Source: NJTV Online -
“Every street, two square miles around here. It was impossible. The worst I’d ever seen,” said Fort Lee resident Ted Allen.
Libertarian Allen recalls the traffic nightmares of September 2013 when an aide to Gov. Chris Christie emailed the Port Authority to tie up traffic in Fort Lee leading to the most traveled bridge in America — the GWB — in an apparent act of political retaliation against this borough’s mayor.
Now, lawmakers in both states have approved bills to make the Port Authority more transparent, opening up its decision-making to the public, mandating a study of the Port Authority every two years and setting up protection for whistleblowing.
“It really starts to implement some of the fundamental changes to the Port Authority that we really wanted to see,” [said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, one of the Republican sponsors of the bills. “Financial disclosure forms — we wanted to be able to know if people have monetary interests.”
There’s no question the Bridgegate scandal and the investigations have given lawmakers the momentum, the impetus to reform the Port Authority. Which raises the question would these reforms have prevented the Bridgegate scandal altogether?
“Nobody can say for sure because we don’t know as to exactly what occurred,” Schepisi said.
Seton Hall law professor Matt Hale says the reforms likely would have made carrying out Bridgegate more difficult. But real reform?
Schepisi appears on the video at 1:09 and 1:45
He said, “At the end of the day you still have to have people within the organization, within whatever agency it is, embrace a culture of openness and transparency.”
Lawmakers says their action is a good start.