On Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:30pm, the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA) will host Mayor Steven Fulop for Q&A during their monthly meeting. One issue likely to be discussed is the community building at 180 9th Street — aka “the Cordero Annex” or “the former Golden Door Charter School.” The building has been the subject of contention in recent months due to...Continue reading
The post below – originally published in November 2013 on my other blog – is a primer for an upcoming article that will show how the “Bright & Varick micro units” are now sitting squarely at the intersection of public schools, taxes, and abatements in Jersey City. Stay tuned as we connect the dots in Jersey City… The “Bright &...Continue reading
On Wednesday night, the City Council approved an 80-unit abatement in downtown Hamilton Park. Here are some of the specs on the property: located at 9th & Brunswick in downtown Hamilton Park a community the abatement will extend for 20 years contain 80 units, including 20 3-bedroom units and 35 2-bedroom units 1.88 kids from the building will attend the...Continue reading
The letter below was read into the City Council record on March 26, 2014 by Sarah Welt, a downtown mom with a child who is eligible for public pre-K this coming fall. Sarah has been instrumental in informing many parents in downtown about the PS 37 annex issue. Sarah waited five hours to speak during the public portion...Continue reading
In his 2010 report, “A Programmatic Examination of Tax Abatements,” NJ Comptroller A. Matthew Boxer highlighted numerous weaknesses with abatements. One issue he touched upon was transparency. He stated, “Information concerning abatement[s]…is not published in a transparent manner or centralized location, making it difficult to impossible for the public to compare, calculate the effect of,...Continue reading
A Jersey City parent who reviewed the Board of Education’s (BOE) two demographic studies asked that I share pertinent information from the studies as it relates to the pre-K facility issue. If you’re unfamiliar with that issue, this article in the Jersey City Independent provides background information. The Jersey City Public Schools (JCPS) has 28,000+...Continue reading
Below are links to the 2-volume demographic study published by the Jersey City Public Schools district in 2013 and 2014. These documents are an extensive analysis of Jersey City’s city-driven development (Volume 1) and the capacity outlined in each school (Volume 2). These are documents published by JCPS and I’m sharing on CivicParent as reference....
This is Article #2 in my series about abatements, which focuses on the impact abatements have on conventional taxpayers. My first post, “Abatement Basics,” is located here. How important are abatements to Jersey City residents? The answer: extremely important. Abatement revenues – also known as PILOTs, or “payments in lieu of taxes” – have increased from 3% of...Continue reading
A basic introduction to the topic of tax abatements in NJ.Continue reading
I’m a big believer in getting civic, and a big part of getting civic is tuning-in to your local community. Once you start tuning in, your confidence to provide feedback and become part of the conversation grows, and then a virtuous cycle of community and civic partnership is born. But oftentimes, tuning-in can seem impossible, especially...Continue reading
Last night at 6pm, inside Martin Luther King, Jr. (PS 11) school on Bergen Avenue, three new members of Jersey City’s Board of Education (“BOE”) and one incumbent member were sworn into office. The Board of Education is the governing body over the City’s 35+ public schools, which serve more than 28,000 students each year on...Continue reading
This letter was emailed to the Mayor and all nine City Council members on December 26, 2013 at 11:04am. Date: December 26, 2013 From: Brigid D’Souza, Yoo Lee, Matt Schoenfeld Subject: Concerns Regarding Basic Life Support (“BLS”) Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) Contract To: Mayor and...
The Jersey Journal reported on Friday, December 13, 2013 that Mayor Fulop and his administration want to change Jersey City’s EMS provider. I wrote a separate blog post here that goes into more background about both providers. The Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) is the current EMS provider, and their current contract expires on December 31,...Continue reading
What defines a best-in-class ambulance and EMT service? The Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) has an answer: the Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC). What is the most expensive hospital in the United States? The NY Times has an answer: Bayonne Medical Center, owned by CarePoint Health. So…why is Jersey City looking to sever its...Continue reading
I often hear friends say “I don’t understand Twitter…” and then list a litany of reasons of why Twitter stinks. But if you live in Jersey City, then here is one reason you should use Twitter: to follow Jersey Journal reporter Terrence McDonald. Twitter is a tool, like anything else. You may not have much to...Continue reading