Letters to the Editor

Paterson Needs Compromise and Cooperation

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7058b2eb87202bf1533f_gysdspeech.jpg

 

Listen To What Children Say; Watch What Adults Do.

I first want to apologize in advance here.  My proverbial gloves have come off thanks to a close friend inspiring me recently.  I have come to the conclusion that I must no longer hold anything back regardless of the other factors in motion.  If I hold back due to my usually diplomatic nature, then I am just sitting back and allowing the wrong things to be taking place despite the fact that I know in my heart that I can help make things right if people listen to me. 

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I do not wish to choose sides.  I do not wish to make enemies.  I do not wish to talk to my elders and with anything resembling disrespect.  I do not wish to talk down to the very youth population that I serve.  I do not wish to politically harm anyone nor do I wish to appear morally superior to anyone.  I am a very flawed individual and I will be the first one to tell you that I have many things to work on in order to live up to my own high standards of what I aspire to be in life. 

But by writing and publishing this article today, I can hold my head high knowing that I at least tried my hardest to get things done the right way and provide this city, this country, and this world with as much value as I possibly can.  I only hope that people do not resent me for it but rather, that people will respect my perspective as fair and see me as an example to follow due to my honest and sincere effort.

Listen To What Children Say; Watch What Adults Do.

This was a statement made to me by the smartest and wisest man that I have ever met in my entire life.  (Different person than the friend that inspired this article)  This man is also probably the biggest reason why I became a history major and my life’s trajectory led me directly to the city of Paterson where I have dedicated myself to serving the entire population of Patersonians.  He has taught me so many valuable life lessons and he has helped guide me through many confusing times that it is totally unbelievable to think about.  And the craziest part of all of that above information is that I have met this man only once in person.

So how has he played such a large role in my life having only met me once?  It is because he is a friend that I interact with fairly regularly on a New York Giants Internet message board.  (Yes, I am a disturbingly obsessed Giants and football fan, even more fitting that I ended up in Victor Cruz’s hometown.)

And what does any of that have to do with Paterson?  The quote will be the main topic to be explained, but I also wanted to point out that it is the Internet that led me to Paterson because I believe that same Internet will play a direct role in Paterson if this city develops the way I envision it will in the coming years. 

So enough of my longwinded intro:

Recently patersonpress.com put out an article discussing chronic absenteeism in the school district amongst our student population.  There have also been reports of people being robbed, shot, beat up, and whatever else on a daily basis in the news with our youth playing a large part in these crimes. 

Prior to the absenteeism news, the City Council dished out punishments to some members of Mayor Jones’ administration after conducting an investigation into Administration overtime payments.  Then a vote of ‘no confidence’ was passed against Mayor Jones.  Then Mayor Jones came out and put forth allegations concerning Councilman Kenneth Morris and his relationship with a city employee.  The Council obviously defended the Councilman and criticized the Mayor in return.  Yesterday, a long time Court Director was terminated and Mayor Jones told the Council they have to follow certain procedures when contacting Department Directors. 

See where I’m going with this yet?  Listen to what children are saying; watch what adults are doing.

While accountability is certainly something I seek daily and support in every way, I am unsure of what the proper courses of action were when each of these proverbial jabs were thrown at each other between the council and the Mayor’s office.  I am certain however, that there’s got to be a better way for the greater good. 

Please hear me out members and former members of the City Council, and Mayor Jones and your administration; you all know I have the utmost respect for all of you and I just want a better Paterson.

The decisions by the Council put the Mayor in a precarious situation.  His job as Mayor is to choose a staff to execute his executive direction.  Mayors and really any executive in any field, both politics and business, are going to make mistakes in choosing their staff.  That is the nature of being human.  But as the elected Mayor, it is still his obligation to decide the fate of the staff that works for him.  It is difficult to see from his perspective but think about it, it can be quite undermining to take the matters of the executive’s own staff and put it into the legislative branch’s hands.  And I need not delve too far into the ‘no confidence’ vote.  I do not know the correct course of action there at all but I am certain there has to be some other way to enable the executive and legislative branches to work together rather than against each other. 

We have two years left.  I realize many want to somehow enable a recall to occur but that is no seamless venture and presents its own problems.  Point being, given how Mayor Jones has two years left, it is counterproductive to put forth such a condemning piece of legislation to the executive leader of the city.

Now Mayor Jones, please realize right now in this moment that despite you telling folks not to believe everything they read, let me tell you personally, many people do not have confidence in you and that is the reason why the Council took the vote in the first place.  There is no witch-hunt here, no personal agendas, no revenge factor, etc…  The Council is indeed taking these actions with their constituents in mind.  (Seriously, there was literally a 100+ post hypercritical Facebook discussion taking place as I was writing this article; sorry to beat a dead horse again but you need to communicate better with your constituents and then you could start to gain their trust back.  Until you interact more effectively than you have, they will continue condemn you.)  As I said above, whether the council actions are the correct actions or not, I do not know.  But having interacted with as many people as I have in the past 6 months, people are not confident in you nor were they pleased with the overtime findings; that does explain why the Council took the action. 

The people cannot see what you are doing behind the scenes; they only see the controversies that have resulted from this overtime issue and the way you have responded to it.  As I have been trying to tell you, you need to open up a better line of communication with all Patersonians and that line of communication is through the internet and many other cost free avenues along the lines of the Giants message board I mentioned earlier that helped lead me to Paterson.  I know you are doing much behind the scenes but you need to tell people about it in more detail; they need to see and hear real progress.  Hopefully I will be able help you and the administration show the people that now as a part of the Quality Of Life Initiative Steering Committee.

I would be remiss not to mention the school district.  It is no secret that I hold Dr. Evans and his job performance in the highest of esteem.  We are in fact making much progress within the school district regarding student performance and I am certain that it is a direct result of the comprehensive strategies, proven school models, and methods to improve teaching and administrative performance.  Unfortunately, like the Council and Mayor’s Office, there is much more major work to be done in terms of communication with all Patersonians throughout the school district.  (Sorry Commissioners and Dr. Evans, you know I’ve been on your case about this since I arrived almost two years ago now)  This is all to say that no one has done their best for the constituents amongst the city government and school district.  No one has served Patersonians as well as they could have.  I know for a fact everyone can do better.  I mean, if we can’t do better then that’s really bad, no?

Now while the city government bickers amongst itself, and the school district struggles to reach the people it serves effectively, and we still cannot figure out how to manage overtime procedures properly for the thankless job that the police and fire department members do serving the city.  (Watch what adults do)  Now there are some good things happening in both sectors but unfortunately, those good things continue to be overshadowed by the fact that our youth and portions of our adult population are doing and selling drugs, fighting, stealing, and killing people every day.  (Listen to what children say)  How can we expect our youth to stop fighting when we cannot do that very same thing ourselves?  As well, we are still not yet out of the woods in terms of improving the education of our children, nor are we anywhere close to solving our social, political, and economic woes.  The longer all the fighting goes on, the threat to derail any progress made within the school district or the city, grows.  More importantly, people keep dying.  Young people.  Older people.  Middle aged people.  Innocent people.  Everyone is being directly affected by the violence.  Bullets do not bicker.  They take down anyone in their path.  And that means anyone. 

Fortunately to keep with my positive attitude outlook, and vision, despite all our troubles and negative headlines, I cannot stop repeating that regular citizens have been mobilizing to take action on issues that have been neglected for years and are doing so with impressive and effective results.  I do not have to report on these stories, there are too many out there to list.  If you wish to read those stories, check my site, check the other sites I listed in my last article, and of course check PatersonPress.com too.  (I forgot to mention the Ivanhoe Art Group last time.  They’re also doing great work providing art and cultural services to our youth and adult populations while communicating effectively via Facebook.)  And spread the word about all of them.

