Business & Finance

Mayor Bollwage Delivers Annual State of the City Address at Re-Organization Meeting

7d1db9393e5959f0fb56_IMG_4543.JPG
Mayor Christian Bollwage gives his Annual State of the City Address. Credits: Fran Sullivan
cf08d4891750ac29cdf9_IMG_4478.JPG
829955375d402b017d72_IMG_4442.JPG
87703137c482212bb417_IMG_4454.JPG
776cecd2f779dc5395ad_IMG_4460.JPG
35a1f875cfd4d623999f_CROPPED_IMG_4493__1_.JPG
350f22101b340127e4ba_IMG_4464.JPG
99ade20baf7340330979_IMG_4485.JPG
3b958a6507764e1f220a_IMG_4493.JPG
156b33410f98903105a8_IMG_4496.JPG
f59a587441aa64c63787_IMG_4504.JPG
048fcb213e2b4ae4cc89_IMG_4508.JPG
8ba618367d33c0db8fbd_IMG_4511.JPG
edc15864d1dd9e430c35_IMG_4517.JPG
7e6a030138ffb68c549a_IMG_4521.JPG
c031935924c2a46e2f95_IMG_4539.JPG
7d1db9393e5959f0fb56_IMG_4543.JPG

ELIZABETH, NJ –The City Council Chamber was packed today, Jan. 2, with residents who came to witness the 2017 re-organization meeting that included Mayor Christian Bollwage’s Annual State of the City Address.

Councilman-at-Large Manny Grova was elected the temporary president of the City Council. He then conducted the election of First Ward Councilman Carlos Torres as the president. Councilman-at-Large Frank Cuesta was elected president pro tem. (The person in that position will conduct Council business in the absence of the president.) President Torres then appointed Fifth Ward Councilman William Gallman as floor leader.

The first order of business was administering the oath of office to three, re-elected Council members. The Honorable Carl Marshall, Judge, swore in Councilwoman-Elect Patricia Perkins-Auguste for her next term. The Honorable Roman Montes, Judge, administered the oath of office to Councilman-Elect Frank Cuesta and Manny Grova, Jr.

Sign Up for E-News

After being sworn in by Judge Montes, Mayor Bollwage administered the oath of office to the city’s department heads. He then gave his Annual State of the City Address. His theme was preparedness, which requires planning, resources, equipment, training, and dedicated personnel. He began with the announcement of the city’s Aa3 bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service, the highest of the largest cities. “The state of our municipality is strong,” he concluded.

Here are some of the highlights from the Address:

Emergency generators have been installed at O’Donnell Dempsey Center, Mickey Walker Recreation Center, Ford Leonard Towers, and will be installed at 205 First Street.

Cameras and LED lighting has been installed at garages, making them safer.

Elizabeth Destination Marketing Organization continues to make progress, winning the New Jersey State Tourism Digital Outreach Award.

Trinitas Regional Medical Center completed Phase 1 of the emergency room expansion that includes a new CT scanner and a low dose lung screening program. “The commitment they display, along with the doctors, nurses, and staff, continues to exceed expectations and deliver results,” said the Mayor.

Public Health Nurses immunized nearly 1,000 children, administered 400 flu shots, and assisted 300 patients at the city’s clinics.

The Mayor reported that 8,000 senior citizens participated in computer labs; 9,000 took part in dance/exercise classes; 22,000 used Visiting Nurses services. The Transportation Division provided 3,600 seniors with rides to doctors’ offices; 8,000 got rides to supermarkets; and 8,600 to senior centers.

“Getting from point A to point B can be difficult at any age if the ability, if means or support are not there,” said the Mayor. “That is why more than 3,700 children were provided with rides to and from after-school program and events because no matter how old you are, no one should miss out on the important things because they did not have someone to take them.”

The summer food program provided more than 1,500 children with free lunches and snacks. The city also built two, synthetic turf, soccer fields and a tee-ball field at Kenah; a spray fountain, equipment, and lighting at Jackson Park; and a fitness zone at Carteret Park with funding from Trust for Public Land.

One of the biggest events in the city this year was the dedication of the Waterfront Field in honor of Elizabeth native and New York Jets Coach Todd Bowles.

Recreation was a priority for the administration this year with the nearly $1.7 million remodel of the Mickey Walker Recreation Center.

The Elizabeth Municipal ID Program will help those residents who lack an ID. The city is working with the Elizabeth Public Library to institute this program.

The city’s infrastructure was not ignored. Approximately 2.5 miles of streets were resurfaced. New traffic lights will soon be installed at the intersection of East Jersey and Winfield Scott Plaza and also Jackson and Monroe avenues. A re-design is underway for Elizabeth Avenue at High Street and New Point Road and South and Jacques streets.

The city is also prepared for snowy days with the addition of a $2.3 million storage container that can store 6,700 tons of salt.

Phase 2 of the Elizabeth River Trail, extending the path from Bridge to South streets along South Pearl Street. It features scenic, paved route with lighting for biking, walking, and running. Phase 3 and 4 will continue from South to Clinton streets and South Broad to West Grand streets.

