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Re: N.J. has the lowest number of public workers in 8 years -- state union workers protest
#1
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Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:
The problem with blind labor force reductions under Christie is that this includes occupations where cutting the workforce is dangerous, such as police officers in Newark and Camden, or likely to impact longterm investments, such as reducing teachers or university positions. What Christie has failed to do is reduce the bureaucracy of local government; true savings comes when we eliminate the unnecessary municipalities, local school boards, and the town by town services that drive up the cost of doing business. Christie hasn't done this at all. Instead, crime is up in Newark and Camden and other cities with police layoffs, class size is up in public schools all while he is claiming a victory.


Well I agree those areas shouldn't have to reduce their workforce. However, that doesn't mean those areas don't have fat to trim. Change from defined benefit to defined contribution for new employees (police and teachers), extend the number of years one has to work to retire and receive pensions, and require greater pay into medical are three things that could be done to get cost savings without reducing the size of the force. Those negotiations have happened elsewhere in this country. The relative power of the union is too strong in NJ and then rather than agreeing to reduction in benefits or reduction in pay increases, it becomes a cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-the-taxpayers-face situation. To protect the majority of their members, the union will throw a few employees under the bus. They are acting rationally given their mission, but you can't say it is the best outcome for the state or the taxpayers. Why not let the unions take equal (if not more) blame than Christie?

Posted on: 2011/9/6 0:24
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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Quote:

murican wrote:
All the usual buzz words.

Same old same old. School reform begins and ends with teachers- make tenure more difficult, merit pay aka reward good teachers, Teach for America model, etc., etc..

Obviously very well funded.

List of Executives
http://b4njkids.org/go.cfm?do=Page.Show&pid=2

Some well known locally.

Would have more respect for them if they recognized that education especially urban education is a complex issue and does not begin and end with teachers.

Comprehensive education reform includes comprehensive urban reform: support for parents and students (psychologically, economically, educationally), community access to good nutrition, providing adequate housing and safety within communities, providing support for related community organizations : libraries, after-school centers, day-care, community recreational centers, training centers and scholarships for youth and adults, stimulation of businesses and economy within communities etc.

I would feel better about these types of organizations if they fought for our politicians's accountability, and our financial system's accountability (Wall Street, banks) all of which seem to conspire to eradicate the middle class and make the working poor poorer.

But it is so much easier to attack a straw man (all those [bad] teachers and the evil unions.

My 2cents

PS.
And they have ads on jclist!


I'm sorry, but where do you think the middle class came from? Capitalist ideas did give way to some people having more than others. But I for one am glad we aren't hunting or gathering - even if that was more "fair." I like tampons and TVs, even if my TV isn't as big as someone else's. No one said it was the fairest system, just that it produces the best outcome overall.

It is a holistic problem and it will take many things to change - I agree with your ideas about the things we should tackle. But there is also some low hanging fruit and I actually respect an organization that can focus on 1 or 2 clear goals and accomplish them. In a business world you don't think of every possible thing you can do and start executing on them all. You pick one or two things do it well and then move to the next thing.

What is wrong with tenure? Well if you didn't have to do much of anything to keep your job - would you? Maybe you are a much better person than I am. The original purpose of tenure was to protect teachers from getting fired for teaching controversial ideas. What it has been bastardized to do is serve as a way to protect anyone from getting fired unless they have really horrible egregious offenses. (Talk to teachers that everyone knows to be the good teachers and MANY behind closed doors will tell you they don't like the outcome of tenure.) What's worse? There are good teachers who get laid off in economic hard times all because they aren't tenured. Do you want the tenured teacher teaching your child or could you care less and only care that the best teacher teaching your kids? The LIFO system in place today guarantees that you get the tenured teacher regardless of performance or ability.

Posted on: 2011/7/18 20:37
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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Quote:

DanL wrote:
@ShelleySkinner

congrats and good luck in your new position

my question is now answered, B4K is coming to JC. My skepticism is about and use of PACs (Political Action Committees) and their undue influence on campaign finance and elections.

however, I'd be happy to to look over the mailer and send you (email) some "skeptic's" questions, maybe on "how to's?" relating to the group's objectives and goals that you could be anticipating anyway.

also, feel free to reach out and call or email me.




