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Christie Promises Income Tax Cuts at Manchester Town Hall Meeting

Governor takes questions from residents in 13th 'Jersey Comeback' session of 2012

Republican Gov. Chris Christie touted his admittedly blunt approach to governing while promising to lower taxes and work with "right-minded Democrats" to complete the "Jersey Comeback" in a town hall meeting Thursday.

Several hundred residents packed an auditorium at the New Jersey Maneuverable Assets Training Equipment Site in Manchester for Christie's 13th town hall meeting of 2012. The crowd showered the governor with frequent applause as the conversation veered from local concerns to national issues.

"We are going to cut your taxes this year," the governor said. "We are cutting taxes because I promised you I would when I ran, and I keep my promises."

Christie said his chief priority this year is a 10 percent income tax cut, which he proposed as part of his $32.1 billion 2013 budget package. The cut, which has been criticized by some as benefiting the wealthy over the poor, has been promised for every New Jersey worker but Christie said Thursday he and Senate President Steve Sweeney still have to determine whether an across-the-board reduction is workable.

But he said his actions to restrain government since 2009 has put the state in a position to afford such a cut.

"Two years of tough action... has put us in the position where we can cut income taxes," Christie said. "In New Jersey, no one should pay higher taxes."

Christie repeatedly praised Sweeney, a Democrat, for his willingness to "put New Jersey first" in a bipartisan manner while slamming Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who he labeled a "partisan hack.

"I will not make any apologies for working with right-minded Democrats," Christie said. 

Bipartisanship is essential when working with a Democratic-controlled Legislature, Christie said. Although he would "never compromise my principles," he's willing to work with Democrats even though he knows "I'll never get everything I want."

Christie, a former Morris County freeholder, said he doesn't mind if people simply don't like him. "No one in this job should worry about being loved," he said, adding that he aims to be respected.

But almost all speakers Thursday in heavily Republican Ocean County showed respect and affection, with one calling him a "breath of fresh air" while another urged him to run for president.

Christie, who flirted with a presidential bid last year, waded into national politics when a speaker questioned what could be done to temper a contentious Republican presidential primary race.

The governor, who has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, said it's "pretty clear" Romney will be the GOP choice and urged former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to bow out of the race.

"It's too important an election to fight amongst ourselves," Christie said.

Other speakers' questions were squarely local.

Point Pleasant Beach resident Marilyn Burke briefed the governor on the municipality's proposal to based on occupancy and the amount of time they want to stay open past midnight, which is up for adoption April 3. Burke, who is a frequent attendee at Point Beach meetings, labeled the proposal "extortion."

Christie wouldn't take a position on the proposal but said he "gets concerned about people who try to go beyond the (state-mandated 2 percent) tax cap by imposing other fees." He promised to instruct Richard Constable, the acting commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, to "go down there and interview the powers that be."

A Lakewood resident pleaded for "some attention to the roadways" after criticizing congestion on Route 9 as a "huge problem." Christie agreed and said he'll instruct James Simpson, commissioner of the Department of Transportation, to work on alleviating congestion on Route 9 in particular, a complaint the governor said he's heard from municipal and Ocean County elected officials, as well.

Christie's aides were repeatedly instructed to take speakers' contact information so he can get them answers directly from state officials such as Constable, Simpson and Bob Martin, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. The governor said his office has directly answered 359,000 of 366,000 letters and emails received since he was in office.

A Whiting resident questioned why seniors, who made up the bulk of the assembled crowd, still have to pay taxes to fund public education. Christie sympathized but said any alternative to property taxes would not be easily implemented, requiring the state to "have a conversation" about how to otherwise fund schools and municipalities.

Manchester Mayor Michael Fressola praised Christie after the meeting, calling the town hall meeting "phenomenal.

"He did an outstanding job," Fressola said. "He answered the questions that were asked."

Christie said his direct style of governing earns him critics, especially among the news media, who want to "put him on the couch." But the former U.S. Attorney said he will not change his approach, which he said includes appointing and hiring staffers who are incorruptible.

