Elections

Ciattarelli Launches Bid to be Next Governor of New Jersey

ed5509cac4c9b2797d0f_sompixjackflag__1_.JPG
Framed by the New Jersey state flag, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, R-16th, announces his candidacy for the GOP nomination as governor in front of Manville High School. Credits: Rod Hirsch
aaf60d69f53887493e1d_sompixjack3.JPG
State Sen. Kip Bateman congratulates Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli Tuesday outside Manville High School. Credits: Rod Hirsch
649b42e2d5c2a2253ae9_sompixjack1.JPG
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli accepts congratulations from supporters Tuesday following his announcement. Credits: Rod Hirsch
445d0f632a49cb417539_sompixjack5.JPG
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli accepts congratulations from a supporter Tuesday following his announcement. Credits: Rod Hirsch
a2dcb2a457c54630967f_sompixjack2.JPG
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli accepts congratulations from a supporter Tuesday following his announcement. Credits: Rod Hirsch
d6cf7596d868eaf722e1_sompixjack4.JPG
Bright sunshine reflects off the state flag of New Jersey as state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli declares his candidacy for governor outside Manville High School. Credits: Rod Hirsch
ed5509cac4c9b2797d0f_sompixjackflag__1_.JPG

MANVILLE, NJ – State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, (R-16th), proud of his New Jersey roots but troubled by a dysfunctional state government,  tax inequities, a flawed school funding formula and runaway debt declared his candidacy for the GOP nomination as governor yesterday.

Surrounded by supporters outside the main entrance of Manville High School, the Hillsborough resident’s long-anticipated announcement was forceful and specific, detailing a five-point plan to reform school funding and state employee benefits as well as other priorities.

Some of the specifics include:

Sign Up for E-News

- Excess school aid in overfunded school districts will be reduced;

- State-funded Pre-K should be available to all 4-year-olds statewide, at no additional cost to taxpayers, with a co-pay for families of means;

- A reduction of 5-10 percent in the state workforce of 65,000 employees; money saved will be invested in state-of-the-art technologies that will replace outmoded systems and improve the efficiency of state government;

- Abolish the estate and transfer inheritance tax;

- Increase retirement income exclusion;

- Never tax a gain on sale of a primary or secondary residence (if never used for commercial purposes);

- Exclude the first $5 million of gain on the sale of a “Mom and Pop” shop business.

- Ciattarelli, who has lived in Hillsborough since 1998, has been a member of the state Assembly since Dec. 5, 2011. Born in Somerville and raised in Raritan, the lifelong Somerset County resident served on the Raritan Borough Council and as a Somerset County Freeholder prior to his election to the Assembly.

Ciattarelli is focused on the state’s tax code and inequities in the state’s school funding formula stemming from the 1990 state Supreme Court ruling in Abbott vs. Burke. The court ordered the state to remedy an imbalance in the amount of state aid distributed to poor urban districts and more affluent suburban districts.

Fast forward 25 years, and many of those urban centers, including Jersey City, have experienced a revival, with a resultant shift in good fortune and demographics.

More than 200 school districts statewide are overfunded, according to Ciattarelli, at the expense of school districts like Manville, which he said is grossly underfunded.

Ciattarelli said he chose Manville High School as the setting for Tuesday’s announcement with good reason.

“When an $800,000 home in Jersey City pays less in property taxes than a $300,000 home in Manville . . . when three new schools are opening in Jersey City, paid for not by Jersey City, but 100 percent by the state . . . when people living in million dollar townhomes in Hoboken can send their children to free Pre-K, paid for not by Hoboken, but 100 percent by the state.

“Manville, by the way, recently had to sacrifice library space for more classrooms and it doesn’t get a dime for free Pre-K,” Ciattarelli added.

“Let me be clear: despite the lack of state support, the Manville School District offers as good an education as you will find anywhere in New Jersey,” Ciattarelli added. “I know; in representing this great community for close to 10 years as a freeholder and state legislator, Manville students have impressed me time and again.

“The success of this school district is a direct result of the dedicated efforts of students, their families, the Board of Education, the superintendent, administrators, educators and all other school professionals,” Ciattarelli said.

Manville is one of 200 school districts statewide that is underfunded, according to Ciattarelli.

