Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Codey goes home
I'm going to miss Codey, no surprise to those who know that I voted for him. I liked most of the stuff he did... except for the no smoking in bars and raising the cigarette purchasing age to 19 (and I'm a non-smoker).
Here's his exit letter which was sent to people who have emailed him this past year.
Before I leave the Office of the Governor and return to the New Jersey Senate full time, I want to thank you for the confidence you have placed in me and for your understanding and support.
When I took office in November of 2004, I was scared to death. I did not know what to expect from the job or myself. Or, for that matter, what to expect from a public who had no clue who Dick Codey was. I thought of my parents who always gave me good advice. They told me: ?If you can keep your sense of humor, stay humble, be true to your principles, and do what you think is best, you?ll come out okay.? I hope my parents and their parents can look down with some satisfaction that I have at least partially re-paid the huge debt the Codey clan owes this state.
For me, I look back with dignity at the time I served and take pride in our achievements. My Administration took on some pretty difficult tasks, we made some tough choices, but in the end New Jersey is in better shape than when we got here and that is all we can ask.
I have told it like it is since the day I took over, trusting the public with truth and the options. The public can handle a lot more straight talk than people think, and they deserve more than they have been given in the past.
We improved ethics in New Jersey government by passing the toughest ban on pay to play of any state, anywhere in America. We made ethics training mandatory for every state worker, restored the Office of the Public Advocate, and created the post of
Inspector General. We banned junk food and soda from schools, and persuaded the Giants and Jets to work together to build a new stadium at no cost to New Jersey taxpayers. We cut the New Jersey budget more than anyone ever has before, and still
found the money to expand health insurance for the working poor, while finally raising a minimum wage that has lagged behind that of our neighboring states.
Our schools are safer, our budget more responsible, and our residents better off than they were thirteen months ago. We have brought a new respect and compassion for the concerns of individuals with mental illness, and have committed to, above all else, governing in a different way.
I wish all the best to the people of New Jersey. You have given me the opportunity to accomplish so much, and you, and you have opened your hearts and minds to the message my courageous wife, Mary Jo, has delivered on the stigma of
mental illness and postpartum depression. May we never again pretend the issues of mental illness do not exist in our society.
As I move forward in my public service career, I will continue to fight for what I believe to be right for the Garden State, its present, its future and its people. Thank you for standing by me as I served as your Governor ? it was an honor and a blessing.
Richard J. Codey"