Road Warrior Newsletter

June 19, 2009


Dear NJGCA Member:



Since May, I have been getting a stream of phone calls from our members fuming over the current inspection turmoil.  I understand your frustrations; I’m angry too, and I am fed up with the lip service and lack of response from MVC.  I feel as if I have been lied to in order to stall any actions that I considered taking.  In fact I have interpreted their actions as a clear message “GO STICK IT”

This entire fiasco has come as a surprise to everyone.  Until now I have been supportive of Parsons as the selected contractor because their bid to the state gave PIFs the lowest cost on equipment and maintenance.   Last month it was revealed that the packages would contain a provision that the equipment must be paid in full four months in advance of delivery.   Officials at MVC of course keep saying that it was widely known that a “commitment” was going to be required by June 30th.  That is very insulting.

These dopes don’t seem to understand that there is a huge difference between “commitment” and “payment in full four months in advance”.  The people that sat around the table and made this ridiculous decision obviously have no idea how a business is run or how a business gets financing for tools and equipment.

I went to the head of MVC, Sharon Harrington, directly.  Ms. Harrington assured me that this issue was being taken seriously by her personally and that she was working on a solution.  Ms. Harrington’s solution was to coax Parsons to find a lease/finance company that would be agreeable to provide financing before the equipment was delivered.  That was very nice…EXCEPT….the State of New Jersey has now arranged for a loanshark to provide financing to PIFs.  The loanshark wants to charge 30% interest rates.

When I voiced my objections to the loanshark that was chosen, Ms Harrington asked me to meet with top officials from Parsons and the MVC Project Manager.   Last Monday I met with officials from Parsons, SGS, and MVC.    I proposed several solutions including a 10% non refundable deposit as the “commitment”, with the balance to be paid upon delivery in October.  This would allow for each of you to obtain financing from sources that you normally use since the equipment would then be on premise when the financing was provided.

Several other issues including the use of gas test equipment and the associated fees were also discussed.  I was promised an answer by the next day.   I was successfully stalled until Thursday.  Only after several tersely worded emails to Parsons Officials and Sharon Harrington did I receive a reply.  Their response……..NO!   All of my proposals were rejected.

Again I requested a meeting with Sharon Harrington.  Sharon Harrington has not even had the courtesy to reply to me.  I do not expect a reply from her especially since she has resigned her position as Chief Administrator of MVC effective yesterday.

Further insulting is a letter sent on behalf of Harrington to about 10 legislators in response to their inquiry about the unreasonable requirements of MVC/Parsons/SGS.  The letter explained that a solution was provided because The State has now come to our rescue by finding IMM Leasing to provide financing for PIFs.  Of course nowhere in the letter was it stated that IMM Leasing would charge interest at the rate of 30%.

Once again Parsons is at the center of another fiasco.  Unfortunately, I’m sorry to say we are reaching a dead end.  In fact, they are unwilling to discuss this matter any further.  Despite what has been a cooperative relationship with MVC over the last two years, I’ve taken their behavior to mean “go stick it” since I’m not longer able to get them to return my calls.

This entire episode has been utterly mishandled.  Packages were to be sent to PIFs by mid-May – but I have heard from members who received their packets just this week.  And somehow the State believes that everything should be submitted by June 30th?

This is simply NOT acceptable.  It demonstrates only too plainly that the State neglected their responsibility to make sure this agreement was fair and reasonable.

There are roughly 1,400 Private Inspection Facilities who participate in the current inspection program.  I would love to believe that NONE would sign up under these appalling terms and conditions.  A general boycott of the inspection program is the ONLY WEAPON I have at my disposal to force the State to reconsider this matter.  However, I don’t have the confidence at this time that all of you will reject Parson’s offer.  I love you all dearly, but getting you to cooperate with a total boycott is like rounding up cats.

 am very aware that the deadline is fast approaching on June 30th.  We do not have much time.  If I hear of anything new, I will send out a Wildfire Alert to update you.

I am asking all of you to reach out to your Legislators and let them know what is going on.  We may not be able to do anything now, but it is time to get the State of NJ and Parsons out of the inspection business.  Legislators remember very well that Parsons was a disaster 10 years ago.

We must reinforce in the minds of legislators that Parsons sucked in 1999, and that Parsons still sucks.   Tell legislators that Parsons will always be a disaster and it is time to consider a State Inspection program that eliminates the Central Lanes and requires motorists to get their inspections at PIFs.

While we have made our disappointment known to many lawmakers, many of them need to hear from you.  When I tell lawmakers that you have a problem, and then you call them to complain too, we gain more strength and influence.

You can find your Legislators by clicking HERE – Simply find your municipality to see who represents you in Trenton.

Be sure to tell them how MVC/Parsons’ has once again blundered the inspection program, how unreasonable their new equipment financing demands are, and how their terms will harm your small business.  As always be polite.  But it is okay to tell them “PARSONS SUCKS”.  Let that message ring over and over in their ears: “PARSONS SUCKS”.  It is an easy and simple theme for them to remember, and we will need them to remember that when the Motor Vehicle Inspection contract is up for renewal in 4 years.

Thanks for listening - See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


•Take your inspector Refresher Course with NJGCA!

BUSINESS TOOLS: First Capital Mortgage (FCM)
•Looking to refinance your property?  Want to take advantage of today's low rates?

•Take advantage of this program and get recognized for your "green" credentials!

•New claims rise as jobless rolls drop for first time since January
NJGCA in the News: Risalvato talks First Right of Refusal
NJGCA in the News: Brownfeld, Risalvato applaud enactment of First Right of Refusal Act
NJGCA in the News: Station owner, Risalvato discuss inspection equipment costs 


Check out all of our MBPs and Programs designed to SAVE YOU MONEY!

Looking for something? Take a look at our list of useful links!

Find all our communications and search for old e-newsletters. Take a look!

Need to catch up on events?  Want to see what's going on?  Find out here!

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has recently sent out a VID message to all Private Inspection Stations in state. 

All currently licensed Inspectors must complete an Inspector refresher course and pass a general knowledge exam with a grade of 80% or better to remain in the program.  If any test-taker answers 11 questions wrong, they will automatically fail.  A hands-on test for licensed Inspectors will not be required.

Inspectors will have until December 31, 2009 to take and pass the test.

NJGCA will be offering a refresher course sometime in the near future at two locations:

NJGCA Headquarters
66 Morris Ave.
Springfield, NJ 07081

NJGCA at Precision Auto Repair
1264 Hwy 35 South
Middletown, NJ 07748

If any PIFs are interested, please call our office to be put on the list.  All dates, times, and details will be released shortly.
Please call Debbie Hill at 973-376-0066 with any questions or concerns.

BUSINESS TOOLS: First Capital Mortgage (FCM)

Are you looking to refinance your property to take advantage of the new low rates available today? Are you thinking of increasing the assists of your business to improve your position in your market? FCM is a fully accredited authorized source for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and VA loans, as well as non-conforming and “niche” products. FCM works with a diverse pool of lenders. We select the best rates on the best products every day. FCM’s  high rate of success meeting client’s needs means that we can work on lower profit margins than banks and equals immediate and long term savings for you. Using technology-based services not found with most competitors, FCM sets new standards in mortgage lending. We offer fast turn around and the highest quality customer service. NJGCA Member only discounts applied.

Visit our website to learn more about our mortgage offerings or call today (908) 788-4002. Ask for Bill or Dana Maier to get you started on the road to savings and improving your bottom line.


You can also contact Phil Apruzzi with any further questions at 973-376-0066 x209. 

NJGCA is participating in the NJ Green Automotive Repair Council along with AAA-NJ, the NJ Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR), and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.  
The council's mission is to encourage NJ automotive repair facilities to adopt environmentally responsible business practices. 

Through a certification program for dealership and independent automotive repair facilities, the council will also establish “green” repair standards.  Those who are reviewed and qualify will receive certification.  Stickers will also be given to those facilities to illustrate their participation in the program.

If you would like to participate in the program and fill out an application, please contact Debbie Hill at 973-376-0066.  An application fee and annual review fee are applicable.  
More facts about the program are available


New claims rise as jobless rolls drop for first time since January
While new national unemployment claims rose slightly, the total number of people utilizing unemployment insurance dropped for the first time since early January.  The US Department of Labor reports that unemployment insurance rolls fell by 148,000 to 6.69 million in the week ending June 6, a significant drop.

NJGCA in the News: Risalvato talks First Right of Refusal
NJGCA Executive Director spoke with John Cichowski of the Bergen Record regarding the recently enacted First Right of Refusal Act.  Sal discussed how the new law will help protect small business owners and keep small, independent run service stations from going out of business. To read the entire interview, please click on the link above.

NJGCA in the News: Brownfeld, Risalvato applaud enactment of First Right of Refusal Act
NJGCA member Scott Brownfeld, owner of Lincroft Exxon, and Executive Director Sal Risalvato spoke with the Star Ledger reporter Leslie Kwon on what the First Right of Refusal Act will mean for the retail gasoline industry.  Assemblyman Jon Bramnick also comments on the bill’s enactment.

NJGCA in the News: Station owner, Risalvato discuss inspection equipment costs 
NJGCA Executive Director Sal Risalvato and repair station owner Vinnie Caruso spoke with NJ Biz, a leading business publication, regarding the state’s new inspection program.  Please click above to read the article in its entirety.

Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist