Government

League of Municipalities Conference Offers Paterson Officials 'Educational Opportunities'

57ecadd8cce063e7203a_FB173B55-4F67-4349-825E-13DA0933FBF1.jpeg
2a12e62d28d19ae428b9_D3CAE75F-B129-4A0C-8514-959BFF6845B4.jpeg
a8a506ac42388a8d79d9_912DD0B2-DC84-464B-AACB-5509BFF13363.jpeg
57ecadd8cce063e7203a_FB173B55-4F67-4349-825E-13DA0933FBF1.jpeg

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ- More than 16,000 elected officials, public employees, service providers and others involved in municipal government descended on Atlantic City for the annual League of Municipalities Conference last week. 

The conference, now in its 102nd year, was held under the banner of “Realizing Tomorrow’s Potential!” and included over 100 educational seminars and over 700 exhibitors. 

TAPinto Paterson caught up with two members of the Paterson City Council, as well Mayor Jane Williams-Warren, to speak with them about the conference and some of the issues they were focused on learning more about while in Atlantic City to bring home to Paterson.

Sign Up for E-News

“For eight months I have the responsibility of moving Paterson forward, to set the tone for the next mayor” stated Warren-Williams. The ‘League’, as the conference is often referred to, offers “excellent educational opportunities,” and , according to Warren-Williams, gave her a chance to formally join the Urban Mayor’s Association which also provides a “wealth of information.”

Williams-Warren also expressed her appreciation and enthusiasm for the decision announced by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) on November 14 to provide funding support for Yoland Corporation to move their headquarters from Brooklyn to Paterson, creating 50 jobs.

Catching Councilman Luis Velez as he left a panel discussion about the Sustainable NJ Program, he offered his belief that through expanded community engagement they could reduce solid waste and reduce dumping. “Educating the community on how to dispose of waste is important,” Velez said. 

Velez also sees this as an area where Paterson can increase revenue and decrease expenses. By seeking additional sources of funding for solar projects the city can reduce reliance on gas, while at the same time increasing recycling rates. All together, Velez said, this would mean a “cleaner and stronger Paterson.”

For his part, Councilman Andre Sayegh sees the conference as an opportunity to “receive input from experts” and to bring best practices from other municipalities back to Paterson. Referring to the success of economic development activity in the Sixth Ward, and sharing his desire to “make the Sixth Ward’s success every ward’s success,” Sayegh said that the ‘League’ provides opportunities for discussions that wouldn’t occur otherwise. 

It’s at past conferences, Sayegh said, where he first learned of updated tax assessment software, and a model abandoned properties ordinance, the implementation of both he helped spearhead locally.

Both Velez and Sayegh also offered views on continued efforts to reduce the number of vacant and abandoned properties throughout Paterson, with Velez suggesting that they must “give the fire department the tools and authority to identify and eliminate structures that pose a risk to safety.”

An in-house demolition team, Velez believes, would not only help make blocks that are plagued by abandoned structures safer, they’d also perform work that would make neighborhoods “more attractive to investors.” This would bring in new residents, and make communities “vibrant.”

Sayegh would later add that by ridding blocks of what he called “eyesores and crime magnets,” continuing to reduce the number of vacant properties, already down from over 1100 to less than 800 in just a few years, Paterson can expand its ratable base and increase the value of owner-occupied and maintained homes. 

Additionally, it’s not just elected officials who benefit from and acquire knowledge at the conference Sayegh pointed out. Indeed Paterson’s Director of Economic Development Ruben Gomez and Fire Chief Michael Postorino were among other key local leaders that were in attendance at the various seminars.

As city officials continue to work to revise the budget that was introduced earlier this month, one that Velez said he is “not comfortable approving as presented,” the lessons learned and tools acquired at the League of Municipalities conference become even more critical in the coming months in efforts to identify an additional two million dollars in cuts without “hurting core services such as police and fire.”

  

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, July 17, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Cancer Center Resource Room, Belleville

Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease Support ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7611ce284a8c86d65b64_37d34f9a-c5cd-4fb1-8bf8-b5b7319cb94e

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair

Education

Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

July 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 12, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Big Plans for Small Park in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK, NJ- An under-utilized pocket park on Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward has become a symbol of what can be accomplished in neighborhoods throughout the city through effective public-private partnerships. 

The park’s supporters have big plans for the public space, located directly across the street from the busy North Ward Center, located in an historic ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...