Road Warrior Newsletter

April 23, 2010


Dear NJGCA Members:


The last few weeks, we’ve been dedicating a lot of our weekly coverage to our efforts in changing the inspections system.  Still, while moving from a CIF-centric to an all-PIF inspection system is a worthy goal, I don’t want you to think that I haven’t noticed the dramatic changes taking place in the market.

We’ve seen gas prices change upwards and downwards since the beginning of the year, and are now about 30 cents higher than they were in January.  Along the way, we’ve observed an interesting pattern: Prices begin to increase a lot, then fall a little; then again increase a lot and fall just a bit.  We are now in an upward spike, but the pattern has not faltered, as each spike follows no meaningful correlation to supply and demand nationwide.  With supply and demand relatively steady for the last six months, that means the price hike in gasoline rests almost entirely on the cost of a barrel of crude oil.

Unfortunately, market forces are not what are causing crude oil prices to increase.  Rather, investors and speculators are once again playing their game.  They are gambling that the near- to mid-term supply of crude oil and refined products will not meet demand as we enter the summer months and are now bidding prices higher.  Speculators can do this because they’ve made incredible gains in other markets and now have additional liquid capital to play with – and crude oil futures gives them a place to gamble.  Every time we see a price spike that is immediately followed by a modest drop in price, the gamblers are making a correction because they have second thoughts on their gamble.  They are re-examining supply and demand levels that ultimately dictate what the price should be.

But you can’t lay the blame only on the speculators.  Oil producers always enjoy it when investor-types come to gamble.  These gamblers will roll the dice, driving up the cost of crude and products refined from them, such as gasoline and diesel.  Since these oil producers are just as hungry for profit, they won’t complain, but if motorists do not take to the roads as they’ve predicted, they’ll withdraw their capital and prices should fall back.  If they don’t lower the price then they will find themselves drinking their oil. 

I know what you’re thinking: How do you know this Sal?  Well, the simple truth is that I don’t.  There is NO EXPERT on the face of the planet --- including myself --- who can tell you with any certainty what the price of crude will do.  The only thing any “expert” can accurately predict is what will happen under certain conditions.  If those conditions materialize, we are accurate.  If they don’t, then we would have BEEN accurate had those conditions played out.  Still, no one has a crystal ball and can predict exactly how those circumstances will arise – and so the game continues.

I expect retail gasoline prices to hover someplace below $3.00 for most of this summer if the current conditions remain.

Our fight to put an all-PIF inspection system into place continues.  However, I’m very uncomfortable because the option of eliminating safety inspections altogether is still on the table in order to save the state a few million dollars. Though I’ve met many high level officials in Governor Christie's Administration that strongly support our proposal to require all re-inspections be performed at PIFs (and not permitted to go back at CIFs) there are still high level officials that see a greater benefit of eliminating safety inspections altogether.
Nevertheless, I’m pleased to report that in all of the meetings I’ve had with Legislators of both parties, all have expressed support for this proposal and have expressed opposition to eliminating safety from motor vehicle inspections. 
BUT this is an extremely fluid process and nothing is ever certain.  As in any debate, the political rhetoric is distorting the intellectual exchange between ideas and solutions.  That means our ideas are going to be tossed around the next two months and I will need your help to make this happen.

While I respect the Governor for taking a hands-on approach to our state’s fiscal emergency, I believe he may personally feel that eliminating safety inspections is the better approach. 

As such, it’s more important than ever for you to do the following:

1. Keep a digital camera handy in your shop and look out for dangerous and unsafe vehicles.

2. When these vehicles are in your repair bay for a NJ state motor vehicle inspection, take numerous pictures from every angle of whatever may be unsafe; that includes tires with low-tread, bad brakes, front end, mirrors, headlights, turn signals, and especially brake lights.

3.  Make certain to take a photo of the inspection sticker that indicates the month and year the inspection was due.  A photo of the license plate will be helpful too.

4. Be sure to record the date the photos were taken, the make/model/license plate of the vehicle you inspected, and all of the customer’s relevant information.

5. Email all of the pictures and information to me immediately!

Please keep in mind: Customer information will NOT be shared and that the information will be for our internal purposes only.

As we’ve continued to report, the atmosphere in Trenton is getting nasty as all kinds of special interests come out of the woodwork to defend their stake in the budget process.  But it’s about to get worse.  That’s because this week, we’ve witnessed a historic event as voters rejected 59% of all proposed school budgets. 

It is the first time that a majority of budgets have been shot down in over 30 years.

While many worry about how this will affect public education, many more are justifiability upset with how little has been done to curb property taxes.  And who came blame them?  As a New Jersey resident, chances are that between 60%-78% of your local property taxes go toward education.  That’s not an insignificant sum of money and the worse things get, the more we are driving away residents and businesses.

While there is no doubt that you are focused on running your business, please pay attention to these events as they will undoubtedly affect you and your small business.

These past few weeks, I have asked that if you are having a problem with the implementation of the inspection program, to please contact Debbie Hill at for assistance.  We’ve heard from a few of you, but many are not giving us the information we need to get the ball rolling.  If you have a problem, please be sure to include any and all information detailing the problems you are experiencing as well as your contact information. 

Finally, as we’ve stated the last two weeks, 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.  We hope you will participate.  Please contact me so we can make arrangements to mail or drop them off to our offices in Springfield and 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                                    

•Added All PIF and Diesel classes below!!

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

•NJ DOT Chief says no gas tax or toll hike
•Governor pushes property tax cap and changes to public benefits
•State voters reject majority of school budgets
•Right to Repair Act list of bi-partisan sponsors grows

 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




April 27th, May 11th, May 18th, and May 25th

Location for all Classes: NJGCA Springfield Office (Boardroom)
Time: 7: 30 am to 3:00pm
Tuition: Member: $299.00 – Non-member: $349.00

ETEP Re-Certification Classes
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!!!

Two classes will be offered on the following dates:
May 11th, 13th, 18th, 20th, & 25th
June 8th, 10th, 15th, 17th & 22nd

Location: for each Class: NJGCA Springfield Office (Boardroom)
Time: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm each night
Tuition: Member: $489.00 – Non-member: $629.00

PLEASE NOTE: We are always in the process of putting together additional classes. 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. 


NJ DOT Chief says no gas tax or toll hike
The Commissioner of the NJ Department of Transportation, James Simpson, says that a new plan to fix state roadways and bridges will be read in about six to eight months.  However, the Commissioner says that raising the gas tax or tolls will not be part of the solution, instead opting to slash wasteful spending and leasing some rest areas on state roads.

Governor pushes property tax cap and changes to public benefits
After Tuesday’s historic school budget defeat, Governor Chris Christie is renewing his push to shrink government at all levels.  The Governor is seeking a 2.5% constitutional cap on property taxes, reforms on public worker pensions and benefits, and a chance to the collective bargaining process.

State voters reject majority of school budgets
For the first time in 34 years, New Jersey residents rejected a majority of school budgets on Tuesday’s election.  The last time the majority of budgets failed to pass was 1976, the year before the state began to collect an income tax to subsidize school funding.

Right to Repair Act list of bi-partisan sponsors grows
In what is becoming a true bi-partisan piece of legislation, the number of sponsors of the Right to Repair Act has now reached 60 co-sponsors.  Many legislators cited safety concerns as among the biggest reasons for supporting the bill.


Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist