Even some people close to Mayor Steven Fulop said this week they were surprised at a Saturday night tweet on Jan. 13 by him, saying he’d seek a third term.
During the campaign leading up to his second-term victory, Fulop had claimed he would not seek a third term.
“Nobody really knows when he changed his mind,” said one source, formerly an insider in the Fulop camp.
Another observer said, “If you look at what he said during the campaign, he didn’t completely rule out a third term.”
Reacting to a column by a statewide daily newspaper that mentioned this self-imposed term limit, Fulop wrote in a tweet, “I assure u I’m running for mayor for another term to fight for Jersey City if others want to try to stop progress for political gain. #JerseyCity mayor has no term limits. I’m thankful for 78 percent in the last election. I’m in good shape.”
Some others relatively close to the mayor suggest that the change of heart came after a mistrial was declared in the federal case against U.S. Senator Robert Menendez for alleged corruption.
“Everybody – including Fulop – believed Fulop would be getting Menendez’s seat,” said another source. “But once that didn’t pan out, Fulop had nowhere to go but remain as mayor or give up his political future entirely.”
The announcement that he will seek a third term came almost as big a surprise to some as his announcement in late 2016 that he would not seek the Democratic primary nomination for governor. In a dramatic and unexpected announcement in October 2016, Fulop withdrew from the governor’s race and endorsed Phil Murphy, who won both the nomination in June 2017, and later, the governorship last November.
Although there was some tension between Murphy and Fulop for a time, the governor appeared in Jersey City this week singing local officials’ praises, including Fulop’s, and said he needed Hudson County and Jersey City to be part of his future plans.
Fulop has endorsed Menendez’s reelection bid for 2018, but some believe Menendez’s post trial comments about remembering those who sought to get his seat bodes ill for any higher office for Fulop.
Also in question is whether or not Fulop will face opposition from people aligned with him who might have had plans to run in 2021.
Fulop’s announcement came at a time when he was also boasting about Jersey City reaching the pinnacle as the most populace city in the state.
“Well, look at this.... I think the data is pretty clear here that #JerseyCity will certainly be formally recognized as the largest city in #NewJersey at the next census and based on the data here coupled w/2010 census we already probably are larger than Newark,” he tweeted.
Student shot outside Jersey City school
A spokesperson for Jersey City confirmed that a 10th grade student from Lincoln High School was shot on Jan. 18 as classes let out.
The shooting occurred on Astor Place about a block away from Lincoln High, which was locked down along with a nearby elementary school.
The student was shot in the left foot, officials said, but has not cooperated with police as of yet in the investigation as to who did the shooting. The suspect fled after the shooting, officials said.
Pedestrian killed near Grand Street
A pedestrian struck near Grand Street and Johnstone Avenue at about 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 17 was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center two hours later.
City officials, who issued no information about who struck the deceased, said the pedestrian was apparently trying to cross the street when struck
Grand Street has been the subject of intensive lobbying by bicycle groups and others and has been listed by local officials as one of the most dangerous streets in Jersey City.
The case is being reviewed by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
County’s homeless hotline AGAIN doesn’t pick up when Reporter calls – days after homeless man freezes to death in portable potty
Eight days after construction workers in Union City found a homeless man’s body in a local port-o-potty, the county’s homeless hotline again was not working. Two reporters called the number for several hours on Wednesday afternoon -- a cold, snowy day -- and listened to the phone ring more than eight times with each call.
This is the third time in two years that the Hudson Reporter – in the course of routine reporting on the homeless situation – tried the 24-hour emergency line and got no answer.
Each time, county officials gave apologetic responses and promises to fix the line, which homeless people are supposed to call in winter if they need shelter and the three local shelters are backed up. The county runs an overflow shelter in Kearny.
The hotline is 800-624-0287.
Stories by The Reporter (hudsonreporter.com) back to 2016 showed problems with the line, with various county officials saying it was another department’s responsibility.