So - what about the undo political influence of the teacher's union? If it takes a PAC to level the playing field than I am all for it.

Posted on: 2011/7/18 20:14
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Re: Eminent Domain McGinley Sq
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Quote:

pferm201 wrote:
So, coming from the Hudson Reporter, eminent domains "notices" are being sent to home owners in the McGinley Sq area. If you have not seen the article here it is:
http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_s ... te_lead_story_left_column

So has anyone who lives in the area gotten the notice? I'm hoping this is the start of the plans that are going forth for the area to improve. Granted, eminent domain is not the way to go in my opinion and is a cruel way to get people out of the area, but nonetheless that area can possibly become a great location and finally change.

Edit: "Home Owners"


Apparently they have been given letters. Saw this on Facebook from Councilman Fulop http://stevenfulop.com/news/jersey-ci ... y-declares-eminent-domain

"Not the way to go" is in my opinion a an understatement. It is wrong - on so many levels. Peruvian Author Henry De Soto discusses the detrimental effects of lack of legal property rights in many developing countries that are capatalist.

Posted on: 2011/7/16 16:43
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Re: New Jersey & Gay Marriage
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Quote:

borisp wrote:
Quote:

Ms_Taggart wrote:

But since that is like 45 million light years away from happening, I have to look at outcome versus theory - until marriage comes off the books all together I 100% support gay marriage.



This is what puzzles me immensely. If you already decided to fight for a change in the current laws, - why not fight for the RIGHT change?

And, as someone who immigrated here from Soviet Russia, - boy, am I puzzled by the attitude "oh, it is light years away from happening". Look, if all people thought this way, - what would we be celebrating tomorrow?


Because I am looking at outcome. Extending marriage to gays is certainly better - from not only a technical benefit perspective but also from the tone of tolerance/cultural message it sends - than keeping it as it is today.

I would also support banning it all together. However what politician is going to pi$$ off that many tax payers and religious voters. The reality is that it is not the right timing (via public support) for a change like that.

Posted on: 2011/7/4 12:05
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Re: New Jersey & Gay Marriage
#6
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Quote:

borisp wrote:
Quote:

Ms_Taggart wrote:
Quote:

borisp wrote:
.


Borrowed quote... "
The 14th Amendment says no state shall 'deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.' Which makes the gay marriage issue all the more perplexing. Why should gay people be the only ones to be protected against marriage? That is why I'm announcing that I will be filing a lawsuit against the state of New York to extend this protection to straight people and have all marriage banned."


Since you quoted me, it must mean that you are responding to what I said. However, I can't make a connection.

I am not sure what statement of mine you are responding to, and I am not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing.

Sorry.


Was basically agreeing - in a tongue and cheek kind of way. I support legal gay marriage as much as I support legal straight marriage. Government shouldn't be regulating marriage at all. You are 100% correct that they should recognize contract law. But since that is like 45 million light years away from happening, I have to look at outcome versus theory - until marriage comes off the books all together I 100% support gay marriage.

Posted on: 2011/7/4 2:27
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Re: New Jersey & Gay Marriage
#7
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Quote:

borisp wrote:
Quote:

PHResident wrote:
If it was as simple as "Tax Breaks", I'm not sure we'd be quite as interested in getting married in the first place. This goes way beyond taxes.

From the HRC website:

Rights and Protections Denied Same-Sex Partners
Because same-sex couples are denied the right to marry, same-sex couples and their families are denied access to the more than 1,138 federal rights, protections and responsibilities automatically granted to married heterosexual couples. Among those are:...


Oh, COME ON!

"The right to make decisions on a partner's behalf in a medical emergency"? You can take a piece of paper, write "I trust so-and-so to make a decision on my behalf in a medical emergency", notarize your signature for $3 and DONE.

The state merely recognizes marriage as a form of a contract that automatically includes medical trust, financial trust, will, and so on.

But it does not means that you can't make a contract with a partner without marriage that will include ALL those things.

You can't claim that married couple had more rights than un-married people just because the contracts they made have different names.



