Road Warrior Newsletter

April 16, 2010


Dear NJGCA Member:


I told you it would happen and indeed it has --- albeit much faster than I would have suspected.

As the budget process continues to unfold in Trenton, I warned you it would get nasty and voices would get shrill.  What I didn’t anticipate was how quickly the discussion has spiraled down into an ugly free for all.

Do not dismiss this solely as a political diatribe and fall asleep at the switch.  As I have stated in past editions of the Road Warrior, what is going on in Trenton will undoubtedly affect you and your small business.  All New Jersey businesses, after years of getting kicked by ever-increasing taxes and regulatory fines, are seeing some small relief as the state budget is scaled back and spending is cut.  But whenever one special interest is threatened, you should always expect a bare-knuckled fight.

As anticipated, that fight has included Governor Christie sparring with various special interest and their supporters in the Legislature.  While we respect the Governor enormously for drawing a line and taking our state back down the path of fiscal responsibility, we should all be hopeful that the debate does not continue to sink into the political abyss.

Why is this important?  It’s very simple.  I have presented our case for ELIMINATING CIFs from the Motor Vehicle Inspection system and moving New Jersey to an ALL-PIF Inspection Program.  To sell our plan, I have crisscrossed the state seeking (and getting) support from both Democrats and Republicans.  Like any common sense idea, this has become a truly bipartisan effort and I am pleased at how well our plan is being accepted thus far. 

However, regardless of how well this proposal is supported, it can ultimately be derailed by partisan bickering in Trenton.  Just as the teachers’ and public employees’ unions square off with the Governor over salaries and benefits, their supporters in the Legislature will be tempted to block all other needed reforms in order to win concessions from the Governor.  This may create the perfect storm to kill our initiative – and we cannot allow that to happen. 

Our plan to move to an all PIF system is crucial to all NJGCA members.  This proposal would save the state $56 million a year, which is good for our state’s fiscal health.  It would allow motorists greater choice in selecting a facility closer to their homes and more accommodating to their schedules in getting their vehicles inspected.  It would allow you another opportunity to service the public and benefit your business.  Ultimately this makes good public policy as demonstrated by our neighbors in Pennsylvania and New York as they have successfully implemented similar systems.  This is a winning idea on all sides and I do not want this to become a political football if the budget discussions descend into chaos. 

If any of you have relationships with Legislators, please call them and explain why this is important to your business and ASK them to support our initiative to GET THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY OUT OF THE INSPECTION BUSINESS!  HAVE MOTORISTS OBTAIN INSPECTIONS AT YOUR SHOP WHERE THEY BELONG!

The new inspection program rollout is nearly complete.  As of Thursday morning, only 10 more locations had to be converted.  Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that problems haven’t been reported. 

Last week we notified you that some of our members were having a problem with their gas benches and test gas canisters.  It seems that some people are receiving canisters that are empty while others have to perform calibrations more frequently than initially anticipated.  In some cases, PIFs are performing these calibrations daily, which may ultimately lead to over consumption of gas and have the unfortunate side affect of needing to turn customers away while replacement bottles are ordered.  We are looking into this problem and will report more as information becomes available.

If you are experiencing any problems at all, please let us know.  HOWEVER, in order to help you, we need you to document everything properly so we can intervene appropriately.  If you need assistance, please email Debbie Hill at with complete details and documentation.

Last Wednesday I appeared before the Governor’s Privatization Task Force, chaired by former Congressman Dick Zimmer, to testify on why we should move to an ALL-PIF Inspection System.  Please take a look at a few snapshots from my testimony below.

Following up from last week’s request, we are interested in amassing a collection of toy trucks for a display at our headquarters.  We’re looking for some of you to send trucks that are boxed and in good condition from Exxon, Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Sunoco, BP, GULF, or Hess.  I will personally donate a few personal items from my days owning a Texaco franchise for the display.  If you care to participate – and we hope you will – please contact me so we can make arrangements to mail or drop them off to our offices in Springfield.  Please attach your business card to each toy donated.

Thanks for reading and see you next week! 

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director

 IN THIS WEEK’S NJGCA ROAD WARRIOR                                    

•From April 7, 2010 as NJGCA testifies before the Governor’s Privatization Task Force.

•See our new class schedule below!!

•Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!

•State public workers unions plan biggest protest in history
•Christie refuses to consider higher taxes, undeterred by union hindrance
•NJ ranked the least tax friendly state to live in
•NJ Transit scales back fare hikes for bus riders

 ON THE NJGCA HOMEPAGE                                                           

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!

 KNOW YOUR TERRITORY MANAGER!                                           

Henry Darden: Territory Manager for Middlesex, Union, Part of Essex (Southern Half)

Cell: 973-477-0057

Jack Leli: Territory Manager for Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem
Cell: 732-995-1637

Bob Quirk: Territory Manager for Bergen, Hudson, Part of Essex (Northern Half)
Cell: 201-214-8836

Frank Stewart: Territory Manager for Morris, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic
Cell: 973-234-7403
Don Stohrer: Territory Manager for Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset
Cell: 732-539-2955


…From Wednesday, April 7, 2010.  Executive Director Sal Risalvato testified before the Governor’s Privatization Task Force to propose moving to an all PIF inspection program.  During his testimony, Sal outlined how the plan could save taxpayers $56 million a year while better serving the state’s motorists.

Sal speaks to Task Force members during a public hearing on April 7th on why eliminating all CIF locations and moving to an all PIF inspection program would benefit residents.

Sal answers a question from Task Force Chairman Dick Zimmer on NJGCA’s proposal to follow New York and Pennsylvania’s example of moving to an all PIF inspection program.



Emission Repair Technician Re-Certification Class
NJGCA is offering the ETEP course that your ERT’s need in order to re-certify their license.

Our Course includes:
•New Jersey State Specific Information Course
•ETEP Section 6 “OBDII Monitoring Failures”
•Section 7 “Light-Duty Diesel Vehicle Technologies and Testing”.

Everything your technician needs to Re-Certify his ERT license!!!

Class Cost (Including Manuals):
•NJGCA Member rates: $489.00
•NON-Member rates: $629.00

NJGCA is offering a full ETEP course for those wishing to be cetified as a Emission Repair Technician.

Class Cost (Including Manuals):
•NJGCA Member rates: $1,495.00
•NON-Member rates: $1,695.00

PLEASE NOTE: We are currently in the process of putting together additional class for April, May and June. If you are interested in taking classes in this time period, please call NJGCA and let us know so we can add you to the list.

Call Debbie Hill to enroll in the classes at or call 973-376-0066.


Ensuring our friends in the legislature are re-elected and advocating for our agenda in Trenton are of utmost importance to the agenda of NJGCA.

It is for this reason that your Association has established the NJGCA PAC.

For too long, the weight of funding our Political Action Committee, the arm of the Association responsible for political donations, has rested upon the shoulders of a few.  This is not fair to them, and it is not fair to many of you who are relying on the benefits of good legislation being passed in Trenton.

To truly understand the importance of fundraising for our allies, let’s look back upon the overwhelming successes of the last year:

NJGCA successfully lobbied against BELOW COST SELLING. If approved, BELOW COST SELLING would have cost each of you thousands of dollars and put many of you out of businesses.  NJGCA leaned on some of our friends in the Assembly and literally had the bill pulled off the floor on the day it was scheduled to be voted on.  Our friends in the Legislature helped us get this accomplished.

NJGCA made history and led the charge to pass the most comprehensive protection of franchisees in decades with FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL legislation.  FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL passed only because NJGCA and dealers throughout the state were able to lean on several friends in the Assembly and the Senate.

NJGCA has been rallying support for RIGHT TO REPAIR over the last two years among key legislators.  This would end the practice of car manufacturers denying you the codes necessary to complete the repairs you make on your customers cars.  Every state has tried to pass RIGHT TO REPAIR and no state has even been able to get the legislation out of committee.   Because of our friends in the Legislature, NJGCA has been successful in getting this bill passed by the Assembly and now awaits a vote in the Senate.

I am asking some of you as individuals to make a contribution and attend a fundraising event sponsored by one of our friends in the Assembly.

However, we will not be able to host events for all of our friends, so the NJGCA PAC will have to make contributions.  You will be receiving letters soon from the NJGCA PAC asking you to make contributions. 

If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies.

66 Morris Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Please make your donation payable to NJGCA PAC

I understand that times are tough for all NJGCA members, but this is just as important as any battle we have fought in the past.

We have made great progress in Trenton.  I hope that you will answer the call. 


State public workers unions plan biggest protest in history
State public employees will hold the biggest rally in Statehouse history to protest Governor Christie’s proposed budget cuts.  In total, 20,000 teachers and 10,000 state workers are expected to participate in the rally. 

Christie refuses to consider higher taxes, undeterred by union hindrance
Governor Christie has stated he is not deterred by the state teachers union’s refusal to contribute to their healthcare or accept a pay freeze as he attempts to solve the state’s fiscal crisis.  Union officials have called on Christie to re-instate the “Millionaire’s Tax” to raise additional revenue, which imposes a higher tax on those making over $400,000 a year.  However, the Governor has refused to re-instate the tax, which expired at the end of December, since over half of those filers which would be affected are small business owners.

NJ ranked the least tax friendly state to live in
A study conducted by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group, has listed New Jersey as the most unfriendly tax environment in the United States.  In combined total tax obligations, residents in the Garden State pay out 11.8% in taxes, have the worst tax record as well. Taking into consideration state and local property, sales, and income taxes, those in the Garden State pay out a whopping 11.8% in taxes.  Click on the link above to read more.

NJ Transit scales back fare hikes for bus riders
After a series of public hearings, NJ Transit is considering a 10% fare hike increase rather than the original 25% hike originally planned for bus riders.  However, those taking the train will continue to face a rate hike of 25%.


Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist