Jersey City voters will go to the polls on Nov. 7 to choose between two candidates for mayor and a wide range of candidates for City Council. There are 34 people are running for council seats, seven seeking the three at-large seats and 27 seeking ward seats.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Even if your name is not on the voter list at the polling place, you have the right to vote with a provisional ballot. Your provisional ballot will be counted only after the elections official has confirmed you are a registered voter and you did not vote anywhere else in that election.
Mayor Steven Fulop is seeking his second four-year term, and is opposed by Bill Matsikoudis, who served as corporation counsel (city attorney) to Fulop’s predecessor, Jerramiah Healy.
Fulop was elected mayor in 2013 after serving for two terms as the city’s Ward E councilman. He has announced that he will not seek a third term if he wins this year.
Fulop currently has six allies on the nine-member City Council. This could change with the election, since even the at-large seats currently are in his camp face serious opposition.
Councilman Frank Gajewski, who represents Ward A, is not seeking re-election, but Ward C Councilman Michael Boggiano and Ward D Councilman Michael Yun are seeking new terms.
Running with Matsikoudis is a partial slate of council candidates. This includes Esther Wintner, who is running at large. Wintner has served as president of Civic JC, a group often critical of Fulop. Also running at large on this ticket is Dr. Michael A. Winds, an administrator with the Jersey City public schools. Esmeralda Trinidad, who is also running at large, is a former vice chairperson of the Jersey City Democratic Organization. This team also has Rick Johnson, a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church who helped re-establish the Linden Avenue Block Association, running in Ward A.
Councilman Chris Gadsen, a vice principal at Lincoln High School, is running for reelection in Ward B. Carmen Vega, who is running in Ward D, works at Meadowview Psychiatric Hospital in Secaucus. Jake Hudnut, who is running in Ward E, is a recent city public defender. Yolanda Dortch-Amiker, who is running in Ward F, is a retired Army staff sergeant and combat veteran and founder of multiple non-profits helping veterans, ex-cons and victims of abuse.
Mayor Fulop has also fielded a partial ticket of running mates.
His three at-large candidates include Council President Rolando Lavarro, Councilwoman and pastor Joyce Watterman, and Councilman Daniel Rivera, an emergency medical technician.
First-time candidate Moriah ‘Mo’ Kinberg , a former campaign manager for the NJ Work Environment Council ,will be running on this ticket in Ward D. Also running on this ticket are Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson and Ward A council candidate Denise Ridley, a marketing professional. Mira Prinz-Arey, a community activist, will run in Ward B.
Running as independents for at large seats are Brian Lane, who ran for council in 2011, and former Assemblyman Sean Connors. In Ward A, Joe Conte, former Democratic chair in Jersey City is running for council as an independent. Jessica Hellinger, a real estate professional, is running in Ward B. Rekha Nandwani, a grass roots activist, is running in Ward C, as is John Hanussak, a member of the city’s Rapid Response team, and A. Janet Chevres, a business analyst.
In Ward D, Rafael Torres, retired firefighter, and Carmen Vega, a former Jersey City Puerto Rican Day Parade president, are running for council.
In Ward E, the candidates are: Rebecca Symes, formerly general counsel for real-estate investment firm Dixon Advisory, who worked for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; James Solomon, at teacher at New Jersey City University and Hudson County Community College; Michael Billy Bisogno, a community activist; Madeleine Giansanti Cag, an attorney, and Nickolas Grillo, a community activist.
In Ward F, Tyrone Ballon, a terminal supervisor/dispatcher for the PATH system, Dennis Burgess, who runs a boot camp as Master Sup, and Michael Griffin, a café owner, are running.
Grand jury indicts four cops over June 4 pursuit
On Nov. 2 a Hudson County grand jury returned an indictment against four Jersey City police officers related to the events surrounding a vehicular police pursuit on June 4.
Lt. Keith Ludwig has been charged with aggravated assault and official misconduct. Police officers MD Khan and Eric Kosinski face weapons charges as well as charges for attempted murder, aggravated assault and other charges related to the alleged beating of an innocent bystander.
Officer Francisco Rodriguez faces charges of aggravated assault, weapons charges, and official misconduct.
