Time to generate revenue for the governor’s house
Assemblyman John Wisniewski joined me this morning to discussed his plan to lease out the Governor's "Summer Compound."
As pretty much everyone knows by now the governor of NJ has three homes at his disposal. The main residence in Princeton, Drumthwacket and two homes at Island Beach State Park. I suggested that the state should sell the property and generate a windfall of cash...who knows, could be as high as $20 million. Assemblyman Wisniewski has a different plan. His idea is to open the properties up to the public buy leasing them out. Since I believe politics is about what's doable, he convinced me.
The fight to sell the properties could be an enormous undertaking, but if the bill passes to lease the properties, the state could be realizing revenue as early as next summer. Other than the revenue side of the issue, there's the plain fact that the governor of New Jersey shouldn't have a taxpayer-funded vacation home. You're telling me there's no big Jersey donor with a shore house for the governor to visit? And why can't the governor and his family do what the rest of us do...rent a house!
We need to start with the little things that can be accomplished in every corner of the state budget if we're going to "right the ship." Given the disgraceful display of the governor using the house and relaxing in the sun while keeping the public off the beach during the shutdown, this is the perfect time to get something done. Kudos to John Wisniewski for having the guts to push the issue and make something happen.
On a related note, I also think it's time to force the issue on future governors. They should be living and working inside Drumthwacket. Have private donations convert the executive offices in the Statehouse to a museum and a few meeting rooms. Keep the governor in residence and working without a commute in the current mansion. This would save money and time for the NJ State Troopers assigned to protect him. It would make the first family safer and the governor more efficient.
For now, let's just relieve the current and future governors of the luxury of a beach front mansion at our expense.
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