North Bergen Mayor/state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32) took a shot at longtime rival Gov. Chris Christie (R) when discussing the township’s newly adopted $88.4 million budget this week, stating that “under this Republican regime, we’ve really been suffering.”
“[In the] foreseeable future, a new governor might change things, that might help urban areas again. That’s when all the problems started. At least under the former Democratic governor, we were receiving more aid,” Sacco explained while speaking one-on-one with Hudson County View.
“UEZs (Urban Enterprise Zones) were operating, bringing money into the town and helping us develop the town, helping us find new businesses from the UEZ funds we were getting. None of this is happening now. Under this Republican regime, we’ve really been suffering, in an urban area, all urban areas are suffering because of it.”
According to a this year’s North Bergen budget, state funding has been stagnant since 2011: stuck at $7,185,597.
In 2006, 2007 and 2008, that figure was above $13 million, before dropping to $12,125,835 in 2009 and then $10,704,539 in 2010 – the year Christie assumed office.
Christie diverted all $47 million worth of UEZ funds into the state budget in mid-2011 and the state Senate failed to override the governor’s line-item veto to replace the funds in July of the same year, per The South Jersey Times.
Prior to that, 32 UEZs were operating in 37 New Jersey municipalities to help bolster economic development.
Christie and Sacco have had an icy relationship for years, which became quite public in September 2012 when Christie called to end dual office holding, calling out his Democratic rival by name.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Sacco is one of many Hudson Dems that appear ready to support Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s expected gubernatorial run in 2017.
An email to Christie’s office was not immediately returned.