I am here to ask…  No beg…  No…  I am demanding.  I demand you politicians throw away the infighting and begin setting a better example for our youth and the rest of our adult population.  When I arrived here nearly two years ago now, part of the rationale that I gave to my family for wanting to stay and be a part of this city, was because I saw people within the ranks of school and city government who all wanted the same thing.  I saw leaders who envisioned a flourishing Paterson, with a people proud of its innovative and legendary history, a community beaming with pride about its natural resources and beauty, a peaceful and vibrant city.  I thought you were all prepared to propel us into the 21st century just as this same city propelled the entire Nation and world into the 19th century and beyond.  I challenge you now to prove to the citizens that you all are up to that task.

There are lives at stake every day here.  Children could die; it is going to happen eventually.  Some young child is going to get hit with a bullet not meant for them and we are going to mourn and wonder how we could allow something like that to happen.  Innocent adults already have suffered such fate.

How about this for our first compromise from our elected officials so we can put the past behind us set a good example?  Mayor Jones, you accept the City Council punishments for your administrative staff by instituting the penalties yourself; there have been fairly legitimate complaints, investigations, etc…  and people were demanding to see accountability.  You should be the one handing out those penalties out.  City Council members, you repeal the no-confidence vote.  You all have to work together for two years and that legislation makes working together and effectively for the duration of this current term.  And Mr. Mayor, please get behind Congressman Pascrell, he’s clearly got the support to win here and we need both offices to work together.  The constituents cannot afford such drastic risk of government stagnation.  We can have a nice press conference up by the Falls to announce it all together.

Then let’s put it all behind us, get to work, and show the rest of New Jersey and the Nation that we are ready to lead the way into the future again.

The citizens elected all of you.  The solution starts with everyone.  Citizens included.  Parents included.  Teachers included.  Politicians.  Business owners.  Etc…  We want our youth to stop fighting with each other and failing?

Then it is time that we all put aside the past transgressions.  Each and everyone one of us must look in our own mirror.  And we must all figure out how, as an individuals we can be better, so that we can create the best possible future by working together and achieving excellence

All the best and take care everyone.

           Listen To What Children Say; Watch What Adults Do.

I first want to apologize in advance here.  My proverbial gloves have come off thanks to a close friend inspiring me recently.  I have come to the conclusion that I must no longer hold anything back regardless of the other factors in motion.  If I hold back due to my usually diplomatic nature, then I am just sitting back and allowing the wrong things to be taking place despite the fact that I know in my heart that I can help make things right if people listen to me. 

I do not wish to choose sides.  I do not wish to make enemies.  I do not wish to talk to my elders and with anything resembling disrespect.  I do not wish to talk down to the very youth population that I serve.  I do not wish to politically harm anyone nor do I wish to appear morally superior to anyone.  I am a very flawed individual and I will be the first one to tell you that I have many things to work on in order to live up to my own high standards of what I aspire to be in life. 

But by writing and publishing this article today, I can hold my head high knowing that I at least tried my hardest to get things done the right way and provide this city, this country, and this world with as much value as I possibly can.  I only hope that people do not resent me for it but rather, that people will respect my perspective as fair and see me as an example to follow due to my honest and sincere effort.

Listen To What Children Say; Watch What Adults Do.

This was a statement made to me by the smartest and wisest man that I have ever met in my entire life.  (Different person than the friend that inspired this article)  This man is also probably the biggest reason why I became a history major and my life’s trajectory led me directly to the city of Paterson where I have dedicated myself to serving the entire population of Patersonians.  He has taught me so many valuable life lessons and he has helped guide me through many confusing times that it is totally unbelievable to think about.  And the craziest part of all of that above information is that I have met this man only once in person.

So how has he played such a large role in my life having only met me once?  It is because he is a friend that I interact with fairly regularly on a New York Giants Internet message board.  (Yes, I am a disturbingly obsessed Giants and football fan, even more fitting that I ended up in Victor Cruz’s hometown.)

