PATERSON, N.J.- On Tuesday night, the Paterson Council voted 7-1-1 to approve RES. #17:066 the budget for the Downtown Paterson Special Improvement District.
Councilman Michael Jackson gave a presentation that the Council should not approved the budget because funds were being mismanaged and were not spent correctly. He pointed out that the Director of the Downtown Paterson SID was getting paid about $80,000 meanwhile holding another job at the New Jersey Community Development Center earning a salary of $40,000- citing that the Director was a “conflict of interest.”
Jackson added that from last year’s budget, all of the Director’s expenditures such as parking, were part of the budget.
Residents shouted their reactions to Councilman Jackson’s presentation with dismay before they spoke at the Public Session of the meeting.
Dr. Jonathan Hodges, a Paterson Board of Education member believed, “that there can be an improvement…[so that we can] bring more traffic into Paterson.”
Residents began to argue that business owners did not care about Paterson and only care about themselves, otherwise they would have showed up to the meeting and not have the “streets be empty by 6:00pm.”
“We need more trash cans,” one resident commented, referring to the trash in the streets Downtown, “There’s trash cans every five feet in parks, why not use those trash cans on the streets?”
The council were unsure during the discussion whether or not to approve the budget.
Council President William McKoy showed support for the budget approval by saying that there is a board that oversees the SID and they must vote unanimously before it’s shown before the council, following up the statement, “Process Over Passion.”
Other council members followed with McKoy, using the argument “Process Over Passion.”
After an hour and a half of discussion, all the council members approved the budget except for Jackson who vote no. Councilwoman Ruby Cotton and Mayor Jose Torres did not attend the meeting.