When Gov. Chris Christie visited East Brunswick on Thursday, his discussion about Republicans and Democrats in Trenton working together struck a chord with local politicians.
In East Brunswick, the Township Council is controled by a Repubican majority, 3 to 2, that often has to work with Democrat Mayor David Stahl.
“I think he hit most of the right notes. I've found the administration particularly attentive to the needs to local officials in my dealings with them,” said Council President Michael Hughes about the governor's speech.
The governor talked about how, since he has been in office, state Senate Republicans and Democrats have found ways to come together when it comes to discussing ways to cut taxes.
“When I was elected in November 2009, and I see a lot of you who were there that night, I got on the stage and said I was coming to Trenton to turn it upside down. You know when you see Democrats agreeing with Republicans on cutting taxes, not raising taxes, Trenton is officially upside down,” he told the crowd of almost 400.
Locally, Hughes and Mayor Stahl said that spirit of compromise is indicative of the way business is done in East Brunswick.
“We consistently reach across aisles and work collaboratively in East Brunswick and would hope Trenton would work together to find solutions to some of problems that our residents face," said Mayor Stahl.
“It's good to hear that the conversation in Trenton has shifted from ‘Can we cut taxes?’ to ‘How can we go about cutting taxes?’ It echoes what we have done in East Brunswick this past budget cycle. I think the portion of the speech dealing with how he has achieved bipartisan compromise on the bigger pieces of his agenda also resonates here in East Brunswick, with the divided government we have,” said Hughes.
During his comments, Gov. Christie showed the spirit of non-partisanship by praising Mayor Stahl for attending, and for his efforts locally.
“I’d like to thank the mayor…It’s not easy at any level of government and I appreciate your hard work…” he said.
Mayor Stahl had some kind words for the governor himself.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet the governor a number of times,” Mayor Stahl said Friday. “Gov. Christie is a very charismatic public speaker. He presents himself well, he presents the issues he supports very well, and it was a great day for East Brunswick residents, who had the opportunity to ask the governor questions.
“He is the governor of state of New Jersey. That office alone is due respect….as I tell the third-graders who visit my office every year, we live in a democracy, and you work together because we were all elected to do our jobs.”