Paterson Top Stories

Paterson's Memorial Day Kick-Off Event Canceled Over Funding Issues

a9c7ddde3afb79bc7dff_pm.jpg
The PatersonPM events from Memorial Day weekend 2011.
a9c7ddde3afb79bc7dff_pm.jpg

 

PATERSON, NJ – For the second time this month, the state has refused to allow Paterson to spend money on a holiday celebration.

As a result, the city’s Memorial Day Kick-Off that had been planned for Friday outside City Hall has been canceled. Two weeks ago, Paterson was forced to scrap its Mother’s Day breakfast.

Sign Up for E-News

Under an agreement that provides Paterson with $21 million in state transitional aid, the city cannot spend money on certain activities without getting approval from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

Mayor Jeffrey Jones said his administration asked the DCA for permission. “We called and they said no,’’ Jones said.

“It’s fair,’’ the mayor added. “It’s just our reality. There are events we’re not going to be able to do.’’

“It definitely doesn’t bring high morale,’’ said City Council President Anthony Davis. “It definitely hurts the self-esteem of the city. Events like this bring our city together. We need them.”

The Memorial Day kick-off event was supposed to feature artist exhibits, a drum circle, “characters,'' food vendors and a free showing of the movie "The Green Lantern.'''  Winning entries from the 2012 Passaic County Film Festival also were to be shown.

City documents show the estimated cost of the event this Friday would have been about $3,500. That included $2,500 for police overtime and $1,000 for public works overtime.

 “I was very disappointed with the verdict from the state,’’ said Jamie Dykes, president of the Greater Paterson Chamber of Commerce.

Dykes said events like the Memorial Day celebration enhance Paterson’s vitality and improve its reputation. Forcing the city to cancel them is “short-sighted,’’ Dykes said, because it limits Paterson’s ability to promote itself.

Moreover, Dykes said, such events are one of the ways city businesses get a return on their taxes. “You have to start to wonder what businesses get for their taxes,’’ he said.

Davis said residents, businesses and community group may have to “dig into their pockets” if they want such events to continue.

The city’s July 4 fireworks celebration is safe, according to Dykes. That event is paid for by the Downtown Special Improvement District as well as the chamber of commerce and those entities are ready to pick up the cost of the police and public works overtime stemming from the event.

Back in April, when the city held a parade to celebrate Victor Cruz’ Super Bowl season, the chamber of commerce covered the $16,285 cost of that event. But the city will have to pick up the tab for other parades run by various cultural groups as a result of a settlement of a federal lawsuit filed last city challenging the fees Paterson had tried to impose for such events.

Meanwhile, the Paterson Municipal Utilities Authority is not sure whether it will hold the Great Falls jazz concerts it sponsored last year, said the agency’s chairman, Erik Lowe.

Lowe said the agency is reconsidering whether to hold the concerts because of “individuals making an issue out of the MUA’s efforts to help the community through entertainment and donations.’’ The MUA’s decision last year to donate money to a summer education program run by St. Luke’s Baptist Church without advertising that the funds were available to community groups has come under fire from city activist David Gilmore.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

‘We Must Not Be Enemies’

May 9, 2018

Dear Editor

I want to take opportunity to congratulate Mayor Elect Andre Sayegh on his awesome election night victory and for running a campaign to unite all Patersonians. His message of “One Paterson” resonated with the electorate. I believe that Paterson's best days are ahead. He will govern the city the same way he campaigned, always putting Paterson and ...

Coughlin Appoints Wimberly New Assembly Housing Committee Chair

May 21, 2018

TRENTON, NJ – Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin has named Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly as the new Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee chairman.

Wimberly will oversee the key committee responsible for addressing statewide concerns including affordable housing, residential construction and various legislation improving New Jersey communities.

He will assume chairmanship of ...

Adopt A Pet

This little cutie is the last “good” reminder of a bitter winter. The family, mom included, were rescued during a nasty blizzard. They adapted quickly to being safe inside and are now ready to find their new homes and their new families. Hailey is quite the player and is all about kitten energy. Born in late February of 2018, this beautiful grey and white girl enjoys wrestling with ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Passaic County CASA Recognizes Volunteer Child Advocates at Annual Event

May 11, 2018

WAYNE, NJ- More than 50 staff members, volunteers, and board members from Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) celebrated the impact of CASA volunteers at the organization's Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on April 28, 2018, at Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne. This annual event recognizes Passaic County CASA volunteer advocates and the difference they make in the lives of ...

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver Testimony on Proposal to Divert Affordable Housing Funds

May 21, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- TAPinto Paterson earlier reported on the response of local community leaders and activists on a proposal by Governor Phil Murphy to divert $46 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) which they wrote in a letter signed by representatives of over 100 groups statewide is “legally dedicated to the creation of affordable homes for lower income ...

Local Advocates Join Statewide Call for Restoration of Affordable Housing Funds

PATERSON, NJ- The leaders of several local organizations including Paterson Habitat for Humanity, Saint Paul’s Community Development Corporation, the Paterson Housing Authority, and the City of Paterson’s Neighborhood Assistance Office lent their signatures to a letter urging Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature to preserve a fund dedicated to creation of affordable ...

The Elections are Over, Now it's Time to Collaborate!

May 21, 2018

For much of the past six months Paterson’s focus has been on the races for mayor and council, and rightly so. The elected officials that serve the nearly 150,000 residents of our city have an enormous responsibility, their actions dictating not just success of our community, but the way our City is perceived.

The election is now behind us, and we congratulate all who took part in the ...