Trenton, NJ - Today Governor Chris Christie signed an Executive Order creating a New Jersey Privatization Task Force to develop recommendations for a comprehensive approach to converting certain areas of government operations to privately-run operations in an effort to cut the size and cost of state government.
Facing state employee contracts entered into by the prior administration that include raises of between 7 percent and 11 percent for thousands of public employees in 2011, Governor Christie said he must do all that is necessary to blunt those poorly conceived and ill-timed contractual obligations that will now heavily burden budgets for Fiscal 2011 and Fiscal 2012.
“We are stuck with this problem, but that does not mean I am barred from finding a way to fix it,” said Governor Christie. “I don’t think you will find private sector employees anywhere enjoying the luxury of an 11 percent raise next year. It was a promise that the state cannot afford and should never have been made in the first place.”
The task force was created to examine areas where government services and functions can be provided by the private sector.
"Delivering programs and services to our citizens is government’s primary job, but I have asked the Task Force to look for places where we can do this in a more efficient, cost-effective way by having the private sector do it,” Governor Christie added. “This full review will allow the Lt. Governor and me to make carefully informed decisions on where and how to do this as we continue to responsibly manage state government. It will also make recommendations for how privatization could improve operations and reduce costs for municipalities, school districts and counties.”
The Task Force will be chaired by former Congressman Dick Zimmer and include Todd Caliguire, Kathleen Davis, John Galandak, and Dr. P. Kelly Hatfield. (Please see their bios appended below.)
According to Executive Order 17, the Task Force will serve without compensation and be dissolved after issuing its final report on May 31, 2010. The report will include specific recommendations for privatization initiatives for implementation by state government during the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2010.
Among other things, the Task Force will look at issues, including:
Governor Christie named the following individuals to serve on the New Jersey Privatization Task Force:
Prior to his appointment to the Ways and Means Committee, Dick Zimmer was a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Government Operations Committee.
He is the author of the federal Megan’s Law, which requires parents to be notified when a convicted sex offender moves into their neighborhood. He was named three times the most fiscally responsible member of the entire Congress by the National Taxpayers Association and was designated a Taxpayer Hero by Citizens Against Government Waste every year he served in the House.
Prior to his election to Congress, Dick Zimmer was a member of the New Jersey State Assembly, where he was chairman of the State Government Committee, and the State Senate, where as a member of the Revenue, Finance and Appropriations Committee he identified and promoted hundreds of millions of dollars of specific spending cuts to the state budget.
He is currently president of Zimmer Strategies, Inc., an independent public policy consulting firm. From 2001 until 2009 Dick Zimmer was of counsel with the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where as a member of the firm’s Public Policy Practice Group he provided clients with strategic government affairs advice and representation on a wide range of matters including taxation, health care, pensions, homeland security, federal contracts, federal appropriations, international relations, environment, education, corporate governance, financial regulation and telecommunications.
Dick Zimmer, who resides in Delaware Township, earned his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He received a B.A. degree, with high honors in political science, from Yale College. He is a member of the bar of New Jersey, New York and the District of Columbia.
In 1982, he was appointed as assistant legal counsel to New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, and later became Counselor to the Governor, serving as a senior policy advisor to Governor Kean. In 1987, he returned to the private practice of law where he specialized in corporate and commercial matters, and in 1992 was elected to the first of two three-year terms as a Freeholder in Bergen County. He joined ANW/Crestwood on a full-time basis in 2000.
Todd graduated from Princeton University with a degree in engineering in 1977, and received a law degree and MBA from New York University in 1981.
Davis coordinated the production of three major reports of the Chamber’s Board Council on Responsible Government Spending, which studied State government operations analogous to the business community and offered best business practices in those areas of operations. The three reports generated 100 recommendations that if implemented would save taxpayers more than $1 billion.
Prior to joining the Chamber in December 1995, Davis was Director of Governmental Affairs and chief lobbyist for New Jersey-American Water Company, the State's largest water company. Previously, Davis served as Assistant to Governor Florio from 1990 through 1992.
Davis is currently serves on the Board of Trustees and on the Executive Committee of NEW JOBS; secretary of the South Jersey Chamber Foundation; and on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Davis' biography is included in the Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who in the World.
Davis graduated Magna Cum Laude from Glassboro State College where she received a B.A. in Law & Justice. Davis resides in West Deptford Township with her husband and son.
Prior to current appointment, John served 17 years as president, the Foundation for Free Enterprise, the CIANJ’s educational affiliate. He has volunteered for organizations including the Business Advisory Committee of the Passaic County Technical Institute's Academy of Finance; his hometown board of education, where he served as vice president, and a board member of PROJECT PLUS [an adult literacy program]. He is also a founding trustee of the Sandyston/Walpack Education Foundation.
John holds both a B.A. and M.S. degree from Rutgers University. John resides in Sussex County with his wife Gail, who is a first grade teacher. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters.
Hatfield also successfully fought for the preservation of 68 acres of forested watershed as open space, and had it designated as a critical environmental site. She advocated for, and won well-head protection and assisted the Environmental Commission in creating Summit’s first Environmental Resource Inventory. She currently serves on the Trust for Public Lands Advisory Board.
A strong advocate for excellence in public education, Hatfield served from 1991-1996 on Summit’s Board of Education including terms as President and Vice President. Her expertise and successful advocacy for special needs children led to her appointment to the New Jersey Legislative Special Education Funding Task Force. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Bethel Ridge, a community-based organization providing support for persons with developmental disabilities, and as a Trustee of the Autism Educational Foundation.
Dr. Hatfield holds a Master’s degree and a Doctorate in Microbiology from New York University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Fairfield University. She has held key positions in academe where she worked as a research scientist and professor of Microbiology. She is married to Dr. James Hatfield and has three grown children.