Liberty State Park legislation divides Hudson County Freeholders in first meeting of new board

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The first meeting of the new Hudson County Board of Freeholders was not without controversy, as freshman Freeholder Anthony Vainieri and long-time Freeholder Bill O’Dea differed on a bill that would create a new Meadowlands Commission – opening up the possibility of private development in Liberty State Park.

Sam Pesin – representing Friends of Liberty State Park – said the bill would begin a “dark chapter” in the park’s history, and called on the board to pass a resolution in opposition to the legislation.

District 8 Freeholder Anthony Vainieri – who represents North Bergen and Secaucus – said, “the bill was important for the county as a whole,” and added that County Exec Tom DeGise and the entire delegation of Hudson County state legislators supported the bill.

He cited tax relief the bill would created for his district, as well as the continuation of funding for Kearny and Jersey City, from reform to the Meadowlands Tax Sharing Program – a priority of NJ Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), who resides in Secaucus.

District 2 Freeholder Bill O’Dea voiced his opposition to development in Liberty State Park, saying Gov. Christie “snuck that language into the bill” for a reason and ripped him for creating division within Hudson County.

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