SUMMIT, N.J. – After Gov. Phil Murphy defended raises for politically-connected NJ Transit executives today, Asw. Nancy Munoz responded by criticizing Murphy’s zest for patronage.
“I am afraid that the governor didn’t finish his statements today claiming he is committed to fixing NJ Transit,” exclaimed Munoz (R-Union). “He left out the part that his priority is to help his political friends before helping commuters. That is evidently the case since his tenure has resulted in more cancellations, more worker turmoil, and worse service for commuters.”
Murphy gave a $32,000 raise to a former consultant to his campaign for governor, and a $35,000 raise to the former comptroller of the Democratic State Committee; now paying them $188,000 and $215,000, respectively. They were only two of eight that received pay raises, all of which were funded by eliminating other positions.
The situation is similar to that of the Schools Development Authority, where the former executive director resigned due to giving jobs and raises to politically connected friends and family, financed by the elimination of long-time experienced employees.
“Being committed means providing better service. My district still doesn’t have direct access to New York City on the Raritan Valley line and there are no answers. No accountability. Getting trains running, and on time, needs to be a priority. Actions speak louder than words, so Murphy’s words are meaningless until the evidence says otherwise,” continued Munoz. “And, there is one common denominator when it comes to patronage under the Murphy administration, and that is the governor himself.”