Grapevine Questions linger around reasons for Jamie Fox’s departure

NJBIZ STAFF//October 11, 2015//

Grapevine Questions linger around reasons for Jamie Fox’s departure

NJBIZ STAFF//October 11, 2015//

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Two weeks ago, Fox caught many off guard by announcing his plans to resign from his post by the end of the month. The news was seen as particularly timely, given that federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating the dealings between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and United Airlines, which Fox lobbied for during the period in question, prior to rejoining the state Department of Transportation last year.

But Fox says the investigation had nothing to do with his decision, instead pointing to the state’s most recent inability to solve the crisis around the depleted Transportation Trust Fund as his main reason for resigning.

Fox told reporters last week that he had given himself a year to get the trust fund done and, thus, decided to call it quits when he realized he’d be unsuccessful.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) jumped into the conversation last week as well, telling The Star-Ledger that Fox, a fellow Democrat, felt he needed to quit upon learning that Christie had signed the anti-tax pledge along his presidential campaign trail.

A hike in New Jersey’s gas tax, which has been unchanged since 1988, is widely considered to be a necessary step in addressing the trust fund’s needs.

In Atlantic City, Icahn also influences health care

Carl Icahn received full control of Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in June, but has been affecting decisions since late last year, when he was successful in procuring a court ruling allowing ownership to stop paying into the casino union benefits fund. 

And since January, UNITE HERE Local 54 members working at Trump Taj Mahal Casino have either used the marketplace or gone without health insurance.

Since then, insiders say, Icahn has been in touch with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City — where he is a trustee and huge benefactor — to both evaluate the union fund and discuss a move into the Atlantic City market.

Those discussions seem to have ended, with Mount Sinai in support of preserving the union fund. However, with regard to the market, there doesn’t seem to have been any movement.

Insiders said it would have been beneficial to add to the provider choices in the region, which currently has only one major provider for health care.

Trader Joe’s remains on track for Hoboken’s Willow14

When it comes to places that don’t have a Trader Joe’s, you might be surprised to learn that Hoboken is on that list.

But the wait might soon be over for residents who are thirsting for the upscale supermarket. The operator’s long-awaited entrance to the Mile Square City has taken a major step forward, a source said, as Trader Joe’s has filed a permit with the city to occupy a space at 14th Street and Willow Avenue.

The store would occupy a ground-floor space at Advance Realty’s Willow14 site, a project that calls for a 140 luxury apartments and some 20,000 square feet of retail space. The developer started vertical construction on the building in April, with completion slated for next year.

The chain’s arrival to Hoboken has been rumored for more than two years. Not that city residents have to go far to find one — the operator has locations about six miles away in Edgewater.

Grapevine reports on the behind-the-scenes buzz in the business community. Contact Editor Tom Bergeron at [email protected].