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Re: Councilman Fulop says he'll keep pressing, Council President Brennan in countermove
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Maybe Fulop won't have to bother with the cars. Seems like Trenton thinks its a good idea, too. Codey's must not have been the ear in Trenton Healy purported to have last May.

CODEY INTRODUCES BILL TO ENHANCE ACCOUNTABILITY,
TRANSPARENCY IN USE OF GOVERNMENT VEHICLES

TRENTON ? Senator Richard J. Codey last week introduced legislation which would ensure greater accountability and transparency in the use of government cars, in an effort to crack down on the use of official vehicles for non-official purposes.

"When a government employee is handed the keys to a public vehicle, it is expected that the vehicle will be used for public business and not personal use," said Senator Codey, D-Essex. "State and municipal governments maintain professional fleets of vehicles in order to better meet the needs of the people we represent, not for joy-riding or running errands. This bill would go a long way to make sure that personal business and government business don't mix out on our roadways."

The bill, S1722, would make public vehicle usage information accessible by the public to review. Under the bill, the State Treasurer would make available certain information on each vehicle assigned exclusively to a State officer or employee for more than 30 days. The information would include the name and position of the person assigned to the vehicle; the duties of the position held; the purpose for which the vehicle is used; the miles traveled; the fuel costs; the toll costs; and any other information the Treasurer deems appropriate.

Under the bill, local and county governments, independent authorities, boards or commissions would be required to abide by the same vehicle transparency standards as the State.

Senator Codey said this latest push to make vehicle information public follows along with efforts he's made, along with Senator Joseph Pennacchio, R-Morris, to create a new government transparency Web portal for all State expenditures and finances. That bill is currently pending in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and was unanimously approved by the State Government Committee last month.

"Through the 'Transparency in Government Act,' we're hoping to create one of the strongest tools for transparency in government spending and finances in the entire nation," said Senator Codey. "This bill takes that original concept a step further, recognizing that gas used for running errands has a cost to the taxpaying public. Nothing's more upsetting to the public than to see a public employee loading groceries into a State vehicle on a Saturday, and hopefully, with greater transparency on how these vehicles are supposed to be used, such abuse will become a thing of the past."

Senator Codey added that certain exemptions were put in the legislation for law enforcement vehicles, mostly because the reporting of police vehicles could potentially jeopardize a criminal investigation or put people's lives in danger.

"I know firsthand that State vehicles definitely serve a public purpose," said Senator Codey. "Whether it's for on-site code inspections, or offering safe, reliable transportation to DYFS caseworkers, the State has an interest in continuing to operate a professional fleet of vehicles. While most public employees are following the rules for vehicle use, the problem comes in when some officials use professional vehicles for less-than-professional reasons. This bill would go a long way in cracking down on that kind of waste and abuse of the taxpayers' resources."

The bill is expected to be referenced to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 17:17
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Re: Councilman Fulop says he'll keep pressing, Council President Brennan in countermove
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the ONLY way these will be introduced is when you clean house at the city council level. None of the currently seated council people (except for richardson) will vote his way. I agree w/ these initiatives 100% and thats why, yet again, I plan to try and vote my council person OUT! if people don't vote for representation they agree with, fulop will just continue to bang his head against these people.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 16:58
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Re: Councilman Fulop says he'll keep pressing, Council President Brennan in countermove
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Quote:

stepanstas wrote:
He's wrong here.
"Democratically" it makes no sence to keep introducing it when it clearly has no votes. It will be a waste of time. I am not saying that that I don't support those ordinances, but we have to accept it. Eventually, once you can reassure more votes, you can put it back on, but you can't just keep doing it for fun.

Yep it's like beating a dead horse.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 15:00
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Re: Councilman Fulop says he'll keep pressing, Council President Brennan in countermove
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He's wrong here.

"Democratically" it makes no sence to keep introducing it when it clearly has no votes. It will be a waste of time. I am not saying that that I don't support those ordinances, but we have to accept it. Eventually, once you can reassure more votes, you can put it back on, but you can't just keep doing it for fun.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 14:53
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Re: Councilman Fulop says he'll keep pressing, Council President Brennan in countermove
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100% backed

Posted on: 2010/3/9 14:06
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Councilman Fulop says he'll keep pressing, Council President Brennan in countermove
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Jersey City Councilman Fulop says he'll keep pressing, Council President Brennan in countermove

Tuesday, March 09, 2010
By MELISSA HAYES
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop is threatening to keep introducing a package of ordinances until the council supports them.

But the tactic may not work.

Council President Peter Brennan has proposed his own ordinance; one that would limit the reintroduction of failed measures to once every six months.

He asked the city's corporation counsel to draft the measure after Fulop threatened to reintroduce ordinances that were defeated last month.

Brennan is also setting a deadline for items to be presented for the council agenda, noting that there have been too many late additions.

Fulop called Brennan's six-month proposal the "anti-democracy ordinance."

Assuming the ordinance passes, Fulop pledged to reintroduce his items six more times - once every six months until the next election in 2013 - if they don't get support.

One ordinance would require City Council meetings to be taped and televised on JCTV1. Currently, only caucus meetings are filmed.

"I think this is the most important thing we can be doing," Fulop said. "I will be introducing it until we get enough votes."

The other ordinances would put the city seal on city-owned vehicles - including those driven by council members and department directors - and would eliminate health benefits for commissioners of the Jersey City Incinerator Authority and Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, positions Fulop contends are part-time.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 13:42
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