TRENTON – Jamie Fox — longtime Democratic political strategist and former transportation commissioner under then-governor Jim McGreevey — is set to return to the Department of Transportation following a Senate Judiciary hearing here today.
Members showered praise on Fox, who served as the former Chief of staff to McGreevey before he became executive director at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, before unanimously releasing the nomination.
State Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14) emphasized the importance of tackling the “problems facing us as a state on a bipartisan basis, whether we’re talking about Transportation Trust Fund … or issues at the Port Authority,” and lauded Fox as the right man for the job.
“To have someone with you experience who knows the transportation authority and who knows the legislature and is able to hit the ground running is a gift to all of us and I commend the governor for making this choice,” she said.
Others, like Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-39), condemned the “nonsense bureaucracy” affecting the state’s transportation infrastructure improvement efforts.
“It’s not just that we’re congested — it’s the way we do things,” Cardinale said.
Fox gave testimony in front of the committee today after being nominated by Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year to fill the post. But the former DOT commissioner also heads into the position as the state struggles to find ways to replenish a depleted Transportation Trust Fund.
Many agree Fox is the best and most knowledgable person to sell the solution to funding that reserve (likely a gas tax — one that hits the refineries harder than the consumers).
“People have asked over the last several weeks, ‘Why would I want to do this?” Fox said during his opening remarks before the committee. “Well there’s not many opportunities to return to the best job you ever had in your life, to get back to the state that you love, in an area that many people find not too sexy, but I think it’s a challenging position that needs attention.”