"We are leading by example. You can be proud to live in New Jersey again, not embarrassed."

Mark Wendell March 31, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I think you are right about the "town hall meetings" this is nothing but self promotion. They were originality done in rich white towns until criticism was made. I wonder who pays for all the signs spread around him touting the jersey comeback? While I would not deny him a vacation to Israel I wish they would just come out call it that. Really promoting Jersey in Israel? if you know anything about Israel they send us much more than we could send back. As far as manufacturing goes Israel is very self sustaining.
Mark Wendell March 31, 2012 at 07:18 PM
yes sir well said!
Marlene Blotto March 31, 2012 at 07:25 PM
This town has no leadership or direction. Elected perple need to take a stand either close all the bars or leave them as is. You can't say you are a problem but it is ok as long as you pay up. Enforce the laws like they cleaned up places in Virginia and Florida to name a few. This propesed system is a design for failure. I would like to see what the town became if the only bars to pay to stay open late all year were the Elks and the VFW. This time there may be a reason to recall them all.
Joan Vuocolo March 31, 2012 at 07:41 PM
@Tom...You appear to be somewhat confused. I think you need to go back and re-read my previous post where I applauded Marilyn Burke for making Gov. Christie aware of what was happening here in PPB regarding the early bar closings. I don't even know Marilyn Burke and,I certainly don't know how or even if she voted in the school election. Stop trying to put a spin on this! You are beginning to sound a little too much like DM.
Spooner March 31, 2012 at 07:50 PM
@George Smiths, draw your own conclusions. . . not only has the town gotten more money as you say to pay it's expenses, but it has been increasing the hiring of part time police officers during the summer, known as Specials. Yet during the two years(2009 & 2010) when there were less Specials hired for the summer. . . and more people were changing their summer plans to local spots...like going to the Jersey Shore, because of the economy. . .the town had no trouble reported on the BW in those years. Then when the Mayor didn't lose in his recall. . .and was facing re-election last year. . .the BW businesses wanted Barrella out and supported his opponent. . .All this trouble began to appear from his supporters in District 1, where he lived, and the police. . . which culminated with as you said "Operation Rice Krispies", presented at the July 19, 2011 Council meeting in response. . . and having to do with differing versions of an event that occurred at about 4AM one morning at the BW. Jenkinsons Security who was on the scene provided a conflicting story from the police version. . . who arrived later. . .as to what happened.The police version got acted upon here. . .supported by Mayor Barrella, Councilman Corbally, and from Florida, Councilwoman Tooker. . .both of whom were supporters of Barrella's re-election, and against the BW and their candidate Stephen Reid?
Tom March 31, 2012 at 08:03 PM
You are correct and I agree. It is disturbing. You can't have it both ways. If you are concerned with the quality of life...just close the bars at 12. Charging extra money is not going to do anything to change the rowdies, animal houses or change the town. Put the well being of the residents first and close at 12 is the right track.
Tom March 31, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Joan, That exactly is my Point. Why would you support someone you do not even know? I do go to meetings. I know what Marilyn Burkes has said on many issues and that is her rights. However the only one who seems confused is Marilyn Burke. She changes her view quicker than I change my boxers.That is what happens when others put you up to something that they are not comprehending or fully understand. Especially when she flip-flops on what she says in the beginning of her line of questions to the end of the explanations that are given to her. It is almost like she is forgetting what or who she is supporting in her line of questioning in mid stream as she speaks. By then she is agreeing with another side. Most can't even follow what she is saying because she changes her views and you never know what side she is going to be on. Sometimes she even turns around to individuals in the audience looking for guidance if she is saying or doing the right thing. You are dead wrong, I do not even know anyone with the initials DM.
Tom March 31, 2012 at 08:34 PM
