Governor Corzine isn’t quite taking it to the streets. Instead, you could say he’s taking it to the kitchen table. The Governor has scheduled a series of visits with people in their communities to explain his budget and the programs that may be available to them ( many of which he expanded in his economic assistance and recovery plan last fall ) to help save money.
Yesterday, he appeared in Bayville where the town hall for Berkeley Twp. is located. It’s home to 43,000 people, 55% percent of whom are seniors. That is a big number.
Anyway, the Gov was there to promote his Senior Property Tax Freeze initiative. I’ll spare you the details here, but basically Corzine has increased the income eligibility limit to $80,000 per year, which could mean an additional 70,000 seniors could save money on their property taxes.
But here is why this is particularly interseting if you are not a senior who can save some money on their property taxes. Perhaps having learned his lesson from the disasterous town hall meetings he held ( complete with powerpoint presentations ) to try and sell an 800% toll increase last year. The public revolted, and ultimately the Governor adopted a much more modest plan which was later put into effect.
Yesterday ( and he has done a couple of these so far ), Corzine met with seniors in a small group and seemed to have them eating out of the palm of his hand. Being able to explain himself in a smaller, more intimate setting seemed to win them over.
This Governor has been criticized for his laboring public speaking style. But reporters have often been told that the Governor is quite good one-on-one and in smaller settings. After all, the guy can make a lot of sense and knows economic issues inside and out. We saw evidence of this yesterday. And if Corzine can continue to make his case as effectively as this, he may just be able to overturn those sinking poll numbers which have been falling like the Dow.
This is of course, an election year.