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CHRISTIE PUTS M’TWON MAN AT MVC WHEEL

martinezBy TOM HESTER

Does this mean we’ll be treated like visiting dignitaries when we go to renew our driver’s licenses?

Gov. Chris Christie Monday named Raymond Martinez of Middletown, an attorney experienced in arranging White House visits by foreign leaders, as the new administrator of the state Motor Vehicle Commission.

The action fills one of the three remaining openings in the new governor’s cabinet.

Martinez, who will earn over $137,000 annually in the post, brings a unique background to the agency that draws the most ire from New Jerseyans.

Since 2005, he’s been the deputy U.S. chief of protocol and diplomatic affairs for the U.S. Department of State and the White House, a job that entails managing arrangements for ceremonial visits to the White House and by the President and Secretary of State when they travel overseas. He was responsible for managing five divisions: Diplomatic Affairs, Foreign Visits, Ceremonial Events, Blair House, and Administration.

In addition, he served as counsel on diplomatic immunity issues pursuant to U.S. and international law. In the position, he managed a staff of 70 and an annual budget of $8 million.

From 2000 to 2005, Martinez served as the commissioner for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. That agency serves more than 20 million customers annually and generates over $1 billion in annual revenues. He also served as chairman of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, administering of $50 million annually in federal funds for state and local highway safety projects.

Prior to joining the New York state government, Martinez was the assistant general counsel for the Long Island Power Authority, one of the largest public utilities in the nation. He received his degree from Long Island University/C.W. Post College and a law degree from St. John’s University School of Law.

Christie also named Janet Rosenzweig of Yardley, Pa. as commissioner of the Department of Children and Family Services and announced he is keeping Col. Rick Fuentes as superintendent of the State Police. The  only remaining cabinet opening is that of public advocate.

“Dr. Rosenzweig and Mr. Martinez both have distinguished careers  serving the public and I have no doubt their excellent track records will continue in my administration,” Christie said at the statehouse. “These strong, experienced leaders will ensure that these key agencies are run effectively and efficiently.”

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