George... Please draw your own conclusions.... Spooner does not live in Point Beach. He or She has a lot to say about Point Beach. Most of what is posted is not accurate or he /she likes to stretch the truth. It is all Politically motivated. This is a very Politically motivated town. There is a lot of Lobbyist here including Stephen Reid being one of them. Stephen Reid ran and loss twice. I guess they are upset that he was not voted in. The only reason he is in now is because Dyer resigned form his council seat early. He was politically place in his seat. He has one year and then the residents will get to decide a third time if they want him representing Point Pleasant Beach.
Tom March 31, 2012 at 08:52 PM
randi, Really? It is the " Point Pleasant Beach Chamber of Commerce" who promote Tourism. One of the same as far as I am concerned. Beers on the Boards brews was recently promoted by the Chamber as well as the Car shows, Jazz Festival, Tree Lighting etc.....
Joan Vuocolo March 31, 2012 at 09:03 PM
@Tom...there you go again, you keep trying to put a spin on everything I say. I applauded Marilyn's effort for attempting to make the Gov. aware of what was transpiring in PPB. She, along with everyone else who posts on Patch has the right to their opinions, like it or not. It's called "Freedom of Speech". Let's just agree to disagree.
Tom March 31, 2012 at 09:18 PM
@Joan.... I am all about or for "Freedom of Speech" and everyone is surely able to agree to disagree. I am not putting a spin on everything. It is my views and like you said "Freedom of Speech" Sorry, I do not applaud or respect anything the Governor has done. We are having problems all over the State of NJ and towns. His decisions and actions have been undesirable to me. He has caused the friction and tension among towns since he has been in office and I do not respect him at all.
Joan Vuocolo March 31, 2012 at 09:47 PM
@Tom...you seem to have some confusion in you! I suggest that you go back and re-read my posts so that you do not continually put a spin on everything I say.
Darlene Motto April 01, 2012 at 03:21 AM
I have to chuckle as I am reading these post. Once again I am being accused of being another alias. I have lost count on how many different alias that I am thus far. It is up to at least a half a dozen if not more "alias" that I have been blamed or falsely accused from different residents through out the town. Joan you and others are fabricated and pointing fingers at the wrong person with your accusations. Let me set the record straight for you and others. I have no reason to go under or hide behind and alias. Let me remind you and others. I have been up front with my own posts and how I feel on issues with in the town through both posts and e-mails. I have many post with my opinions and I never held back on how I feel with issues. Maybe that is the reason some is trying to attack or pin it on me to make me look bad as yourself and some under other "alias" who ever they are? Clearly it becomes a spin or attack if I do not follow and do not agree with or go along with issues that I feel is wrong. Again, I never asked anyone to agree with me, it has always been my opinions. Clearly you do not know me along with others. I am not one to be a coward and hide behind anyone. If I have a problem with something or issues I tackle them head on. I have no problem speaking my mind. Please stop accusing unless you know for sure. I am not Tom and I do not wear boxers. I never called anyone to ask them to vote "NO" in the school budget. False accusation will make anyone look foolish.
Darlene Motto April 01, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Joan, Just to let you and everyone know. I was patronizing one of our local businesses last night with a friend. I was at Europa last night, enjoying a meal and a pitcher of sangria watching salsa dancing. I felt like I was at "dancing with the stars" It was packed. "Good for them" I was there when "Tom" was posting. No, I do not have an updated fancy phone. Personally I am not big on Tech or the latest fashions. It was late and feeling good by the time I got home. I went straight to bed. You are so wrong along with others. You have seen other posts and I am guessing e-mails from me prior from asking to be removed from the e-mail chain. Did I ever have a problem being straight forward and upfront with my opinions and beliefs in my posts or e-mails in what I believe in or what I have said,seen of felt. I can't help if some agrees with me or is trying to imitate or follow me in any way. Maybe that is by design and they want it to appear that way for what ever bazar reason. I can't figure out all the attitudes, problems, personalities disorders and issues here in the Beach nor do I want to. Residents in this town need to get a grip and stop listening to all the "gossip and false statements that are being spread through out the town. Don't believe everything you hear! Lastly, to let you know. I have always considered my voice as an opinion not a spin. Therefore I would have to say the only ones who are putting a spin on issues are the ones who are accusing others of spinning.