The ONLY, - ONLY - benefit that Government offers to a married couple that nobody else can get, - is difference in taxes, - and tax-related things, - like disability benefits and so on.

However, when the Government creates a privileged group endowed by special benefits, - one should fight against this very idea, - not for an inclusion in that privileged group.

The government should not be giving special benefits to married people over un-married one. There is no justification in that, period.


Borrowed quote... "
The 14th Amendment says no state shall 'deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.' Which makes the gay marriage issue all the more perplexing. Why should gay people be the only ones to be protected against marriage? That is why I'm announcing that I will be filing a lawsuit against the state of New York to extend this protection to straight people and have all marriage banned."

Posted on: 2011/7/3 12:26
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Re: Candy Store
#8
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Store is wonderful. Hope the foot traffic on Washington is enough to sustain it!

Posted on: 2011/5/31 11:21
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Re: Councilman Steve Fulop Proposes city and county consolidation of certain functions
#9
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Quote:

jzfan wrote:
I hate to interrupt a nice sycophantic rant about "streamlining" and "saving millions", but not only are these claims speculative at best as it pertains to the JCEDC, worse, they speak to the incompetence of legislator(s) proposing it.

They have proposed an action without even checking with the entity that is supposed to subsume the Jersey City Div. of Cultural Affairs and the JCEDC....namely Hudson County's governing body. That is ridiculous and smacks of headline creation without any actual thought or due dilligence done to assess the feasibility of such an action. Clearly, that makes you wonder of those proposing it gave a second of thought about the impact of such a proposal?

It sure smells like a preemptive strike to: a) appear to be trying to save the City money using buzz words like "streamlining" and "consolidating" without any credible assessment or likelihood of approval by the County; b) attack Steve Lipski and, by association, Mayor Healy and his cohorts.

No meaningful governmental solutions; just politics.


I thought I read in the original article that a few from the county expressed preliminary support, no?

Since I am not "born and raised in Jersey City" I have had the benefit of experiencing other forms of government besides the JC tax, tax and more tax way of managing services. Growing up our county government managed the school system, the recreation department, the libraries to name a few while things like police and fire were managed at the city level. Property taxes were much lower than they are here and all three of them were quite well run. To me this whole issue feels like people are just afraid of change more than anything. I don't understand why you feel consolidation can't be meaningful?

If it is because you don't like who is at the county or think they are inept, that is to me a separate issue the same as Lipski. I understand your point about Lipski. It's obvious he isn't qualified for his position and giving himself a raise while firing others is extremely tacky, but that is a different argument from consolidation because if you had the best person in the world in the role, it shouldn't change the fact that consolidation would still be a good idea or not be a good idea...the same as who sits at the county shouldn't change whether or not consolidation is a good idea or a bad idea. The pessimist in me says they all stink equally so we may as well get tax savings...

Posted on: 2011/5/31 11:18
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Re: Sean Connors
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There was another article on NJ.com describing the candidate platforms. Reading the article was strange - everyone gave a platform describing what they plan to do. Connors platform was basically "Christie stinks and teamwork" Is that it? I'm not a dem so I won't be voting but all I can say is wow...maybe we should pay competitive salaries for leadership positions so we can attract better talent. JC government talent is pathetic.

Posted on: 2011/5/31 0:05
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Re: The School Budget
#11
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The way the question is worded is ridiculous. I take JPHurst's point - he's right - stinky options. My argument for voting it down (was) that there were three ways things could turn out:

1 - city council makes things better and does due dilgence, etc (0% chance based on history)

2 - city council just passes it through the way it is (75% because they don't seem to put much thought into anything they do and easiest thing for them to do is pass it)

3- city council makes things worse for one year with respect to the budget (25% likely because they don't seem competent even when they do try)

So to me the only bad option is #3, that they make things worse. From a cost/benefit perspective l still think it would have been good to vote it down just to teach them a lesson since the impact of #3 is only 1 year, but the impact of realizing you can't continue business as usual may have a longer lasting impact. But hopefully we don't have this issue next year as it looks like we have two lawyers on the board now. They are supposed to be nit-picky and used to reading laborious documents like the budget right?

