Lawmakers and the Murphy administration plan to move ahead with long-awaited nominations for New Jersey Transit’s board of directors, which is far below the 13 members required by state law.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-37th District, announced the three nominees from the governor’s office on Thursday evening: former state Sen. Bob Gordon; former Port Authority Director of Bidges, Terminal and Tunnels Cedrick Fulton; and Hotel Trades Counsel, AFL-CIO General Counsel Richard Maroko.
Gordon, a commissioner at the Board of Public Utilities, was a key Democratic lawmaker involved in drafting several bills to ramp up oversight of NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the wake of the Bridgegate lane closure corruption scandal.
The former state senator “will bring to the post not only a deep understanding of the ongoing problems at NJ Transit, but also of how NJ Transit fits into our regional transportation network,” Weinberg said in a Thursday evening statement.
The Senate is expected to approve the three nominees on Jan. 13, Weinberg added.
According to an editorial board meeting with The Star-Ledger, Weinberg wants Janna Chernetz, deputy director of the nonprofit Tri-State Transportation Campaign, to sit on the board.
As part of the oversight legislation, Senate Bill 630, that Gov. Phil Murphy signed in December 2018, NJ Transit’s board of directors would increase from eight to 13 members. The new picks must include a rail and bus rider, someone possessing experience with transit policy, and non-voting labor union representative. One of the members has to be from North Jersey and another from South Jersey.
Since the summer, the board has consisted of three voting ex-officio members and one non-voting labor representative. Talks have been going on for nearly a year behind closed doors between the Murphy administration and legislative leadership over the nominees — ever since Murphy unveiled his seven picks in March.
One of his nominations was existing trustee Raymond Greaves, a labor official and Bayonne city councilman. But Weinberg and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, had issues with some of the other nominees.