“For the 2016-17 school year, state aid to Manville is $9 million less than it should be; that’s 43 percent of its school budget,” Ciattarelli said.

 “State school funding is the one issue above all others that holds the key to improving New Jersey,” Ciattarelli said. “Know this: we cannot solve the property tax crisis or the pension crisis until we solve the school funding crisis. The three are inextricably linked.”

Those three issues, in addition to streamlining government and fostering bi-partisan communication with all branches of state government and New Jersey representatives in Washington, will be Ciattarelli’s top five priorities as a candidate, and if elected, will be the foundation of his administration.

“We’ve been heading in the wrong direction for decades. Under both Democratic and Republican Administrations and State Legislatures, we’ve reached the tipping point,” Ciattarelli said. “We’re on the brink. We are last in economic growth, drowning in debt, unable to fund core priorities like infrastructure and pensions, crippled by rising property taxes and paralyzed by an unfair school fund formula that cheats children, taxpayers and school employees.

“Instead of real solutions” he continued, “we’re stuck with commissions and task forces that talk about problems instead of solving them, and special interests that spend tens of millions each election to preserve the failed status quo.

“We need a comprehensive and dynamic plan worthy of bipartisan support,” Ciattarelli said. “A plan we can honor and afford. A plan that acknowledges our fiscal realities, while setting the stage for long-term prosperity for all citizens; a plan that creates a ‘tide that lifts all boats.’ ‘’

Though she has made no formal announcement it is widely expected that Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno will declare her candidacy, setting up a Republican Primary in June next year. New Jersey will elect a new governor to replace Gov. Chris Christie in November, 2017.

“I have the utmost respect for the legislature and those elected to serve in it, but I did not go to Trenton to vote on the state song, the state butterfly or stink bugs,” Ciattarelli said. “And as much as I enjoy groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings, and parades, that’s not why the citizens of the 16th Legislative District sent me to Trenton.

“After nearly five years in Trenton, as one of 120 legislators, I’ve come to the realization that the only way to make the change we need is from a different seat,” Ciattarelli said. “I feel very strongly about doing right by the people of my district and the people of New Jersey,” he added. “I am determined to make this state a better place to live, work and retire. I am committed to charting an entirely different course, a new direction, a more prosperous future for our state.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Original Pancake House of West Caldwell Evacuated in Possible Pepper Spray Incident

May 20, 2018

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The Original Pancake House in West Caldwell was evacuated early Saturday afternoon due to a possible pepper spray incident that caused ambulances from the West Essex, Verona and Bloomfield First Aid Squads to assist at the scene.

Bianca Pietro, a West Orange mother of two, said she was seated inside the glass atrium on the south side of the building that faces ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

May 9, 2018

On May 4, 2018 at 2:58 p.m., Ptl. Raymond Cassella stopped a vehicle for not having an inspection decal and an obstructed windshield. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of the 28 year old male operator from Paterson for driving with a suspended license and having a suspended registration. His vehicle was impounded and he was released with a summons to appear in municipal court.

Community Sends Thoughts and Prayers to East Brook Middle School, Paramus Strong

May 17, 2018

PARAMUS, NJ – Around 10:30 AM Thursday morning, a bus filled with East Brook Middle School 5th Grade Students was involved in a motor vehicle accident along I-80 in Mount Olive, NJ. The students were enroute to Waterloo Village for a class field trip. It was initially reported that the bus had collided with a dump truck causing the bus to roll into the median and dislodge from its ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, May 21, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Tue, May 22, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

How to Live Longer and Stay Healthy

Health & Wellness

Wed, May 23, 7:30 PM

Cedar Grove Public Library, Cedar Grove

The Caldwell Railway

Arts & Entertainment

Author Event at Cedar Grove Library

May 16, 2018

Meet Author and Cedar Grove Resident, Lisa Romeo at the Cedar Grove Library on Thursday, May 17 @ 7 pm. as she discusses her new memoir, Starting with Goodbye, which explores grief, love, loss and father/daughter bonds. Come hear about her book, ask questions and enjoy some light refreshments. Books will be available for sale signed by the author.

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

'The Sting' with Harry Connick Jr. Slithers and Shakes at Paper Mill

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and Chicago.  Scott Joplin’s music is intertwined with the show, especially “The ...