Posted on: 2011/4/29 0:33
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Re: 2011 Board of Education Election - Vidya Gangadin- JC Mom for School Board!
#12
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Quote:

No_More_Socialism wrote:
So i need to vote for one of these bums tomorrow. Are there any of them that are not union thugs, not part of the militant union complex? some are endorsed by AFSCME, others JCEA. I don't know if i can see a single candidate in here that doesn't look beholden to the unions and their demands for ever bigger budgets and spending.

on a sidebar--did anyone review the top goals of the candidates? hardly anyone mentioned increasing education outcomes. just amazing. there were goals for "differentiated curriculum," "more administrative presence in the hallways," "better race relations," "applying green concepts to the schools" but scant attention paid to what schools are supposed to do. do these people think schools are some day care center or some place to experiment with their new pet social experiments. what a joke. the schools are in such disrepair that the leadership must be uprooted to change the trajectory. all of them are more concerned with what's good for the unions instead of what's good for the kids. i doubt that will ever happen so what i'll do is move out to the suburbs once i have kids that are anywhere near school-age so their educational outcomes aren't restrained by teacher union centered education model of jersey city.


On the budget/tax issue, I got a mailer encouraging me to vote no to the budget (no big surprise to anyone on this forum that will be exactly how I vote.) Interestingly that came from the three candidates who were endorsed by Fulop and later picked up by the union. Makes you think that the union is losing some of their relative power...

Posted on: 2011/4/27 2:22
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Re: Charles Epps Jr. calls today's "bad" young girls the community's "worst enemy
#13
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Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:
Quote:

Ms_Taggart wrote:
Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:
Yeah, its pretty pathetic that the highest executive position in the Jersey City schools only earns $200,000. But it makes a lot of sense since any qualified applicant could make twice that in the private sector.

Meanwhile, Epps was probably speaking to some statistical data. Its totally possible that the girls in the school system are statistically in trouble more often or cause greater damage. Its also possible that a select number of specific girls are responsible for the vast majority of the problems and thus are the "bad girls." It is hard to assess without the available data.


Correction: $268,000 + pension + car and driver.

Yes people in the private sector can make more, but those are for profit companies that are not funded with tax dollars. The president only makes $400,000 a year and he manages billions and billions in budget.

Also, CEOs never manage failing companies for 10 years - board of directors (and shareholders) don't let them get away with blaming everyone else for their problems. It's not my fault, I just have bad employees. It's not my fault, I just have bad customers. Give me a break.

His comments were sexist and in my opinion, enough to get him removed from office.


As long as you have a disparity in pay, you have a disparity in the quality of people managing your schools, and for that matter, teaching in your schools.

If you are going to complain about his performance, you need to recognize that you get what you pay for.


Fair enough and I think generally I agree on this point. Though when I look at the federal government (for example US Attorneys office) or even professors at universities, I always am surprised at the quality of professionals who enter those fields and get paid relatively poorly compared to their talent and what they could get on the market.

Posted on: 2011/4/15 9:25
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Re: Charles Epps Jr. calls today's "bad" young girls the community's "worst enemy
#14
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Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:
Yeah, its pretty pathetic that the highest executive position in the Jersey City schools only earns $200,000. But it makes a lot of sense since any qualified applicant could make twice that in the private sector.

Meanwhile, Epps was probably speaking to some statistical data. Its totally possible that the girls in the school system are statistically in trouble more often or cause greater damage. Its also possible that a select number of specific girls are responsible for the vast majority of the problems and thus are the "bad girls." It is hard to assess without the available data.


Correction: $268,000 + pension + car and driver.

Yes people in the private sector can make more, but those are for profit companies that are not funded with tax dollars. The president only makes $400,000 a year and he manages billions and billions in budget.

Also, CEOs never manage failing companies for 10 years - board of directors (and shareholders) don't let them get away with blaming everyone else for their problems. It's not my fault, I just have bad employees. It's not my fault, I just have bad customers. Give me a break.

His comments were sexist and in my opinion, enough to get him removed from office.

Posted on: 2011/4/14 17:46
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Re: 2011 Board of Education Election - Vidya Gangadin- JC Mom for School Board!
#15
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I'm kind of with some of the other viewpoints here. After going to the forum the other night I thought definitely yes to Marvin and Carol from the Fulop people. They both are just clearly strong. I just don't know about my third vote. For me it is between three people:

Ms Gangadin - Frankly she would easily be my 3rd pick if it weren't for the whole voting thing. I personally find that issue concerning when someone only votes in 1 election in 8 years, makes me wary of motives. However, I am not sure how much I care about her motives if she has good financial services experience that would be helpful on the board (given the huge budget.)

Mr Yousef - I think he is actually really smart and would be that voice that would offer truly different and insightful viewpoints. Unfortunately I hold no hope that he will actually get elected, so I go back and forth with wanting to "waste" my vote.

Ms Khan - She was a little too strong out of the gate and needed to chill a bit, but her intentions and passion seem genuine and I think sometimes people like that are exactly what you need. I bet people said the same thing about Fulop when he was fresh. I just wonder if she is "too" fresh.

I will attend the next forum and hopefully things will be more clear.

As an aside, how come NOT ONE candidate logs on and responds to this site? Everyone knows they are all reading it...

Posted on: 2011/4/11 0:57
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Re: Parking Too Close to Crosswalks
#16
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Quote:

Vigilante wrote:
I know the Parking Director of a small to medium sized resort city. His department has an operating budget of about $350,000 yearly and they generate $20,000,000 in revenue by ticketing and towing. Every time you see an illegally parked car or a person running a Stop-sign or speeding you're seeing city revenue slip through our fingers.
Such a shame.


Don't worry, I'm close to filling half that quota this year with my car alone...sigh...

Posted on: 2011/4/1 12:13
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Re: Torico's Ice Cream
#17
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Does anyone know the actual ETA for re-opening? Summer is soon....

Posted on: 2011/3/29 14:13
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Re: Recommendations for a location for Christening party
#18
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Not sure how many people you have but Amelia's has a nice private downstairs room

Posted on: 2011/3/26 21:13
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Re: Mapping America - NY Times shows census data
#19
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I guess it is all a matter of perspective, because the first thing I noticed was not the difference of all the color of dots within Jersey City but rather how much less dense it was relative to NYC.

Posted on: 2011/3/26 21:11
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Re: "Progressive Government Is Obsolete"
#20
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Gotcha. I totally agree. All the transparency that was accomplished with civil service reform is lost when structuring these entities as private-ish. These are entities that would never never form as businesses in a natural market to begin with. Government is supposed to provide needed services when the market cannot handle on its own. I believe pretty strongly in capitalism, but applying business principles to public authorities is a total misunderstanding of what makes capitalism work. What makes it work is a natural rise and fall, a risk and reward. Bailouts and other forms of guaranteed tax funds to cover your "business" or "public authority" completely take the risk out of the equation, making it a horrible idea that leads naturally to corruption, nepotism and ineffective management at the expense of the tax payer.

On another note, the parking authority is something I believe we all agree isn't providing any public good, since all they do is write me parking tickets. heh heh

Posted on: 2011/3/22 22:57
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Re: HUGE GAS PIPELINE COMING - through Jersey City
#21
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Does anyone know the state's stance on this issue? Have they taken one?

Posted on: 2011/3/22 22:36
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Re: Kitchen Installer
#22
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OnTime construction. Reasonable pricing and as their name suggests they can get things done without tons of delays...

Posted on: 2011/3/22 1:29
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Re: "Progressive Government Is Obsolete"
#23
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Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
One other thing I will note to bring this home to Jersey City. We can see this taking place in the debate over the merger of the City's Department of Public Works (governed by the civil service system), and the Jersey City Incinerator Authority (no such regulations and widely seen as a patronage pit).

I'll let people decide which model they think is better.


The JCIA isn't really fully private is it? I always hear of it as a semi-autonomous agency. The fact that government is making appointments to these agencies is horrible. Seems that agencies like JCIA are the worst of both worlds.

