Ralph A. Loveys (April 25, 1929 – February 22, 2017) was an American Republican Party politician who was elected to three terms in the New Jersey General Assembly, where he represented the 26th Legislative District. In 1988, Loveys was nominated to serve as head of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority by Governor Thomas Kean, but resigned after a year in office when Governor James Florio would not support a toll increase package Loveys had supported.
Loveys was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts and attended Melrose High School, where he was captain of the football team. He went on to Middlebury College, where he was captain of the football team and was selected in the NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. He served as a captain in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.
Loveys was the son of P. Augustus Loveys and J. Violet Jacobs Lovey. A resident of Florham Park, he served in various elected offices of borough government from 1968 to 1983, including Councilman, Council President, and Mayor. Loveys was first elected to the General Assembly in 1983, where vehicle insurance was one of the major issues he worked on in the legislature. Legislation introduced by Loveys and passed unanimously in the Assembly in June 1985 mandated a redesign of the New Jersey driver's license to allow organ donation information to be entered on the license itself, a proposal that the Transplant Foundation of New Jersey estimated could triple organ donations in the state.
As chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee, Loveys and Assembly Speaker Chuck Hardwick announced plans in March 1987 to introduce legislation that would cut premium rates for bodily insurance coverage by 36%, yielding a reduction of $90 per year for drivers.
In December 1988 New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean nominated Loveys to succeed Joseph A. Sullivan as chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, a position that carried no salary. In a statement released about the nomination, Kean said, "Loveys has served with distinction in the Assembly and has taken on some of the most difficult public policy issues our state faces." In January 1989, Alex DeCroce, a member of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was named to fill Loveys' vacant seat in the General Assembly. The New Jersey Senate confirmed Loveys' nomination in February 1989.
Resignation over toll rates
The first wave of toll increases which Loveys proposed in September 1989 was expected to add 40% to the existing toll rates in order to cover the cost of planned road-widening projects, and by 1996 would more than double rates, increasing the cost for a car traveling the full length of the 117 miles (188 km) Turnpike from $2.70 to $6.35 once the full package had been implemented.
Loveys resigned from his position as chairman in February 1990 during a public hearing on proposed toll increases for vehicles using the New Jersey Turnpike, after Governor Jim Florio announced that he was unwilling to support the increases Loveys recommended. The increases were said to be necessary to prevent the Turnpike Authority from being in technical default on billions of dollars in bonds it had issued in 1985 to cover construction costs. Despite his resignation as chairman, Loveys remained a member of the commission that oversaw the Turnpike. Florio's statement accepting Loveys' resignation stated that information coming from Loveys was "confirming our suspicion that management of the Turnpike has left something to be desired". Florio said that he would not allow a toll increase to go through and named commissioner Frank Rogers to serve as acting chairman following Loveys' departure.
Loveys and his wife, Persis, were the parents of James Loveys, who has served three terms as the vice chair of the Parks Committee, is a member of the Landmarks Committee, and is a volunteer in the Recreation Department of Randolph, New Jersey. In September 2010, the younger Loveys was selected to serve out the remaining four months in the term of Randolph Mayor Jay Alpert, who resigned in August.
Loveys died on February 22, 2017.
- Lee, Christine. "Former mayor, state assemblyman Ralph Loveys dies at 87; Longtime borough official also served in state assembly", Florham Park Eagle, February 28, 2017. Accessed March 6, 2017.
- "Roy J. Loveys". tributes.com. http://hosting-tributes-24092.tributes.com/show/Roy-Loveys-87879150. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
- Connolly, William G. "NORTHEAST JOURNAL; Donating Organs In New Jersey", The New York Times, June 16, 1985. Accessed October 7, 2010.
- Sullivan, Joseph F. "JERSEY G.O.P. LEADERS TO PROPOSE BILL REQUIRING AUTO-PREMIUM CUT", The New York Times, April 1, 1987. Accessed October 7, 2010.
- via Associated Press. "METRO DATELINES; Legislator Is Picked To Head Turnpike", The New York Times, December 28, 1988. Accessed October 7, 2010.
- Staff. "ASSEMBLY PASSES MEDICAL-WASTE TRACKING BILL", Philadelphia Inquirer, January 27, 1989. Accessed October 7, 2010. "In other action, Morris County Freeholder Alex DeCroce was sworn in yesterday to fill the unexpired Assembly seat held by Ralph Loveys (R., Morris)."
- via Associated Press. "PERETTI OK'D AS ATTORNEY GENERAL", The Press of Atlantic City, February 10, 1989. Accessed October 7, 2010. "The Senate also approved the nomination of former Assemblyman Ralph Loveys to chair the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. The position is unsalaried."
- Staff. "TURNPIKE TOLL HIKE PLANNED COST WOULD RISE 135% BY 1996", Philadelphia Inquirer, September 20, 1989. Accessed October 7, 2010.
- via United Press International. "TURNPIKE CHAIRMAN ABRUPTLY QUITS", The Press of Atlantic City, February 15, 1990. Accessed October 7, 2010.
- Staff. "State Turnpike Chief Resigns in New Jersey", The New York Times, February 15, 1990. Accessed October 7, 2010.
- via United Press International. "INCREASING TOLL ON THE TURNPIKE IS OUT FOR THIS YEAR, FLORIO SAYS", The Press of Atlantic City, February 24, 1990. Accessed October 7, 2010.
- Paley, Neil (10 September 2010). "Randolph council selects Loveys to replace Jay Alpert". Randolph Reporter. http://newjerseyhills.com/randolph_reporter/news/article_a1994e86-e44f-540e-9dd2-06cd7a00f49b.html. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
- Paley, Neil (August 13, 2010). "Randolph Mayor Alpert resigns". Randolph Reporter. http://newjerseyhills.com/randolph_reporter/news/article_de33f2df-4456-5fd9-ae80-0f9e20cdae4c.html. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
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