J.JONES April 01, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Gov..Christie come do a town hall meeting in Bricktown Please and bring the F.B.I. and hand cuffs..There is something rotten going on in our town ..
Darlene Motto April 01, 2012 at 04:25 AM
@Mark, I feel you are correct and totally agree with your views. I do not know what happens in the higher level in the schools. I do have experience in the elementary level. They do ask the children to go home and remind their parents to vote. Like you said, not how to vote the importance of voting. They try to explain early on how important it is to vote wether for your school or a local or presidential election. As a parent I think it is a good idea, others do not. They feel it is their right to teach their kids when it comes to political issues and their views. Personally, I am not a big fan of Chris Christie, it is not someone that I would want my child to look up to for my own reasons and opinions.
Jim April 01, 2012 at 06:03 AM
I already contacted the NJ comptroller after the last referendum fraud. They will be watching our elections. I wont be happy until Acrapolis is run out of town.
Darlene Motto April 01, 2012 at 11:24 AM
@Jim, Apparently from what I hear from different residents a lot feel the same way about the political driven problems locally that are affecting all the residents with in their town.
randi April 01, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Tom: The Chamber of Commerce is not part of Point Pleasant Beach municipal government. Again. How does the municipality of Point Pleasant Beach promote tourism? How does it see that the "proper" customers come here. Tree lightings and car cruises are not promoting tourism. They are one day community events geared at bringing regional foot traffic to the downtown area. They are fine events for the town but are not what most would define as tourism.
randi April 01, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Denise: Darlene's post here is why you should consider an early PATCH closing as well. By her own admission, goes out and belts down a jug of Sangria, logs onto PATCH and wobbles on and on and on and on and on!
Mark Wendell April 01, 2012 at 12:27 PM
@ Darlene, Thank You, I would guess that at the high school levels since JR's and Seniors are of voting age maybe it's OK PC wise to explain the importance of a yes vote and what can or will happen with a no vote. It would be a great chance to explain civics affecting them directly. Remember since a HS's sports and extracurricular activities are most attacked the kids have allot at stake. I can say at my towns HS they say go vote and that's it. I don't have a problem personally if my kids are asked one way or the other because I try to teach them that you will get hit by outside sources on the TV, in school, whatever and try to have your own minds. As far as parents thinking they should be the ones who teach their own about voting I think it still lets them you are only sending home a reminder to vote. I don't shove anything down my kids throats Religion to politics, just try to guide and if they grow up into something different that is their choice. I don't want little lemmings. I believe Christie's comment on kids being trained to go home and tell their parents to vote yes was just a union attack and nothing else.
Darlene Motto April 01, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Randi, I do not know what your problem is. I did not say I belt down a jug of Sangria by myself. I was with friends and you are acting like a moron with the comments you make. Maybe Denise should cancel your posts with all your foolish accusations. What are you jealous? The only one who gobbling is yourself.
Darlene Motto April 01, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Randi, I do not know what your problem is. I did not say I belt down a jug of sangria by myself. Go read my post again. Talk about spinning. I was with friends and you are acting like a moron with the comments you make. Maybe Denise should cancel your posts with your foolish accusations. What are you jealous? The only one who is gobbling is yourself. Again, Do not read my post or respond if you have a problem with my views, opinions. Stop telling Denise and others what to do. She is a big girl. She uses are full name she has a mind of her own. She will decide if she cancels a comment or a post. She will write a warning as she has done before with Leo and Voice of Reasons. She is the professional, NOT YOU! You are starting to sound like a gossiping teenage girl.
Darlene Motto April 01, 2012 at 02:16 PM