Posted on: 2011/3/21 13:54
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Re: Torico's Ice Cream
#24
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Quote:

snowflake20 wrote:
So if Torico's doesn't open soon, does that mean crime in JC stops?


that was funny. heh heh

Posted on: 2011/3/19 18:20
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Re: From the "Total Waste of $$$ Dept.":
#25
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Quote:

JCbiscuit wrote:
but here's the thing: the money budgeted to HUD this year has to be spent on HUD projects. it's not like that grant could've gone to pothole repair.

kudos to Jersey City for getting a piece of the pie. any damn pie.

the bigger argument is with the federal government, which allotted this cash in the first place.


+1 Getting grants or selling property is great for one time events or special projects. What concerns me is that when I was at the state of the city address, I kept hearing grants and property sales to raise funds. I think we should pay for variable & ongoing expenses with ongoing revenue sources and limit grants and property sales to fund things that are more one time investments versus ongoing expenses. Does anyone know a breakdown of this for Jersey City? Is my gut feeling correct? Are we paying for ongoing expenses with one time revenue sources? I hope not, it just "felt" that way after going to the state of the city.

Posted on: 2011/3/19 18:17
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Re: Steven Fulop - Sharing Letter to Admin re: taxes
#26
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Quote:

MDM wrote:

Healy and company are going to turn this city into Detroit on the Hudson via their fiscal mismanagement.


+1

but can't believe you would dare say that in NJ, much less Hudson County

Posted on: 2011/3/17 17:39
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Re: Steven Fulop - Sharing Letter to Admin re: taxes
#27
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Quote:

J_Downtown wrote:

Seems much more like a political move as opposed to trying to have a discussion with the Mayor or getting some clarification for the residents.


Probably true about the political part, but guess I don't really care. In terms of timing it seems smart, as it forces the mayor to do exactly that give us clarification tonight without an easy ride. Unlike most of Jersey City I don't think Healy is a bad guy, and I'm sure he has good intentions. But the same way I could care less about Fulop's intentions, I don't care about Healy's either. I am looking for outcome and the outcome I'm looking for is stable (better yet decreased) taxes.

Posted on: 2011/3/16 14:01
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Re: 2011 Board of Education Election - Steve Fulop backed candidates
#28
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I was concerned when I saw the post indicating she had just registered in time to run for an elected position. So, I called the board of elections to check the accuracy of everything, and they confirmed she was registered back in 2004 and voted in the Obama election... no board of education elections, no state elections, no mayoral/council elections?

@DanL I agree with your points about factors for school board composition. Where I differ with you is on this recommendation. Can you disagree that, with so many elections having occurred since 2004, choosing to not vote in local elections is a HUGE shortcoming for someone who wants to run for local office? I like you DanL, but for me it is tough to support someone who doesn't vote...

This is not a critique against people who are new to Jersey City at ALL, we should welcome new comers wholeheartedly. But it is definitely a critique at someone running for office without having fulfilled the most basic form of civic responsibility, voting.

Posted on: 2011/3/10 17:52
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Re: Fulop Backs Three School Board Hopefuls with an Eye Towards Repeating Last Year’s Success
#29
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Quote:

JSleeze wrote:
Quote:

DanL wrote:
Vidya Gangadin has also filed her candidacy for the board and I hope that she will receive serious consideration by voters. Vidya is a parent leader at Academy I, a parent of four current public school children and employed as a financial analyst in the private sector.

We have the opportunity to elect (relect) great board members.

Vote!


This woman registered to vote nine days ago. How long has she lived in Jersey City? I should vote for her when she can't even be bothered to vote herself?


What?!!??! Listen I am the last person to agree with the whole crazy attitude of "you have to have lived in Jersey City for 20 million years to do anything in city government"...but shouldn't you live somewhere for at least a year before running for office? Or, if she has lived here, then why is she only just now participating in the democratic process in JC? The ONLY excuse I can think of that makes this reasonable is if a greencard was received after last November. Does anyone have the scoop?

Posted on: 2011/3/9 22:04
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Re: No left turn from Holland Tunnel exit onto Marin Blvd
#30
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Yeah - I recently noticed that huge sign. Not sure if it has been there forever or not, but the big huge sign is new. I also have always turned there (for 8 years I've been in JC) I'd say it's new within last 3 months or so.

Posted on: 2011/3/2 17:29
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