Food Bazaar, which is in the same location of the former Pathmark, provided 75 jobs for residents in the 106,000 square feet store, the result of an $11 million investment.

Although progress is slow, the Midtown Train Station project continues to move forward. New Jersey Transit is bidding the design/build for the state-of-the-art facility.

The Mayor reported that the sale of the Cashman South Front Street Property to Waste Management is anticipated to produce more than $1 million in revenue by 2018.

The Mills at Jersey Gardens mall continues to expand, attracting customers from all over the world. The 200-store mall is going before the planning board in March with plans to add a 411,000-square-foot expansion.

The Mills at Jersey Gardens mall is also partnering with the city to develop an education program. “Young people are most at-risk when learning does not remain a priority and for some individuals, the typical school structure poses challenges,” said the mayor. “The Mills at Jersey Garden recognizes this need and will work in conjunction with area schools on a new collaborative effort to prepare students for success.”

High school students who have dropped out can earn their GED through the Workforce Innovation Business Center, located at the mall.

The biggest story of 2016 was the terrorist who discarded bombs at the Elizabeth train station. Said the Mayor, “First responders within Elizabeth and throughout our region train for these kinds of dangerous situations, including ones most only heard or read about. The value of that preparedness was never more evident than went terrorism came to our city.”

The Mayor continued, “As with anything worth doing, being prepared requires time and resources. The key is to be ready when it counts. In Elizabeth, our police, fire, and EMS were ready because we continue to undergo training, advance technology, and enhance operations.”

That preparedness includes the hiring of eight EMTs, 18 police officers, and 21 firefighters. More hirings are planned. This week, the police department will add 13 officers, and 15 firefighters will join that department in February.

Elizabeth is the first major city in New Jersey to equipment police officers with body-worn cameras that have improved court testimony and decreased excessive force and officer demeanor complaints.

Three ambulances were added this year, and a new fire station opened on Catherine Street, home to Engine and EMS 6. The fire department will also receive a mid-mount tower, a skyboom, and two 2,000-gallon pumpers.  

Among the crowd were Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, Assemblyman Jamel Holley, Freeholders Bette Jane Kowalski and Sergio Granados, Union County Manager Al Faella, Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan and Hillside Mayor Angela Garretson. Six members of the Board of Education, Stephanie Goncalves, Maria Carvalho, Stan Neron, Jose Rodriguez, Dan Nina, and Diana Barbosa, also attended.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Elizabeth

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2d432cc950f356da2c6b_f60eae2b69ee186ab2c9_f5f3362648b4a25a99d4_screen_shot_2018-04-22_at_1.02.36_pm

Sat, April 28, 3:00 PM

Abraham Clark High School - Auditorium, Roselle

Roselle's First Circle of Sisters Expo Community ...

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

Hilton Garden Inn, Springfield Township

YP Honors: The Royal Ball 2018

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Giving Back Other

Sat, May 5, 12:00 PM

Kenilworth VFW, Kenilworth

Prize Bingo Fundraiser for the Union County ...

Sports

Lifelong Elizabeth and Elizabeth Police to Hold  “Walking Safety ” Event

April 18, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Lifelong Elizabeth Program, under Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, will be holding another “Walking Safety Presentation” for Elizabeth residents on Thursday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to Noon, at the Elizabeth Public Library at 11 South Broad Street.

Elizabeth Police Department Sergeant Brian Clancy will provide participants with tips on walking safely and the ...

Countywide Free Scrap Metal Recycling Event to be Held in Rahway and Cranford

UNION COUNTY, NJ - A free Countywide scrap metal recycling event is scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 21 in Rahway and Cranford.  

A wide variety of metal goods, from household appliances to gutters and sheds, are included in the program.

“This countywide program helps to fill a service gap in some Union County municipalities that currently have no pickup for scrap ...

Westfield Firefighters Extinguish Small Blaze at Rock 'n' Joe's

April 15, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ - A small electrical fire started around noon at Rock 'n' Joe's on Prospect Street on Saturday.

According to Deputy Chief Anthony Tiller, the fire was caused by an electrical shortage in wires in the ceiling, sending smoke into the neighboring businesses on both sides.

“It created a smoke condition," Tiller said. "Once we located the fire, we ...

Nightmare Commute for Raritan Valley Line Commuters Monday

April 17, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Raritan Valley Line commuters spent more than three hours trying to make their way home from New York City on Monday following the breakdown of a train near Union Station during rush hour.

At 9:47 p.m., NJT tweeted:

Raritan Valley Line westbound train service is operating on or close to schedule following an earlier disabled NJ Transit train near Union ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 22, 2018

After Bruce Paterson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. The April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude that ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Sharing Strength, Giving Back: Become a Volunteer Advocate for Victims of Sexual Violence

April 23, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that openings are still available in the upcoming training series for Volunteer Advocates for victims of sexual violence. The sessions are scheduled twice weekly beginning on Tuesday, May 1 and continuing until Thursday, June 14.

The training is free. No previous experience in counseling is required. Volunteer Advocates work ...