@Mark, No Thank You's in order. I agree...I do not have a problem either. I feel at the High School level there is nothing wrong with teaching the kids in the School about the importance and the process of voting and being involved. Being the kids are exposed and already influenced from the outside public, TV, parents etc.... It is good for them to learn the different sides and views of all issues. To guide them to listen to all sides. Keep what they want and throw away what they don't. That is the how they learn to make decision. Unfortunately with all the politics going on to me has been sickening. I know it is nothing new, politics have been around from the beginning of time. It just seems to be getting worse as time goes on. I feel the greed, nastiness, bullying and arrogance has been at an all time high since Chris Christies has become Governor. I am not saying everything he is trying to do or done is wrong it is just the way he handles himself and the way he is doing it. He is not totally being honest or accurate with all his political stance and choices that are affecting public schools, kids and employees. What politician does though? This is just my opinion. Unfortunately I do feel you are right in reference to the kids. They are the ones who loses. Like you said everything winds up being cut from the kids programs such as the sports and extra curricular activities become in jeopardy. I think the parents are realizing it and are stepping it up with fund raising.
joe zaprzalka April 01, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Dominic.... I so agree,its not the income taxes that are driving us out .... its the property taxes
NJ resident April 01, 2012 at 05:46 PM
John - how right you are. People need to take a look at their income tax returns sent to NJ this year. 10% of what we paid would amount to very little. I remember when we had a decent amount given back in the form of a property tax rebate. Under this governor, my "credit" is just 1/3 the amount of the check we got every Nov. This governor is makes it sound like he cares. But, if you really look at his proposals and what he has done, the middle class is not on his list of people he most wants to help....Yet, many fall for his tactics. People hear 10% and think it is really something!
Keith Jensen April 03, 2012 at 02:53 AM
The ONLY way to truly reduce your taxes is by repealing the Abbott Ruling: yielding a 33% property tax cut. This story was qualified and covered by the PATCH. http://fortlee.patch.com/articles/fort-lee-republican-state-assembly-candidate-pushes-for-fair-school-funding And here are the facts: http://schoolfundingexposed.wordpress.com/fair-school-funding-2/
Property Taxed 2 Death April 03, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I voted for him and still like him, BUT that's fading because Christy has failed to do anything to help average people in NJ We need property tax reform NOW! we'll will be lucky to get enough from his income tax cut to buy a value meal at McDonalds once a month, while he and his cronies will save enough each month to pay the mortgage for a nice vacation home Apparently he's the same as fake phoney fraud Twisty Christy Whitman who gave the same tax cuts to millionaires and also ignored the property tax problem in NJ and left us with more new bonded debt than Florio's entire bonded debt and entire budged combined was when she took office! Savings for us will be almost enough to by a value mean at McDonalds once a month while they save enough to pay the mortgage on a nice vacation home. Do NOT be fooled tell Christy you want and need PROPERTY TAX REFORM NOW! along with EDUCATION REFORM both of which will require a shift in taxes from property taxes to a combination of increases starting with eliminating waste, cuts in what we pay for things like overhead road signs that cost the DOT Millions each for, but other states pay only $2500 each for, other easy cuts in all government spending for rent, equipment, supplies and other non salary expensis, income tax increases, a sales tax increase , etc. Tell Christy to stop touring the country to promote Romney, stop touring the world and stay here and devote that time and more to fixing the PROPERTY TAX MESS in NJ
Chris April 12, 2012 at 03:47 AM
I have owned property in wall for 23 years and my kids all go to private school. I have no problem paying for the fine Wall schools, the open acres programs, the bike trails, leaf pickup, etc etc etc, that make my property so valuable. Take a look at property taxes in Bergen, Rockland and Westchester. I do not need some nit wit to tell me to get my facts straight on this one, I have family that live in these counties and they pay twice the tax we do.
CC May 28, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I'm still waiting for my taxes to go down since he was voted into office. Bet if I were a millionaire, my taxes would have gone down, but , alas, I am just a poor person trying to make ends meet.

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