And what does any of that have to do with Paterson?  The quote will be the main topic to be explained, but I also wanted to point out that it is the Internet that led me to Paterson because I believe that same Internet will play a direct role in Paterson if this city develops the way I envision it will in the coming years. 

So enough of my longwinded intro:

Recently patersonpress.com put out an article discussing chronic absenteeism in the school district amongst our student population.  There have also been reports of people being robbed, shot, beat up, and whatever else on a daily basis in the news with our youth playing a large part in these crimes. 

Prior to the absenteeism news, the City Council dished out punishments to some members of Mayor Jones’ administration after conducting an investigation into Administration overtime payments.  Then a vote of ‘no confidence’ was passed against Mayor Jones.  Then Mayor Jones came out and put forth allegations concerning Councilman Kenneth Morris and his relationship with a city employee.  The Council obviously defended the Councilman and criticized the Mayor in return.  Yesterday, a long time Court Director was terminated and Mayor Jones told the Council they have to follow certain procedures when contacting Department Directors. 

See where I’m going with this yet?  Listen to what children are saying; watch what adults are doing.

While accountability is certainly something I seek daily and support in every way, I am unsure of what the proper courses of action were when each of these proverbial jabs were thrown at each other between the council and the Mayor’s office.  I am certain however, that there’s got to be a better way for the greater good. 

Please hear me out members and former members of the City Council, and Mayor Jones and your administration; you all know I have the utmost respect for all of you and I just want a better Paterson.

The decisions by the Council put the Mayor in a precarious situation.  His job as Mayor is to choose a staff to execute his executive direction.  Mayors and really any executive in any field, both politics and business, are going to make mistakes in choosing their staff.  That is the nature of being human.  But as the elected Mayor, it is still his obligation to decide the fate of the staff that works for him.  It is difficult to see from his perspective but think about it, it can be quite undermining to take the matters of the executive’s own staff and put it into the legislative branch’s hands.  And I need not delve too far into the ‘no confidence’ vote.  I do not know the correct course of action there at all but I am certain there has to be some other way to enable the executive and legislative branches to work together rather than against each other. 

We have two years left.  I realize many want to somehow enable a recall to occur but that is no seamless venture and presents its own problems.  Point being, given how Mayor Jones has two years left, it is counterproductive to put forth such a condemning piece of legislation to the executive leader of the city.

Now Mayor Jones, please realize right now in this moment that despite you telling folks not to believe everything they read, let me tell you personally, many people do not have confidence in you and that is the reason why the Council took the vote in the first place.  There is no witch-hunt here, no personal agendas, no revenge factor, etc…  The Council is indeed taking these actions with their constituents in mind.  (Seriously, there was literally a 100+ post hypercritical Facebook discussion taking place as I was writing this article; sorry to beat a dead horse again but you need to communicate better with your constituents and then you could start to gain their trust back.  Until you interact more effectively than you have, they will continue condemn you.)  As I said above, whether the council actions are the correct actions or not, I do not know.  But having interacted with as many people as I have in the past 6 months, people are not confident in you nor were they pleased with the overtime findings; that does explain why the Council took the action. 

The people cannot see what you are doing behind the scenes; they only see the controversies that have resulted from this overtime issue and the way you have responded to it.  As I have been trying to tell you, you need to open up a better line of communication with all Patersonians and that line of communication is through the internet and many other cost free avenues along the lines of the Giants message board I mentioned earlier that helped lead me to Paterson.  I know you are doing much behind the scenes but you need to tell people about it in more detail; they need to see and hear real progress.  Hopefully I will be able help you and the administration show the people that now as a part of the Quality Of Life Initiative Steering Committee.

I would be remiss not to mention the school district.  It is no secret that I hold Dr. Evans and his job performance in the highest of esteem.  We are in fact making much progress within the school district regarding student performance and I am certain that it is a direct result of the comprehensive strategies, proven school models, and methods to improve teaching and administrative performance.  Unfortunately, like the Council and Mayor’s Office, there is much more major work to be done in terms of communication with all Patersonians throughout the school district.  (Sorry Commissioners and Dr. Evans, you know I’ve been on your case about this since I arrived almost two years ago now)  This is all to say that no one has done their best for the constituents amongst the city government and school district.  No one has served Patersonians as well as they could have.  I know for a fact everyone can do better.  I mean, if we can’t do better then that’s really bad, no?

