Road Warrior Newsletter

May 28, 2010


Dear NJGCA Member:


I would like to tell you that our focus this week has moved beyond Safety Inspections – but circumstances still have this issue boiling away on the front burner.  In fact, saving Safety Inspections has become an all consuming issue, especially as there is still a very good chance that things can fall our way.

Regardless, until the budget process is complete, I refuse to concede anything – and neither should you!

Last week, I asked you to begin making phone calls and writing letters to the Governor and key Legislators, asking them to maintain Safety Inspections as part of the motor vehicle inspection program.  A very genuine THANK YOU to those who have responded and contacted these elected officials.

However, just as in the past, a few do the heavy lifting while others remain immobile.  Consider this your second nudge from me to get involved in this fight.  I need you to respond!  To anyone who hasn’t made phone calls or sent out letters: GET OFF YOU’RE HINEY AND BE AN ACTIVIST!!

Please take a look at the recent Wildfire Alert cited in last week’s Road Warrior with full instructions and details by clicking HERE

You don’t get much done in Trenton if you don’t network.  I’ve spent years building those relationships and, every now and then, they pay off.  I’m hearing it through the grapevine and key insiders that the Privatization Task Force favors my proposal to totally privatize motor vehicle inspections.  As you’ll recall, I testified before the Task Force, chaired by former Congressman Dick Zimmer, in early April.  My sources are hinting to me that the final report will advise the Governor that totally privatizing motor vehicle inspections and eliminating all Parsons-run CIFs would be the best option for the state moving forward.

I made a two hour presentation to the Task Force behind closed doors on April 5, and then again at a public hearing on April 7.  Since then I have been contacted by members of the Task Force with individual questions and comments.  Overall, this has led me to believe they think highly of my idea to have all motor vehicle inspections done in your shops!

However, though this looks promising, it is unlikely the Task Force will address the issue of whether or not to continue with Safety Inspections.  More than likely, they may only suggest that emission inspections continue as required by federal law.

Again, this isn’t official, but it does come from reliable sources, and the final report is due on Governor Christie’s desk early next week.  Stay tuned!

Despite what or what may not be in the Task Force’s report, I will maintain that the elimination of Safety Inspections is not good for several reasons when communicating with Legislators and the Governor’s Office.

First and foremost, eliminating safety inspections would increase the number of poorly maintained vehicles on the road, endangering other motorists and putting the general public at risk.  As a repair facility, there is no doubt you have encountered patrons who refuse to pay for tires, brakes, or even necessary bulb replacements. Would you want them driving alongside of you on the Parkway or Turnpike?  Any chance you’d like them pulling up next to you on local roads while you drive your children to school?  I didn’t think so.

Secondly, the NJGCA plan to move all re-inspections to PIF locations would still save the state MORE money than eliminating Safety Inspections altogether.  Since the state has now projected an even BIGGER budget shortfall than earlier anticipated, wouldn’t it make far more sense to get savings anywhere you can?

Lastly, the state asked YOU, the small business owner, to make a commitment to the inspection program.  In doing so, you have invested as much as $13,000 on new equipment to better serve your patrons.  Shouldn’t you make a return on that investment?

On the way home last night, I heard Governor Christie and radio-host Eric Scott discussing a variety of topics on NJ101.5’s “Ask the Gov” segment.  The Governor stated that he wanted to eliminate Safety Inspections because no credible studies show that Safety Inspections reduce fatalities.  However, as I have pointed out to Administration officials, the studies the Governor refers to are decades old.  Until a few weeks ago, I would have had the same conclusion had I not learned of a 2009 Pennsylvania study.  In it, Pennsylvania officials used three different methodologies to conclude that “states with vehicle safety inspection programs have significantly less fatal crashes than states without programs”.  That, by itself, resets the entire argument the Governor is making.

The state budget must be enacted by midnight on June 30th or a fiscal state of emergency will be declared and New Jersey government offices will shut down.  We may not know until then whether the Governor’s plan to eliminate safety inspections will be implemented or if he will accept my proposal to send all re-inspections to PIFs.

With this in mind, here’s how it will play out over the next five weeks:

1. By June 4th any Legislator must sponsor a Resolution to the Budget Committee in either the Senate or General Assembly seeking to replace the Governor’s proposal to eliminate Safety Inspections (which saves $12 million a year) with the NJGCA plan to redirect all re-inspections to PIF locations (which saves $13 million a year).   By law, all Resolutions must remain in the committee for 14 days before being acted upon.

2. On or about June 18th (14 days after being submitted to the Committee), the members of the Budget Committee will vote to include the Resolution to change the Governor’s budget to the entire legislative body, either the Assembly or Senate.

3.  If affirmatively voted out of Committee, it will be included in the final budget package to be voted on by the entire Legislature and then sent to the Governor. 

4. Governor Christie has to sign the entire budget presented to him by the Legislature.  If he is unhappy with what he receives, he can veto the entire budget or he has the power to veto any line item in the budget. 

I will keep you informed as to our progress on the Legislative response to the budget Resolution, but at this point, it’s entirely in your hands to help affect the outcome of this situation.   I believe that if the Governor gets the approved budget with our proposal in it, I’m confident he’ll sign it into law.  BUT, he’ll only do so if he hears from you.  You must ACT NOW to insure our success!!

Please call me with any questions and remember to keep those cameras handy and send me pictures of unsafe vehicles in your shop!!

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!

•Contract to widen the Turnpike approved
•Governor’s 2.5% property tax cap gets a lift from Mass study.
•NJGCA in the News: Shops to lose business with end of Safety Inspections
•Opinion: Garden State needs Tort Reform

 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



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!!!

The class will be offered on the following date:
June 8th, 10th, 15th, 17th & 22nd

Location: 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. 


Contract to widen the Turnpike approved
A contract valued at 33.48 million was recently awarded to widen a section of the New Jersey Turnpike in Middlesex County.  The agreement would rebuild the exit 8A interchange and include new separate car and truck lanes being built as part of the bigger widening project.  Officials believe that the project will lessen road congestion and improve local transportation.

Governor’s 2.5% property tax cap gets a lift from Mass study
A study by the Manhattan Institute of Policy Research states that New Jersey could both reduce its tax burden on residents and keep school performance standards high under Governor Christie’s proposed 2.5% property tax cap.  The focus of the study was a similar tax cap policy implemented in Massachusetts, where educational standards remained high even while state spending per student declined.

NJGCA in the News: Shops to lose business with end of Safety Inspections
Executive Director Sal Risalvato spoke with the Daily Record concerning Governor Christie’s plans to end Safety Inspections.  The small business owners interviewed stated that the end of these inspections would put a dent in their businesses and that they may have thought twice about committing to the new program if they knew Safety Inspections would be eliminated.  Click above to read more!

Opinion: Garden State needs Tort Reform
Marcus Rayner, Executive Director of the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance, recently penned an opinion piece in the Bergen Record calling for the state to institute Tort Reform.  Listed as one of “worst places to get sued in America” by Forbes magazine, Rayner states that serious reforms are needed to cut out frivolous law suits, attract new business, lower the cost of litigation, and protect jobs.  Click above to read more.


Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist