Thursday, January 14, 2010


On Wednesday, 1/13/10, the state's Local Finance Board, which advises on the financial condition of municipalities, approved $121 million in special aid to five so-called distressed cities; Camden, Paterson, Jersey City, Bridgeton and Union City. Governor-elect Chris Christie is anything but thrilled with the move and could decide to block the aid.

Union City stands to receive $11.3 million. Discussing the special aid at a recent meeting of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, Director of the Division of Local Government Services Susan Jacobucci talked about three free pools in the "distressed" city of Union City. Jacobucci said, "The pools that I know of over in Union City, they use part-time employees to man the pools because it is a service for the community. It's not a luxury for the community. This is something that urban centers would need."

State Senator Tony Bucco (R-25, Morris County) said, "I have pools in my district that towns own and yet they charge for them. The State doesn't have to come in and give them distressed city aid to make up for the difference in the cost."

Christie could hold back the aid after he's sworn in Tuesday. He explains, "I'm not going to foreclose any options of what I may do with the distribution of that aid come the 19th of January…….I'm not going to make a promise either way. We're going to take a look at it on the 19th and take a look at each particular city's circumstance……All options are on the table, but we will do it on a city-by-city basis. We will not just do it across the board."


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