The Governor’s Priorities
January 7th, 2005 by Tim Evans
- Governor Richard J. Codey on January 11 will share his view of New Jersey’s most pressing problems and his plans for addressing them in the annual State of the State address.
- New Jersey governors for the past three decades have made smarter land use a priority in their vision, and their legacy.
- Governor Brendan T. Byrne (1974-1982) created the New Jersey Pinelands Commission in his tenure, and oversaw creation of New Jersey’s first statewide guide for development.
- Governor Thomas H. Kean (1982-1990) oversaw creation of New Jersey’s first State Development and Redevelopment Plan, and created the Office of State Planning.
- Governor James J. Florio (1990-1994) issued the first Executive Order requiring state departments to comply with the State Plan as part of his support for stronger growth management.
- Governor Christine Todd Whitman (1994-2001) created New Jersey’s “Million Acres” program, aimed at preserving 1 million acres by 2010.
- Governor James E. McGreevey (2002-2004) made controlling sprawl a top priority and led creation of the Highlands Water Protection Act.
CONTINUING THE SMART GROWTH TRADITION
New Jerseyans care deeply about their land — so much so that we are national leaders in the posting and passage of open space ballots. Such consistent support for new open space taxes is especially remarkable for a state whose residents already pay among the highest property taxes in the country.
Governor Codey has an opportunity in next week’s address to speak to this clear preference of voters, by declaring that he will re-prioritize limited state funds to favor existing communities over further development of open lands.
For decades, many cities and older suburbs have subsidized the growth of new communities, losing jobs and population to them in the process. New Jersey Future believes that leveling the playing field — even a tilting back to favor older communities — is long overdue.
New Jerseyans have long expressed a preference for improving and maintaining existing, older communities rather than subsidizing new sprawl. Governor Codey has long demonstrated his own concern for the well-being of Jersey’s older cities and suburbs. By declaring that state spending will advance redevelopment over greenfield development, Governor Codey will advance the priorities of New Jerseyans and help lead the way to a future of open spaces and more livable places.