NJ Legislators Demand Seat At Turnpike Authority Table [AUDIO]
A pair of south Jersey legislators are calling for greater oversight of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, claiming that the southern part of the state was left out of some key decisions regarding recent projects.
Senators Chris Connors (R-Ocean) and Jeff Van Drew (D-Atlantic/Cape May) said there is no local representation from south Jersey on the Turnpike Authority, yet there are over 100 miles of toll roads in Cape May, Atlantic and Ocean counties.
"I think its important that deep south Jersey has a seat at the table...someone who knows the areas that are affected, someone that lives there" said Van Drew.
He says next week the pair plan to introduce two bills. One would require at least two regular public meetings in the trio of counties and the other would require that at least one person on the Authority be from Atlantic, Cape May or Ocean counties.
"So when decisions are made about replacing bridges or replacing fences or cutting down trees, its really important to have someone who is an advocate for your region."
Recent Garden State Parkway projects received criticism from local residents including the tree-cutting along the highway and the installation of fencing along the Great Egg Harbor Bridge.
"These bills would really enhance the process of communication so that we are all on the same page and we can all row our oars together the same way."
The pair sent a letter to Governor Christie urging him not to wait until the legislature votes on these bills, but to fill a vacancy on the Authority now with a resident from one of the counties.