3467 with any questions or concerns.