Christie Promotes Arbitration Cap at 118th Town Hall

By David Cruz

When he tosses his jacket off at these town hall events, Gov. Chris Christie usually says something like, “Can’t work with your coat on.”

In years past, these events were used to promote the so-called Jersey Comeback and pet issues like tax cuts. Nowadays they’re being used to project the image of a governor unperturbed by the bridge scandal and focusing on New Jersey residents. Today, he used the town hall bully pulpit to promote the extension of his 2 percent arbitration cap, which he says has eased the burden on taxpayers but that Democrats are blocking.

“When Trenton politicians says to you, we’re going to grow out of the problem, what that means in english is, the only thing that’s going to grow is your tax bill. That’s it,” said Christie.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto issued a statement today, saying the cap’s not dead. “I continue to work toward a compromise that will protect taxpayers and municipalities while also being fair to the police and firefighters who sacrifice so much to protect our safety,” he said.

Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, ever the Christie loyalist, defended the cap while avoiding criticism of fellow Democrats.

“Listen, the thing is I hope he would consider it. It’s been effective. It’s something I’m urging them to pass because it’s good for Essex County, its good for tax payers,” said DiVincenzo.

As for residents at this, the governor’s 118th town hall, they seemed to have other stuff on their minds.

There were more questions about cannabis policy and animal rights than there were about the GWB scandal or even the arbitration cap, so either the governor’s right and we care more about the scandal than the public does, or the governor’s gotten good at knowing who to call on.