At a town hall, Christie pushes for ethics deal

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a Middle-Class Reform Agenda Town Hall at Southard School Gymnasium in Howell Township, N.J., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/The Asbury Park Press, Thomas P. Costello) NO SALES
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a Middle-Class Reform Agenda Town Hall at Southard School Gymnasium in Howell Township, N.J., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/The Asbury Park Press, Thomas P. Costello) NO SALES (AP)

He discussed other policy priorities, including a ban on public employees' holding multiple jobs.

Posted: September 14, 2012

HOWELL, N.J. - Gov. Christie kicked off a new round of town-hall meetings Wednesday by urging the Legislature to pass the ethics-overhaul package he proposed two years ago.

Christie discussed his policy priorities and took questions in a packed gym during a meeting that lasted more than 90 minutes in this Monmouth County township.

The ethics changes include prohibiting public employees from holding multiple jobs.

The Republican governor cited North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, who also is a Democratic state senator and assistant superintendent of schools.

"Where does he find the time?" Christie asked, adding that the mayor was one of many people statewide who had more than one public job.

"It seems to me, in a state like this, one public job should be enough," he said.

The governor said he also wanted to stop public employees from cashing in sick days when they retired.

"I thought that the benefit of going your whole career without being sick was not being sick," he said. "I didn't know that you also could get paid for it."

Christie ticked off a list of things that took less time than the 736 days he said he has waited for the Legislature to take up his ethics measures.

The theatrical first run of the 1997 movie Titanic was less than half that long, Christie said.

"People were watching Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet for 352 days, but 736 days - nothing on ethics reforms for me as governor," he said.

He also pushed for New Jersey's 566 municipalities to consider consolidating services.

Christie announced a seasonal update to "Endless Summer Tax Relief," the name he gave his summer schedule of town halls. The slogan for fall: "The Christie Middle-Class Tax Reform Agenda."

The governor touted his work in making pension and benefit changes and restructuring higher education. He previously has referred to his accomplishments as indicative of a "Jersey Comeback," but he has backed off using that phrase.

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