"Whether one backs a toll hike or not, there can be no argument that the approval of the action - taken in what’s worse than the proverbial “dead-of-night” - is an outrageous slap in the face to the spirit of public hearing laws & the tax/tollpayers they are supposed to serve." Senator Declan O'Scanlon via Twitter

NEW JERSEY - This Tuesday, April 28th, Governor Murphy's New Jersey Turnpike Authority plans to consider a vote for a massive toll increase on roadways used daily by commuters. The hikes would see rates jump by 27 percent on the GSP and a hefty 36 percent on the Turnpike. That's only in year one. As of publication Sunday night, there is no posted agenda but the required public hearings have already been held online amid an outcry from the public. One voting member hails from Monmouth County.

The meeting notice was sent out on Friday April 24th. The public can call in and participate from home:

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PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that, in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq., and in consideration of Executive Order No. 107 issued by Governor Murphy on March 21, 2020 directing all New Jersey residents to stay at home, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority hereby notifies the public that, to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public while ensuring the continued functioning of government, the meeting of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority previously advertised and scheduled for Tuesday April 28, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. at 1 Turnpike Plaza, Woodbridge, New Jersey will be held telephonically only and not in person.   Members of the public who wish to attend telephonically, but not comment, may do so by calling 1-800-346-7359 Conference Entry Code: 487219 commencing at 9:00 a.m.  Members of the public who wish to attend telephonically, and intend to comment during the public comment period, may do so by calling       1-800-346-7359 Conference Entry Code: 587723 commencing at 9:00 a.m.  A non-public dial in number will be used by the Board of Commissioners for the executive session portion of the meeting that is closed to the public in accordance with the OPMA at N.J.S.A. 10:4-12b.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority seeks to raise $525 million a year and create a major capital plan. According to NJTA Spokesman Thomas Feeney, the money will “fund a capital program that will sustain tens of thousands of jobs in the coming years and help maintain a transportation network that provides a competitive edge for New Jersey in the regional, national, and global economies. These are uncertain economic times. It’s important to move ahead with this process, and we’re confident that we can do it responsibly and transparently.“ said Feeney.

"Shameful", stated Jeff Tittle on the process. Tittel is the Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.  “This rogue and arrogant authority is out of control,” Tittle said in a statement. “They don’t care if people get sick, they just want to pave and widen their roads. This is a public be damned attitude. Instead of ‘let them eat cake’ they are saying ‘let them wear masks.’”

Governor Murphy heads the NJTA and if they vote for an increase, he can stop it simply by vetoing the minutes.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is state agency responsible for maintaining the New Jersey Turnpike and the Gardne State Parkway. The NJTA was created in 1949 to oversee construction and maintenance of the New Jersey Turnpike. In 2003, the authority assumed control of the Garden State Parkway, which had previously been maintained by an agency known as the New Jersey Highway Authority(NJHA). The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is governed by a Board of Commissioners The members of the commission, along with the chairman, are appointed by the Governor of New Jersey. The list at NJTA.com includes:

  • Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti - Chair and Commissioner of NJDOT
  • Ronald Gravino – Vice Chairman and SVP of Invidi Technologies
  • Michael R. DuPont – Treasurer and Partner at McKenna, DuPont, Higgins and Stone
  • Raymond M. Pocino – Commissioner and 50 year member of Laborers International Union of North America
  • Ulises E. Diaz – Commissioner and Director of Enterprise Government Affairs at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • John D. Minella – Commissioner and Executive Director of the Hudson County Democratic Organization
  • Raphael Salermo – Commissioner and Managing Partner of MAR Acquisition Group LLC

Readers can participate in the proceedings at home very easily:

Members of the public who wish to attend telephonically, but not comment, may do so by calling 1-800-346-7359 Conference Entry Code: 487219 commencing at 9:00 a.m.  Members of the public who wish to attend telephonically, and intend to comment during the public comment period, may do so by calling       1-800-346-7359 Conference Entry Code: 587723 commencing at 9:00 a.m.  A non-public dial in number will be used by the Board of Commissioners for the executive session portion of the meeting that is closed to the public in accordance with the OPMA at N.J.S.A. 10:4-12b.