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Murphy DEP Continues Christie DEP State Parks Concessions Policy

Does the Murphy Administration want “continuity” with Christie DEP Policy?

Acting DEP Commissioner McCabe missed another opportunity to contrast the Murphy Administration’s policy reform agenda with Governor Christie’s DEP policies, this time regarding private concessions in State Parks, see:


It seems obvious that McCabe either: 1) doesn’t know the controversial history of the DEP’s leases and concessions program (e.g. that it was subject to several negative State audits and targeted by Legislation to mandate market based leases & concessions) or 2) she got duped again by Christie holdovers in Parks management and the press office (for background on those issues, see:

Does McCabe know that the Legislature mandated that DEP adopt market based lease and concessions? (see: Fair Market Value Leases for Energy Infrastructure Could Fund Park System):

DEP has failed to collect fair market value for energy infrastructure easements across state lands as required by 2008 legislation that specifically mandated the DEP submit a plan by July 1, 2009.

That law mandated that DEP:

“conduct a re-appraisal of the rents and fees charged for all residences and other buildings and structures, and for utility easements and right-of-ways, located on State park or forest lands to ensure they reflect current fair market values and will continue to do so;”

Does McCabe know that Gov. Christie had a revenue and privatization driven State parks policy (see: “Sustainable Parks Funding Strategy”).

Dos McCabe agree with all that?

Does McCabe know that the allocation of lease and concession revenue to State Parks was a huge problem with the recent Green Acres ballot question? (was it ever fully resolved in the implementing legislation?) (i.e. see the Bergen Record story: Budget Cuts Doom State Parks to Disrepair)

If McCabe did understand these policy controversies, she would have used the opportunity to include statements in that press release to distance herself from the Christie – Martin policy and make the point very clear that the Murphy Administration disagrees with those policies and does not view State parks are revenue mills and privatization opportunities.

Is McCabe being duped?

Is she just lazy?

Or does the Murphy Administration want “continuity”?

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