Jon Corzine and George Norcross were at odds from time to time, but today the former governor issued a rare public statement praising Norcross’ role in rejuvenating the city of Camden.
“Hard work and focused initiatives by many stakeholders, including George Norcross, deserve credit for the results,” Corzine said. “Even so, more needs to be done. State administered economic investments and incentives within the proper legal and accountability framework should continue to play an essential role.”
Corzine’s statement comes as Norcross, a South Jersey Demcoratic leader and businessman, faces criticism for receiving millions in tax credits from the embattled New Jersey Economic Development Commission.
“As Governor, my administration prioritized precious economic development resources in our urban communities with Camden being a city of great need,” Corzine said. “When I took office, Camden was under state supervision, had a national reputation for violent crime and there was limited economic activity. Working with caring and dedicated community leaders, business and local government officials (including law enforcement), significant progress was made in lowering crime rates.
Corzine said that the state was “also able to secure Campbell Soup’s continued presence and welcome a new medical school and Cancer Center associated with Cooper Hospital.
“The investments made with Cooper Hospital were anchoring steps in the ‘eds and meds’ initiatives to rebuild Camden,” said Corzine. “My successor, Governor Christie, with whom I rarely agree, continued these economic development initiatives and effectively extended the state’s partnership in the city’s renewal.”
Corzine said he is “pleased to see Camden’s substantial progress.”