Report from the Chair, Mar./Apr. 2022

We were pleased to see Board Member James Adams again take seriously his responsibility to oversee the NJ Transit budget, and vote against the typically opaque presentation. From charts that mislead (e.g., showing claimed “savings” and showing only tips of the bars, which hides the actual magnitude), to larger-than-previous transfers from capital to operating costs, while federal funds sit untapped, there is much to question in this much-delayed budget. What is a concerned taxpayer to do?

Some years ago, New Jersey had an official public advocate, who was actually able to sue the state government. This position has come and gone over the years; naturally, most governors are uncomfortable with such a powerful representative of “we the people”, and the latest governor to abolish this office was Chris Christie. We would have liked to see Gov. Murphy reinstate it; sadly, despite requests, that has not happened. We look to the Office of the State Comptroller for oversight of NJ Transit along with other state departments and local governments.

At the February NJ Transit board meeting, 2 major employee changes were announced. Board Secretary Joyce Zuczek facilitated her last board meeting after 45 years’ service (see Dave Alan’s article elsewhere in this issue), and Jim Sincaglia was appointed as head of Rail Operations. We will miss Joyce, but congratulate her on her retirement, and look forward to meeting with Mr. Sincaglia as he continues in the job that he has been doing on a “temporary” basis.

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