Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Christie Vetoes Wasteful Spending Again

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today exercised his veto power again to guard against potentially wasteful spending by partially rejecting minutes of the April 26, 2010, meeting of the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Authority in connection with a $1.3 million land purchase in Pleasantville.
The veto concerns the Pleasantville project known as “City Center Property Acquisition Phase VI.” Funds for the project were to be used for costs associated with the purchase of three properties in Pleasantville’s Central Business District, to allow for future redevelopment of the sites. However, for two of the properties, Pleasantville reached agreements with the property owners for sales prices far in excess of the appraised value of the properties.
For the two properties, Pleasantville had agreed to purchase prices that were a total of $165,000 more than the actual appraised value of the properties. “This is just the sort of spending that needs scrutiny and explanation,” said Governor Christie. “Before the funds are released, those premiums above appraised value must be justified. This is the kind of accountability we and the taxpayers of New Jersey should reasonably expect.”
At the UEZ Authority meeting, the chair raised several questions regarding justification for the high purchase prices. Pleasantville provided an explanation that is not reflected in the UEZ Authority meeting minutes; nor was there written justification for the purchase prices included in the application materials submitted by Pleasantville. No other veto power was exercised as to any other action of the UEZ Authority at its April 26 meeting.
This UEZ veto is the ninth veto exercised by Governor Christie against actions taken during meetings of various state authorities and commissions.
Meeting minutes are scrutinized by the Governor’s Office Authorities Unit, headed by Director Deborah Gramiccioni, to flag potentially wasteful spending.

No comments: