Fulop, Spears, 7 questions: What is the most important decision for Jersey City's mayor in the next four years?
Mayor Steve Fulop and challenger Lewis Spears were asked seven questions by The Jersey Journal to provide readers with an idea of how each would govern the state's second-largest city over the next four years. Here is the first of these questions and their answers.
The most significant decisions in the near term will continue to be the citys COVID response, as we are still far from a complete pandemic. Jersey City was the first in the country to introduce vaccines, test, and take action against the pandemic, but the near-term decisions on COVID are still the most significant decision, since it impacts life and death.
Longer term big decisions about the commitment to continue and plan to build out the infrastructure to support the residents that are here and thats why we started $1 billion in new sewer work to stop flooding, we are building new schools for the first time in decades, new police and fire resources, and new libraries, as well as new affordable housing so that families can stay here.
The most important decision that Jersey Citys mayor will make in the next four years will be how to avoid raising taxes on residents. Mayor Fulops failure to enforce revenue-generating legislation over the last eight years at the expense of our failing infrastructure, including our school buildings, means that we must consider raising the funds required to run our city sustainably.
I have a few suggestions on how to do that. Any new policy we adopt in Jersey City must first pay for itself over time or save us money in the long run. I think that having an investment mindset when it comes to the human capital in our city as well as our infrastructure, is a long-term strategy to address our revenue issue.
In the immediate term, well have to take measures to make our spending more sustainable. Im committed to implementing no budget cuts that will hurt the residents, so we will have to identify processes or systems across our various departments that we can consolidate to find savings.
Greener buildings will help us reduce energy costs as well. Its time to be creative and bring in new ideas to the table, to ensure we have a balanced budget moving forward and avoid increasing taxes on our residents.