Thanks to Christie, Highlands leadership lacking

Two years after Gov. Christie’s political crony was installed to head the Highlands Council, Gene Feyl has announced he will retire from the executive director position. Gene Feyl’s appointment to the Highlands Council was done to weaken protections in the Highlands and give one of Christie’s buddies a high-paying government job and to cushion his pension. Feyl was not qualified for the position and under his leadership the municipal conformance process has essentially come to a halt.

Officials at the Department of Treasury confirmed this week that Feyl will receive $63,622 annual as his pension after only 22 months with the Highlands Council at $116,000 a year. Prior to that Feyl’s pension would have been based on the $25,000 a year he earned as a Morris County freeholder.

In the past the governor has gone after the previous administration and other boards for pension padding. Now his own crony, Gene Feyl, can retire on a padded pension paid for by taxpayers.

Highlands Council Chairman Jim Rilee would defend the outrageous pension padding as he is another political hack for the governor. The governor appointed him chair despite his open opposition to Highlands protections. As mayor, Rilee opposed and openly delayed Roxbury’s conformance to the Highlands Regional Master Plan. He objected to state mandated compliance with the Highlands Act, challenged the science behind the Highlands Act, and has voted against adopting municipal resolutions related to the Highlands Conformance process.

Mr. Christie can now appoint another one of friends to this job and continue his attempts to roll back protections in the Highlands and on clean water.

Jeff Tittel


New Jersey Sierra Club

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