PATERSON, NJ – After Gov. Chris Christie held his town hall meeting at St. Luke’s Baptist Church, PatersonPress.com reached out to various city leaders for their thoughts on the event. Here’s what they had to say:
Jamie Dykes, executive director of the Greater Paterson Chamber of Commerce: “I was happy with the overall message of his trying to assure Patersonians that as governor he represents them, too.’’
Councilman Kenneth McDaniel: “I think he did a good job having balance with his remarks. I don’t think he went in any one direction. I think he was mindful in mentioning the administration and the city council in terms of some of the things being mismanaged.’’
McDaniel noted that none of the questions targeted Paterson’s crime problem or its high unemployment numbers. “That was a missed opportunity,” he said.
Councilman William McKoy: “I don’t think we broke any new ground today. But we appreciate being included in the tour.’’
McKoy said he was glad to hear Christie “pledge to be the governor for all the people and to want to work with us to bring about the revitalization of Paterson.’’
Councilman Rigo Rodriguez: “I think it went real well. I think people expressed their feeling as to what we need in our city.’’
“Overall, I think he’s a pretty straight shooter. I was impressed.’’
Councilman Andre Sayegh: “He was very polished. Clearly, he’s learned from his previous town hall meetings how to interact with an audience, even hecklers.’’
Sayegh said he was disappointed the governor didn’t pick him to ask a question. The councilman said he would have asked about how much Patersonians pay Trenton in various taxes and fees. “We know how much aid they give us, but we don’t know how much Paterson gives to Trenton,’’ he said.
Irene Sterling, president of the Paterson Education Fund: “He’s a fabulous communicator. I just wish that his facts were correct.”
Sterling cited Christie’s response to a question from a 6th grader from School 6 who wanted to know why students at School 10 had iPads. Sterling said the real reason for the difference was that one school had gotten a grant and not the other.