events have demonstrated that the siting and construction of billboards
involves interaction with governmental agencies at several levels, and
has the potential to confer substantial monetary benefits on owners and
developers of billboards; and
WHEREAS, these events
have raised questions as to the adequacy of the existing policies and
practices of State departments, authorities and independent agencies in
approving the siting, construction and leasing of billboards on public
WHEREAS, it is essential
that the existing processes for locating and constructing billboards on
State property be thoroughly reviewed with an eye towards furthering public
notice and input in the siting process and financial disclosure of the
individuals and entities with an interest in billboard projects, and reducing
or eliminating new billboard construction in New Jersey; and
WHEREAS, there is
a compelling need to suspend the siting and construction of new billboards
on State property until this comprehensive review is completed, in order
to protect the public interest in the integrity in the award of public
contracts for billboards, to ensure that any such contracts are reviewed
in compliance with environmental requirements and benefits and to enhance
the financial benefit to the State for any such contracts;
I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue
of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes
of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
- Effective immediately, there is imposed a 120-day moratorium on the
approval of any permit application or contract for the design, construction
or erection of any billboards on State-owned property or property owned
by any State department, agency or independent authority.
- Effective immediately, there is imposed a 120-day moratorium on
the sale or lease by any State department, agency or independent authority
of any existing billboards owned, operated or controlled by the State
of New Jersey, any State department, agency or independent authority.
- There is hereby created the Billboard Policy and Procedure Review
Task Force (hereinafter "Task Force"). The Task Force shall consist
of the Commissioner of Transportation, the Commissioner of Community
Affairs, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Chief of
the Governor's Authorities Unit and five public members to be appointed
by the Governor. The five public members shall have experience in
land use issues, ethics law, environmental matters or public contracting
and procurement procedures. The Governor shall appoint the Chair of
the Task Force from among its members.
- The Task Force shall undertake a comprehensive review of the existing
procedures involved in the siting of billboards on public and private
property, and the degree of involvement that State and local government
agencies have in the siting and approval process. The Task Force shall
also determine and catalog the existing policies and practices in
place for all State departments, agencies and independent authorities
regarding the sale, lease, development and erection of billboards
in the State of New Jersey. The Task Force shall also evaluate the
feasibility of reducing or eliminating new billboard construction
in New Jersey.
- The Task Force shall report its findings within 90 days of the effective
date of this Order. The report of the Task Force shall detail the
existing policies and practices in place, and shall contain detailed
recommendations concerning how the process and procedures should be
altered in order to ensure the integrity of the siting decisions and
associated contracts. The goal of the Task Force shall be to recommend
uniform policies and procedures to be put in place for the sale, lease
or construction of any billboards in the State of New Jersey.
- Specifically, these uniform policies and procedures shall include
notice to local public entities for comment prior to the construction
of new billboards, full financial disclosure of all persons or entities
with any financial interest in the billboards, and the elimination
of no-bid contracts.
- The uniform policies and procedures should also require that notice
and opportunity to comment at a public hearing be provided prior to
the issuance of any permit for a billboard.
- The Task Force shall also examine the present organizational structure
that the State utilizes in regulating and approving the placement
of billboards in New Jersey, and shall recommend whether the existing
structure should be altered in order to better accomplish the goals
of mitigating the impact of billboards on the environment and of fostering
interaction with local zoning and planning agencies.
- The Attorney General shall provide legal counsel to the Task Force.
The Task Force may request assistance from any department, division,
office, agency or authority of the State. Any department, division,
office, agency or authority of the State is hereby directed to cooperate
with the Task Force and furnish it with information and personnel
assistance to the extent necessary to achieve the goals of this Order.
- This Order shall take effect immediately.
my hand and seal this 12th day of May
in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Three, and of the Independence
of the United States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Seventh.
/s/ Michael R. DeCotiis
Chief Counsel to