Lt Governor Kim Guadagno held a town hall meeting with Monmouth County first responders, career and volunteers, yesterday at the North Centerville Fire House in Hazlet on Friday.
Guadagno, the GOP nominee for governor, told the group of about 75 that her Democrat opponent, former Goldman Sachs banker Phil Murphy, would not keep the promises he’s made to career first responders unions in order to win their endorsements.
“If Phil Murphy, as I suspect he did, promised to fully fund the pensions for our law enforcement, police and fire, if he promised to fully fund the pensions and fully fund the health care, then last night he took that promise back,” Guadagno said. “Last night, he said he would not fully fund that pension, and last night he said he would take the savings from your health care pensions and spend it some other way.”
The Republican gubernatorial nominee said that first responders pensions should be kept separate from teachers’ and other government employees’ retirement funds.
“The pension issue for first responders is different than the pension issues for the CWA and for the teachers union. They should be separate. They should be standalone. You should get your COLAs [Cost-of-Living Adjustment] back and you should get it in a way that’s fair, and honest and transparent,” said Guadagno.
“You have to decide weather Phil Murphy is going to keep his promises,” she said, “Fully fund pre-K; he took that back yesterday. Fully fund the K-12 education; he took that back yesterday. Free college education; he took that back yesterday. Fully fund your pension; he took that back yesterday. Fully fund your health care; he took that back yesterday. And, he staff proudly announced that he’s going to increase your tax $1.3 billion dollars.”
Guadagno was referring to the fiscal plan that Murphy released to Observer on Thursday night.
The Monmouth Beach resident and former Monmouth County Sheriff was well received by both the volunteers and career first responders.
Cathy Rogers, the volunteer OEM shelter coordinator for Middletown, said, “I feel that Kim and her running mate Carlos (Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo, the GOP nominee for Lt. Governor) pronounced a very good scenario. I just hope that people will listen and that we don’t get stuck with Phil Murphy, because I don’t think people realize that if we do we’re going to have another Corzine and we’re going to be in a lot of trouble. The one good thing is, Kim promised us something and if it doesn’t work, she’s not going to run again. You don’t hear many politicians say that.”
Ray Bassford, a volunteer fireman in Matawan and a retired Jersey City paid fire fighter, said,”I like was she had to say compared to Murphy, I do. The COLA , cost of living, payment is a big thing. That’s hurting people who retired 15-20 years ago big time. That’s something that has to come back to us.”
“I appreciate that she came out to hear our concerns and issues,” said Lt. Tom Buckell or the Hazlet First Aid Squad.”I don’t think that has ever happened in Hazlet. I am happy that she wants to make it better for the volunteers and first responders.”
Jennifer McKay, the 2nd Lt of the Hazlet First Aid Squad, “I was happy to come out today, after taking some emergency calls this morning, to address some issues we have with Narcan deployment.” McKay told Guadagno that police can give overdose victims 4mg doses of Naracn while EMT’s are allowed to only administer 2mg doses. Guadagno promised to speak to the Department of Health and follow up with McKay.
NJTV’s coverage of the town hall: