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37th District Legislators Urge Bergen Freeholders to Pass Pay-to-Play Ban

Bergen County legislators – Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assembly members Gordon Johnson and Valerie Vainieri Huttle – urged Governor Christie to bring his next town hall meeting to Hackensack so they can join him in a discussion on the pressing issue of ethics reform.

The 37th district lawmakers have been urging the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders to pass a comprehensive pay-to-play ban, which has languished without any activity other than to be watered down to the point of ineffectiveness. In his latest round of hand-picked town hall meetings, Christie has chosen to push his ethics agenda. Weinberg, Johnson and Vainieri Huttle are encouraging him to bring this discussion to Bergen County so that, together, they can hear from residents firsthand and urge the Freeholders to act on a pay-to-play ban.

“We know well that the governor is a strong proponent of holding public conversations with the community about key issues related to his agenda. And recently, he has begun a conversation in his town hall meetings about the need for ethics reform statewide,” said Weinberg (D-Bergen), a leading advocate of ethics reform in the state. “As a long-time advocate of good government proposals, I welcome this push by the governor to implement ethics reform, and invite him to participate in a joint town hall meeting with myself and my Assembly colleague so that we can discuss the issue directly with the residents of Bergen County.”

“We could certainly use the Governor’s support to motivate our Freeholder members to institute a pay-to-play ban at the local level,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “A great deal of taxpayer money is spent at the local level. Residents deserve to know that the strictest measures are in place to protect their hard-earned dollars from waste and abuse.”

“Since the Governor’s latest round of town hall meetings has been focused on ethics reform, I can’t think of a better place for him to make his next stop then our county seat – Hackensack,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “In any economy, waste and abuse are intolerable, but now more than ever we need to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being maximized in the most efficient manner. I hope the Governor can inspire our Freeholder Board take up this much-needed legislation without haste.”

A full copy of the lawmakers’ letter to the Bergen County Freeholders can be viewed here.