New Jersey Chamber of Commerce

OCTOBER 14, 2011


N.J. Chamber Breakfast Roundtable

Jeff Chiesa speaks at NJ Chamber roundtable breakfast

 Jeff Chiesa, chief counsel to Gov. Christie, during a Q&A session with members. Click here for more photos.   


Gov. Christie's Chief Counsel to N.J. Chamber Members:

We Will Push Education Reform in Lame Duck Session

Gov. Chris Christie's chief counsel told a group of New Jersey Chamber of Commerce members 

on October 14 that the administration will press ahead with education reform this fall and "concrete steps" could be seen between the elections in November and the end of the Legislative session in January.

"We are in the process of seeing what part of this can make it in the lame duck session and which ones we'll move in the new session," said Jeff Chiesa, the chief counsel to Gov. Christie, at a roundtable breakfast in Monroe sponsored by the New Jersey Chamber.

Education reform is so important to the governor - "he cares about education so much" - that he leans forward when he talks about it, Chiesa said. "He comes out of his shoes a little," he added.

"It's never been about attacking teachers" the chief counsel said. "It's about identifying areas where we can improve education, whether it's tenure reform, whether it's merit pay, whether it's seniority protection."

Chiesa, who served as executive director of Gov. Christie's transition team, also gave his views on the governor's personality, and refuted talk by critics that the governor is a "bully."

"He listens. He solicits opinions from people he trusts. He makes thoughtful and concrete decisions," Chiesa said of the governor. "Not everybody always agrees with his decisions but he takes steps that make progress."

In Trenton, he added, "If you are not taking steps and making progress every day, you will find yourself under water quickly."

The governor has another quality. "When he starts down a course, he sticks to it," Chiesa said. "He doesn't allow folks to undermine us." 

Click here for photos.