On Friday, county spokesman James Kennelly said the line was working again and that the county would try to find out why it was not working on Wednesday afternoon.
On Jan. 9, local workers discovered a homeless man’s body in a port-o-potty at a construction site near a church in Union City, according to Police Chief Richard Molinari. The construction site is the location for the Sts. Joseph and Michael Church, severely damaged in a fire last March.
A company is currently performing repairs to the church, located at 1314 Central Ave.
According to Molinari, the man was Hispanic and in his late 20s. The chief believes that he used the port-o-potty to escape the freezing temperatures.
“The weather was certainly a factor in causing his death,” Molinari said. “If someone’s going to seek refuge in a port-o-john, that does not protect you from the low temperatures.”
Police sergeant charged for allegedly hitting man with car last August
An August incident caught on a security camera tape has led to charges against a Jersey City police sergeant for assault with an auto.
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said that on Jan. 12, the Internal Affairs Unit of the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor arrested Jersey City Police Sgt. John Ransom for his alleged involvement in an incident in Audubon Park in Jersey City in August.
Security camera footage – aired by Univision in August – that appeared to show the driver of a car intentionally hitting a man led to the investigation.
Ransom has been charged with assault by auto.
Ransom is scheduled to make his First Appearance on this charge at 10 a.m. on Feb. 2.
“Officers who abuse their power and break the law will be held accountable for their actions,” said Suarez. “The Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor will continue to vigorously investigate and root out police misconduct and wrongdoing.”
Shortly after 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, Jersey City police officers were investigating an incident involving suspected controlled dangerous substances, the prosecutor said. They attempted to stop a suspect, later identified as Shiron Cooper, who fled the scene. Cooper ran into Audubon Park. Sgt. Ransom followed in his patrol car and then allegedly struck Cooper twice while driving his vehicle. The incident was recorded with surveillance cameras. Cooper sustained abrasions, contusions, and lacerations to his torso and head, as well as a fracture to his face. He was transported by Emergency Medical Services to Jersey City Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.
Cooper was arrested and later pleaded guilty on possession of CDS. Cooper was sentenced to two years of probation on Sept. 29, 2017.
The Audubon Park incident came two months after other Jersey City cops were also caught on video allegedly kicking an innocent bystander after a high speed pursuit – an incident also under investigation by the prosecutor’s office.
JC top attorney to head JCMUA
Jersey City Corporation Counsel Jeremy Farrell was hired by the Jersey City Municipal Utility Authority (MUA) on Jan. 18 to also serve as its attorney. Farrell had been serving at the post part time since early 2017.
Farrell will be paid $195,000 annually, and is expected to step down from his current $130,000 annual post with the city shortly.
The MUA, which manages the city’s water and sewer systems, is in the midst of a large upgrade that includes work with residents replacing home meters.
Black Panther challenge set for Feb. 24
In celebration of Black History Month, Jersey City educators Jawharah Muhammad and Andre Johnson, in conjunction with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., have joined the Black Panther Challenge to take some very deserving students to see Marvel’s “Black Panther” movie.
On Saturday, Feb. 24, the students and their chaperones will travel to Newport Center’s AMC Theater in downtown Jersey City for an 11:30 a.m. private screening. Students will meet outside of PS17, 600 Bergen Ave. at 10 a.m.
The Black Panther Challenge was started by Frederick Joseph and has received much attention because of the historic nature of this Marvel release. This is the first Marvel adventure that highlights an African-American in the lead role and features a majority African-American cast. Muhammad, Johnson, and the men of Omega Psi Phi, Incorporated said they feel strongly that it is only fitting to honor the contributions of African Americans through this incentive.
Donations are needed and a gofundme page has been created.
Visit https://www.gofundme.com/blackpantherchallenge-jc-nj to read about the campaign.
For more information, contact M. Muhammad, at email MuhammadMiss@yahoo.com (best method of contact) or phone (201) 912