NJ Politics Digest: Why Counties Are Going Into 2017 Complaining

It’s the end of a short holiday week and of a long, long political year in Trenton. And while most Americans seem happy to let 2016 fade into history, counties across the state tried unsuccessfully to stop the calendar, or at least delay implementation of new bail regulations they say will bring them big financial problems.
The fast-approaching New Year is also bringing some school-related headaches for Trump advisor and mother of twins Kellyanne Conway while one fixture on the state’s political scene said the changing of the calendar will also bring him closer to a decision on retirement. And finally, few cities in New Jersey had such a rough time in 2016 as Atlantic City, and the Associated Press wraps up the year by examining whether 2017 will prove a winner for the down-on-its-luck gambling town.

Quote of the Day: “We support the concept of bail reform. But we’re just looking for relief from the Legislature,” – John Donnadio, the executive director of the New Jersey Association of Counties, who estimates it will take upwards of $45 million to implement the new measures.

Get out of jail free, or criminal justice reform?
The criminal justice system is in for a big change in New Jersey on Jan. 1. That’s when the state will embark on a completely new way of dealing with people charged with crimes, allowing the vast majority to remain free without having to pay bail.
Jim Norman, The Record Read more

Counties lose Round 1 in bail-reform fight
New Jersey counties lost round one in their fight to stave off millions of dollars in costs to reform the state’s criminal justice system.
Kathleen Hopkins, Asbury Park Press Read more

Lesniak mulls retirement, will decide ‘in next few weeks’
State Sen. Raymond Lesniak is mulling retirement. Seriously this time.
Lesniak — who with 39 years in the Assembly and Senate is New Jersey’s second longest-serving state lawmaker after state Sen. Richard Codey — said Thursday he plans to make a decision about his political future in ‘the next few weeks.’
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Trump aide from N.J. having trouble finding school in D.C., report says
The New Jersey native who was tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as counselor to the president is reportedly hitting a hurdle on her move to Washington D.C.
NJ.com Read more

N.J. congresswoman vows to defy proposed GOP broadcast ban
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman has no plans to let a $500 fine get in the way of a protest.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

17 people to watch in New Jersey in 2017
From the Bridgegate trial, to the Garden State’s role in the presidential election, to the ongoing scourge of addiction, 2016 was a turbulent year for New Jersey. We saw familiar faces and issues taking center stage and dominating the headlines.
The Record Read more

With or without new tax, gas prices are rising
It’s not just the gas tax.
New Jersey motorists are spending more on gasoline this holiday season after foreign countries rich in oil decided to cut back on their production to prop up prices, analysts said.
Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press Read more

Gas tax hike will help complete Route 206 bypass by 2020
The long-awaited Route 206 bypass project, which has been stalled for more than a year, will resume construction in the spring of 2018 thanks to the controversial gas tax increase passed over the summer.
Avalon Zoppo, NJ101.5 Read more

Will 2017 be better for Atlantic City than 2016 was?
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian did not mince words in looking back over the past year.
Associated Press Read more

Yellow water in New Brunswick? You don’t need to boil it, city says
The city on Thursday told residents it wasn’t necessary to boil yellow, discolored water they may be experiencing from a water main break in the afternoon on Voorhees Road.
Jessica Remo, NJ.com Read more

Fishermen: not so fast with wind farm
Could sea scallops and longfin squid be reason enough to stop an offshore wind farm on the coast of New York and New Jersey?
Dan Radel, Asbury Park Press Read more

Joe Vicari will lead Ocean County in 2017
Joseph H. Vicari, scuffed up as he has been, will be appointed director of the Ocean County Board of Freeholders for 2017, his 11th time as chairman in 36 years.
Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press Read more

Ocean County’s 3.7M ‘secret’ passageway
Ocean County’s $3.7 million planned prisoner walkway to transfer inmates between the jail and the courthouse is, as it turns out, more than just a walkway.
Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press Read more

Bogota Council to vote on financial agreement with developer
The Borough Council will vote Thursday night on a 30-year tax abatement for a developer planning a multi-family mixed-use development along the Hackensack River.
Megan Burrow, The Record Read more

Police officer’s widow to sue Trenton over leaked info
The wife of a Trenton police officer who killed himself in September plans to sue the city and county, saying that the unauthorized release of internal information led to his death.
Cristina Rojas, NJ.com Read more

Seaside raises concerns about beach replenishment plan
Borough officials have sounded the alarm about the possible impact of a planned beach replenishment project on Seaside’s summer season.
Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press Read more

Christie orders flags at half-staff for trooper who lost cancer battle
Gov. Christie has ordered all state buildings to fly flags at half-staff on Saturday in honor of State Police Lieutenant William G. Fearon, who died yesterday.
Jessica Remo, NJ.com Read more

New Leonia council member to be sworn in
A new council member, along with an incumbent, will be sworn in at the borough’s organization meeting set for noon on Jan. 7.
Michael W. Curley, Jr., The Record Read more

Outgoing Northvale councilman lauded by council
After nine years on and off the Borough Council, Patrick Marana is moving on.
Marc Lightdale, The Record Read more

Housing proposal on Glen Rock January zoning agenda
The Zoning Board is scheduled to hear a proposal for a high-density housing project on Prospect Street next month.
Matthew Birchenough, The Record Read more

Obama, Christie provide contrasts in legacies
Presidents and governors who serve two terms are often focused on what their “legacy” will look like when they leave office. Typically, the last year is spent honing the legacy. They may seek to enact laws and policies that will leave a lasting impact beyond their term in office. Sometimes they will tackle issues that would be politically difficult for an incumbent who needed to seek reelection. Sometimes the leader will double down on what has worked for them and cement their image as a leader of (fill in the blank) policy or program.
Peter S. Reinhart, Asbury Park Press Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Why Counties Are Going Into 2017 Complaining