Dear Editor: This is an open Letter to the Jersey City Municipal Council
I am writing you as a longtime advocate for good-government practices and pay-to-play reform.
Civic JC, a group that I founded and led as president, worked with The Citizens Campaign and Diana Jeffrey, then of NJ Appleseed, to create and advance Jersey City's Contractor and Redevelopment Pay-to-Play Reform Ordinances adopted in 2008 and 2009. The reforms are contract-based and attempt to remove conflicts of interest and any appearance of such conflicts in the granting of no-bid contracts.
These reform ordinances have been successful, and have not been subject to dismantling, because they were not just tough but incorporated the best practices from around the state.
Based on past experience, I continue to support the conservative, yet effective approach of The Citizens Campaign to ensure that our Jersey City pay-to-play restrictions remain among the toughest in New Jersey by being strict, straightforward and easy to enforce.
Now, after three years, we are seeing a renewed and worthwhile effort to revisit, update and expand our pay-to-play reform laws.
I ask our city council to speedily approve and adopt Ordinance 12-157, proposed by Mayor Healy and based on a comprehensive set of recommendations from The Citizens Campaign and Civic JC, to become effective after next spring’s municipal elections. This would take the elections out of the picture and avoid politicization of the issue.
Founder and past president of Civic JC
Candidate for Jersey City Municipal Council