TOMS RIVER-Freeholder Joseph Vicari has a reputation for not being afraid to stand up for the people of Ocean County and now, he’s challenging Governor Phil Murphy as the first local or state county official to flat out demand a halt to the impending toll hike proposed by the Murphy Administration.
Vicari said the increase is not fair to New Jersey residents forced to stay at home who may want to publicly voice their opinion against the hike, which is being conducted in the middle of a global coronavirus pandemic.
“The public has not had a reasonable opportunity to voice its opinion on the upcoming Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike toll increases,” Vicari said. “It is not reasonable to believe that in the current circumstances, which we can all agree are unlike anything experienced before, that the public is fully aware and paying attention to these ill-timed toll increases.”
Despite public outcry, Murphy’s administration held a private hearing shortly after the coronavirus stay-at-home was issued.
“While allowed by law, these online hearings were far from normal and I do not believe anywhere near all of the public’s concerns were fairly voiced at these sessions.” Vicari said. “However, even if the increases are approved, Murphy could veto the authority minutes and block the action, which is something Vicari is asking the governor to consider.”
“Allow this crisis to pass and then grant the public a fair chance to voice their opinion,” Vicari said.