Governor has power to veto Turnpike Authority actions

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To the editor:

On Dec. 4, representatives of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority visited Galloway regarding the changes to Garden State Parkway exits 41 and 44. The proposed changes are anticipated to produce a positive impact on the Richard Stockton College community. Residents and elected officials voiced their frustration at the lack of real democratic involvement in the process and the focus of the proposed improvements.

The absence of a discussion in the planning process for a full Route 30 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.

A question remains unanswered: Could we have produced a plan that addresses multiple issues that produces a more encompassing outcome? Research suggests that investment in areas of infrastructure development produce better economic development outcomes than business tax breaks, which Galloway has on the table as an incentive for businesses to relocate.

Although the NJ Turnpike Authority appears to be unaccountable to citizens, the fact is that it is accountable to our elected leaders, who are in turn accountable to the citizens. The governor appoints most of the board members on the authority and designates the chairman. Because the governor of New Jersey wields more power than the majority of U.S. governors, he has the authority to overturn an action of the board by vetoing the minutes of the meeting at which the action was taken.

Citizens should direct their energy toward contacting local and state elected representatives and encouraging them to contact the governor’s office to voice their opinions. Galloway’s economic development cannot afford to wait 10 years for a full interchange at Route 30 to be developed.

Kevin Krumaker

President, Galloway Democratic Club

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