On June 4, shortly after 11 p.m., Jersey City police officers attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of Ocean and Cator avenues in Jersey City. The driver allegedly fled the area in the vehicle and was pursued by police officers. The fleeing driver, Leo C. Pinkston, 48, of Jersey City, was involved in several automobile crashes. The first crash occurred as he attempted to drive between two lanes of traffic on Tonnelle Avenue. During the pursuit, multiple shots were fired at the suspect by Jersey City police officers.
Several blocks later, Pinkston crashed his vehicle into another vehicle being driven on Tonnelle Avenue. This led to a collision with a utility pole causing a fire and injuring the male driver of the second vehicle. A video showed an innocent bystander apparently being assaulted.
A Hudson County Grand Jury previously returned an indictment against Pinkston on Aug. 23.
Local officials say Trump tax plan will hurt NJ homeowners and others
Donald Trump issued a release this week applauding the House Ways and Means Committee for introducing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which the Trump says is an important step toward providing massive tax relief for the American people.
“My tax reform priorities have been the same since day one: bringing tax cuts for hardworking, middle-income Americans; eliminating unfair loopholes and deductions; and slashing business taxes so employers can create jobs, raise wages, and dominate their competition around the world. The policies of my administration have already helped to drive the stock market to all-time highs and the unemployment rate to a 16-year low. Economic confidence is skyrocketing and our GDP grew 3 percent yet again this quarter,” Trump said.
Representatives Albio Sires and Bill Pascrell, who represent different portions of Hudson County, blasted the plan.
“As I’ve said before, this Republican tax plan prioritizes the wealthy and corporations over working American families while adding $1.5 trillion to our national deficit over the next decade,” Sires said.” Tax reform should be a bipartisan effort to simplify the tax code in a way that is fair and stimulating for the economy, not a one-sided plan crafted behind closed doors. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminates numerous deductions that millions of middle class families use every year to pay for cuts in the corporate tax rate, massive tax breaks for the wealthy and the delayed repeal of the estate tax. Particularly devastating for New Jersey is the partial repeal of the state and local tax deduction which has been part of the tax code for over 100 years and is used by many New Jersey families. The local property tax would be capped at $10,000 and the deduction of state incomes would be eliminated. On top of this, mortgage interest deductions for new homebuyers would be cut in half, capping the deductible interest to the first $500,000 worth of home loans.”
The bill also does away with a standard deduction for the elderly as well as deductions for student-loan interest, medical expenses, and property losses.
“Republicans are so fixated on rigging the tax code to benefit corporations and the top one percent, and they are perfectly content to sacrifice middle-class families in that endeavor,” Pascrell said. “And that’s exactly what their tax bill does. There is nothing in this tax bill that will boost wages, economic growth, or bring jobs back from overseas. Drafted behind closed doors by Republican leaders, this bill is being rushed through with no hearings and no input from Democrats…eliminating most of the state and local tax deduction for individuals is a terrible idea and will hit New Jersey like a ton of bricks.”
‘Great War’ documentary will screen Saturday, Nov. 4 in WNY
In commemoration of Veterans Day and the centennial year of America’s entry into World War 1, The West New York Free Public Library and the West New York Museum at 425 W. 60th St. will present a screening of the PBS documentary “The Great War” on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m.
This feature length documentary explores how, where, when, and why World War I began, and concludes with President Wilson’s historic April 2, 1917 address to Congress, asking for a declaration of war.
Also part of the presentation will be multiple displays and light refreshments.
NJ Transit looks to expand light rail capacity
With the platform expansion at Exchange Place in Jersey City now complete, NJ Transit is ready to operate the longer “extended’’ cars on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) trains during the busy peak periods.
The platforms at Exchange Place are now 190 feet in length, an increase of 25 feet from the previous length.
Work began last spring and finished in September and cost approximately $2.7 million.
The extended cars contain 102 seats, providing a 50-percent increase in seating capacity from the 68 seats in a traditional light rail vehicle. The extended cars also allow for additional customer standing room.
As more extended cars are delivered, they will be used during morning and afternoon peak periods, improving the service, comfort and quality for the 50,000-55,000 average weekday riders.
The roll out of extended vehicles was completed on Newark Light Rail in September 2017 and is now being introduced during the peak periods on the HBLR.
St. John’s Lutheran holds Christmas bazaar
A Christmas bazaar and flea market will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 155 North St. in Jersey City in the upstairs gym. Vendors interested in renting a table please call or text (201) 214-5300.