Now while the city government bickers amongst itself, and the school district struggles to reach the people it serves effectively, and we still cannot figure out how to manage overtime procedures properly for the thankless job that the police and fire department members do serving the city.  (Watch what adults do)  Now there are some good things happening in both sectors but unfortunately, those good things continue to be overshadowed by the fact that our youth and portions of our adult population are doing and selling drugs, fighting, stealing, and killing people every day.  (Listen to what children say)  How can we expect our youth to stop fighting when we cannot do that very same thing ourselves?  As well, we are still not yet out of the woods in terms of improving the education of our children, nor are we anywhere close to solving our social, political, and economic woes.  The longer all the fighting goes on, the threat to derail any progress made within the school district or the city, grows.  More importantly, people keep dying.  Young people.  Older people.  Middle aged people.  Innocent people.  Everyone is being directly affected by the violence.  Bullets do not bicker.  They take down anyone in their path.  And that means anyone. 

Fortunately to keep with my positive attitude outlook, and vision, despite all our troubles and negative headlines, I cannot stop repeating that regular citizens have been mobilizing to take action on issues that have been neglected for years and are doing so with impressive and effective results.  I do not have to report on these stories, there are too many out there to list.  If you wish to read those stories, check my site, check the other sites I listed in my last article, and of course check PatersonPress.com too.  (I forgot to mention the Ivanhoe Art Group last time.  They’re also doing great work providing art and cultural services to our youth and adult populations while communicating effectively via Facebook.)  And spread the word about all of them.

I am here to ask…  No beg…  No…  I am demanding.  I demand you politicians throw away the infighting and begin setting a better example for our youth and the rest of our adult population.  When I arrived here nearly two years ago now, part of the rationale that I gave to my family for wanting to stay and be a part of this city, was because I saw people within the ranks of school and city government who all wanted the same thing.  I saw leaders who envisioned a flourishing Paterson, with a people proud of its innovative and legendary history, a community beaming with pride about its natural resources and beauty, a peaceful and vibrant city.  I thought you were all prepared to propel us into the 21st century just as this same city propelled the entire Nation and world into the 19th century and beyond.  I challenge you now to prove to the citizens that you all are up to that task.

There are lives at stake every day here.  Children could die; it is going to happen eventually.  Some young child is going to get hit with a bullet not meant for them and we are going to mourn and wonder how we could allow something like that to happen.  Innocent adults already have suffered such fate.

How about this for our first compromise from our elected officials so we can put the past behind us set a good example?  Mayor Jones, you accept the City Council punishments for your administrative staff by instituting the penalties yourself; there have been fairly legitimate complaints, investigations, etc…  and people were demanding to see accountability.  You should be the one handing out those penalties out.  City Council members, you repeal the no-confidence vote.  You all have to work together for two years and that legislation makes working together and effectively for the duration of this current term.  And Mr. Mayor, please get behind Congressman Pascrell, he’s clearly got the support to win here and we need both offices to work together.  The constituents cannot afford such drastic risk of government stagnation.  We can have a nice press conference up by the Falls to announce it all together.

Then let’s put it all behind us, get to work, and show the rest of New Jersey and the Nation that we are ready to lead the way into the future again.

The citizens elected all of you.  The solution starts with everyone.  Citizens included.  Parents included.  Teachers included.  Politicians.  Business owners.  Etc…  We want our youth to stop fighting with each other and failing?

Then it is time that we all put aside the past transgressions.  Each and everyone one of us must look in our own mirror.  And we must all figure out how, as an individuals we can be better, so that we can create the best possible future by working together and achieving excellence.

All the best and take care everyone.

            

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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