TRENTON – With state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) knocking on the Waterfront Commission’s door, Gov. Chris Christie just answered.
Lesniak is pushing to empower the Port Authority to take over the dock watch duties from the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor (WC), but Christie – announcing today his nominee to the WC – obviously isn’t buying it.
Even with the past issues the WC faced – see: internal criminality – the new-look commission is seeing fast and furious results, and a member of Christie’s team said the WC was cooperative with the governor when he served as U.S. Attorney.
Christie nominated Jan H. Gilhooly, of West Orange, as the New Jersey member on the commission.
A twenty-nine year Secret Service veteran and former Special Agent in Charge of the Newark field office, a Department of Homeland Security advisor, and Department of Justice employee, Gilhooly has a strong law enforcement background, which will serve him well navigating the still-ticking union-mob timebomb in the harbor.
Gilhooly is currently president/chief of operations for Archangel RTR LLC, a private risk and threat reduction firm, and was also a part of Christie’s transition team.
In 2002, Gilhooly supervised the Superbowl and the Salt Lake City Olympics, and he was Inspector in Charge of U.N. 50.
He replaces Barry Evenchick, who’s caught flack for having a cop hold a parking space in Manhattan for a board meeting.
Lesniak called for Evenchick to resign recently – even threatening legal action – but Evenchick didn’t budge.
A hold-over from the administration of Gov. Jon Corzine appointed to the commission last August, Evenchick was never confirmed by the state senate.
“Barry Evenchick can claim to be a Waterfront commissioner about as much as I can claim to be the King of England,” Lesniak said in a released recently.
Commissioners receive an annual salary of $43,500.
Lesniak also has another bill, S2359, which “establishes gubernatorial veto power over Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor meeting minutes; expands various gubernatorial oversight powers over commission.”
Neither that bill, nor S2360, his bill to usurp all power of the commission and give it to the Port Authority have been assigned to committee yet.
Today Christie also announced his nomination for director of the Division of Fire Safety, Thomas V. Lyons, of Pompton Plains, and his appointment of Robert J. Hariri, M.D., of Bernardsville, to the Commission on Cancer Research.
Christie also withdrew his nomination of Donna M. Conroy, Esq., of Middletown, to the Banking Advisory Board.