Wake-Up Call: Wednesday, June 25, 2008

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey's top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning.

Early retirement program enacted

Gov. Jon Corzine yesterday enacted the first in a series of budget-related bills by signing legislation creating an early retirement program that he hopes will trim at least 2,144 positions from the state payroll.

"This incentive delivers recurring annual savings of $90 million beginning immediately, will pay for itself in three years, and will continue to deliver amplified payroll and benefit savings in the long term," Corzine said during a Statehouse news conference. (Joe Donohue, The Star-Ledger)


Budget bad for Bergen county

As he stood with futility against a bill he believes would ravage his 39th Legislative District, Assemblyman John Rooney took little joy in noting a personal milestone.

For while 2008 marks the Bergen County Republican’s 25th anniversary as an assemblyman, it is also the low point of his legislative career. (PolitickerNJ)


E-mail kept under wraps

Gov. Jon Corzine does not have to release e-mails he and his staff exchanged with union leader and former girlfriend Carla Katz while he appeals a court order to make the messages public, a judge has ruled.

Superior Court Judge Paul Innes, who last month ordered the e-mails released, granted the stay in an order signed Monday and released yesterday. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)


New Jersey legislative roundup

TRENTON – New Jersey lawmakers devoted most of their attention yesterday to legislation involving the state budget, public worker benefits, and school construction, but they also considered other key matters. (Associated Press)


Corzine: It's not as bad as it looks

All but three of New Jersey's 566 cities and towns will see their state aid shrink under the state's new $32.9 billion budget, leading local officials to warn of property tax hikes, service cutbacks or public employee layoffs.

The reductions total $162 million, but Gov. Jon Corzine insisted yesterday they are not as bad as they appear. He said a $570 million increase in local school aid will far outweigh the municipal aid cuts. (Tom Hester and Joe Tyrrell, The Star-Ledger)


Camden sees increase in cameras

Surveillance cameras should be placed at all major commercial arteries and police powers at city housing projects will be expanded, Camden City Council decided last night. (Matt Katz, Philadelphia Inquirer)


Corzine optimistic about budget impact

Governor Corzine is hoping the new state budget he's expected to endorse in a week will improve the state's credit rating — and his own chances for reelection. (John Reitmeyer, Bergen Record)


Superintendent given ultimatum

TRENTON — The city school board has sent its superintendent a stern warning: Shape up or we'll ship you out.

After a closed-door meeting, the school board decided in a split vote to notify Superintendent Rodney Lofton that he would not be reappointed when his contract expires in 2010. (Lisa Rich, Trenton Times)


Lawyers succeed in delaying home foreclosures

Most home foreclosures being processed in New Jersey are illegal, a growing group of attorneys contends, because lending institutions cannot prove they own the debt they are trying to collect.

Judges in at least four New Jersey counties already have halted foreclosures, using a federal court ruling in Ohio as precedent. And with 48,000 foreclosures expected to be filed this year — twice the number filed in 2006 — some attorneys believe challenging foreclosures can become a large and potentially lucrative area of practice. (Brad Parks, The Star-Ledger)


School loans not politically motivated

TRENTON — The $3.9 billion the Legislature agreed to borrow Monday to build new schools won't be used for political paybacks, Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Tuesday. (Gregory Volpe, Gannett)


NIMBY issues plague cell phone towers

The feeling in many North Jersey towns is that fighting cellphone companies to keep them from building towers in undesirable locations is important. (Heather Kays, The Bergen Record)


Monroe budget and tax hike approved

MONROE TWP. Municipal services for 2008 will cost the average homeowner about $1,411 in taxes under the $32.7 million budget that was adopted by the township council Tuesday night. (Jessica Beym, Gloucester County Times)


Last-minute decisions

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VINELAND — The outgoing City Council members said their goodbyes Tuesday night, but not before making some major decisions expected to have a long-lasting impact on Vineland's future. (Robert Press, The Daily Journal)


Long-time fan, first-time leader


Fran Orthwein, who already has attended as many Parsippany Board of Education meetings as most members, finally got a seat on the panel last night.

The New England Drive resident was selected to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of the board's former president, Robert Perlett. (Al Frank, The Star-Ledger)


Controversy still surrounds store shutdown

It's been months since Pathmark shuttered its downtown Somerville store to make way for redevelopment, but the legal chal lenges continue.

A panel of appellate judges yesterday upheld a lower court ruling that Middlesex County developer Jack Morris did not breach the duty of good faith and fair dealing as the landlord who took over the former Landmark Shopping Center and planned its redevelopment. And Pathmark failed to prove it could not have subleased the space. (Jennifer Golson, The Star-Ledger)


With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey's top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning. Wake-Up Call: Wednesday, June 25, 2008