Morning News Digest: December 23, 2010

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N.J. Senate leader proposes holding state aid for towns that won’t share services

Senate President Stephen Sweeney Wednesday unveiled a new weapon in his war on home rule: withholding state aid for local governments that refuse to share services.  (Friedman, The Record)



Sweeney talks impeachment, new laws for new year

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney says he’ll push for new laws to force towns to share services and to change some gun laws in the new year.  (The Associated Press)



Democratic N.J. senator angry about robocall accusing him of blocking Christie reform

State Sen. Paul Sarlo is angry about a robocall that Reform Jersey Now, a non-profit group tied to close advisers of Gov. Chris Christie, has made in his district and other parts of Bergen County accusing him of blocking Christie’s reform efforts.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Runyan appoints chief of staff

Congressman-elect Jon Runyan has hired a 40-year-old Beltway native to be his chief of staff.

Stacy Palmer-Barton served as chief of staff to Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, from 2003 until February of this year.  (Roh, Courier-Post)



Essex County undersheriff chosen to fill Assembly seat

Democratic leaders from the 36th Legislative District have chosen an Essex County undersheriff to fill the unexpired term of former Assemblyman Fred Scalera, who retired last month.  (Friedman, The Record)



Deadline at hand for New Jersey grants for energy efficient upgrades by municipalities

A New Jersey grant program that funds energy-efficiency upgrades at no cost to local governments closes next week, and nearly a third of the 512 eligible municipalities and counties – including dozens of South Jersey towns – have not enrolled.  (Conaboy, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Full N.J. racing card OKd

The New Jersey Racing Commission approved a full 2011 schedule for the state’s financially struggling horse tracks Wednesday, but acknowledged that the number of racing days will almost certainly be reduced.  (Delli Santi for The Associated Press)



Ocean freeholder asks governor to intervene in binding arbitration

Ocean County Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr. has asked Gov. Chris Christie to intervene in binding arbitration talks with the county’s seven law enforcement unions.  (Larsen, Asbury Park Press)



Red Bank council approves union contracts, extend sign ordinance

Wednesday was not a silent night for the Borough Council. Instead, it was a busy night, ’round yon crowded agenda.  (Higgs, Asbury Park Press)



Atlantic City approves temporary budget for Special Improvement District

City Council agreed Wednesday to approve a temporary budget for the Atlantic City Special Improvement District, but again stopped short of passing the expenditures for all of 2011.  (Clark, Press of Atlantic City)



Whippany, NJ: Dozens gather outside Alex DeCroce’s office to protest comments on unemployed

A man in a Grinch costume was among about 70 people who demonstrated Wednesday outside Assemblyman Alex DeCroce’s legislative office in the Whippany section of the township on Route 10.  (Remaly, Daily Record)



3 Camden County towns announce deal to share trash services

Trash collection in three Camden County municipalities will cost the towns almost 10 percent less, or about $3 million, under a five-year joint contract negotiated through collective bargaining, officials announced Wednesday.  (Osborne, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Stalled Xanadu project still has a pulse

The final meeting of the year for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority board came and went Wednesday with no news about a new operator for Meadowlands Xanadu.  (Brennan, The Record)



Meadowlands board conditionally rejects plan to allow 800 housing units in Rutherford

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) conditionally rejected a plan last week that would have amended the Highland Cross Redevelopment Area in Rutherford, which would have made up to 800 housing units a permitted use on the approximately 26-acre property as well as 923,000 square feet of non-residential development divided between office, retail and hotel space.  (Lamendola, South Bergenite)






“The day of reckoning” on “60 Minutes”

“60 Minutes” ran a powerful segment this past weekend analyzing the dismal state of fiscal affairs in a variety of states across the nation.  It was called “The Day of Reckoning.”  (Adubato, PolitickerNJ)



Condemning DeCroce—ever so politely

As protests go, this one was not the best I’ve ever seen. 

Alex DeCroce, the Assembly Minority Leader from Parsippany, caused a ruckus last week by suggesting that some of those on unemployment are happy to be there; delighted to sit home and collect a maximum of $600 a week. (Snowflack, Daily Record)—ever-so-politely



With this advice, Christie could be a real Prince

In the waning days of the McGreevey administration, the name “Machiavelli” entered the lexicon of New Jersey politics. It seems the then-governor was accused of invoking the author’s name as a code word in a shady land deal.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



Mechantville-Cherry Hill merger more ‘Twist’ than waltz

The most recent municipal merger in New Jersey – between Vineland Borough and Landis Township in 1952 – was so long ago that even this columnist wasn’t born yet.  (Riodan, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



In 2000, (now entered the political stage, changing how New Jersey’s power elite received its daily political fix. Starting in January 2011, we’re shaking up Trenton once again. Stay tuned for State Street Wire.

  Morning News Digest: December 23, 2010