On Monday, May 23, 2011 I appeared before the Jersey City Municipal Council to ask that a resolution to eliminate the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC) sponsored by Councilman Fulop and Councilwoman Lopez either be withdrawn or voted down because it would not save the city any money nor streamline services; in other words, it would hurt the city.
I supplied every major newspaper in Jersey City and every councilperson before this meeting with a three page letter of facts to discuss why the JCEDC should not be eliminated. I never attacked either Councilwoman Lopez or Councilman Fulop, and I, certainly, never expected to be attacked so viciously or personally.
Neither councilperson to date has addressed the facts I provided in my three page letter or contacted this office to seek clarity of their positions. Instead, they shifted their own argument from calling for the elimination of the JCEDC to save money and streamline services to calling for the elimination of the JCEDC because of corruption.
Councilman Fulop referenced a two month old, outdated budget worksheet improperly obtained from the JCEDC to misrepresent the salary the JCEDC board actually offered and approved for me. The Board approved, and I agreed to, a salary of $65,000.00, half of what Councilman Fulop accuses me of misappropriating. I accepted this offer to further show that it has never been about the money so much as it has been about my strong desire to serve this great city.
To suggest that an outdated budget worksheet improperly obtained from the JCEDC proves that this corporation and I are corrupt is irresponsible at best, malicious at worst. If someone suggested Councilman Fulop is corrupt because he endorsed elected officials, such as Assemblymen Manzo and Vas, who have been indicted or sentenced for corruption, would he call himself corrupt or vacate his position? Of course not, so why malign the JCEDC?
Councilman Fulop’s loose use of the term corruption does a disservice to those he accuses unjustly on at least four counts: one, it discourages meaningful dialogue; two, it makes people hesitant to address him out of fear of retribution; three, it sends the wrong message about being fair; and four, continues to affirm a negative image of Jersey City.
I would ask that Councilman Fulop honor what he wrote in an op-ed piece for the Jersey Journal on May 20, 2011, “The city politicos will attack me for these proposals. I urge you to observe the facts and consider the merits of the argument. It is time to get the city to work for the residents and not the other way around.”