Candidate Shavar Jeffries is running against Ras Baraka in the Newark Mayoral race. Jeffries told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that a tough leader with experience and a great track record is needed to help move the city forward.
Jeffries said that he wants the job as mayor because he loves his city and during tough times, tough leaders are needed to move forward. He said that he is very excited to have the experience and track record to address the challenges facing Newark. He said that he served as Assistant Attorney General in New Jersey and while in that position, he reduced violent crime throughout the state three years in a row and he is confident that he can produce those same results in Newark.
Jeffries said that Newark needs a mayor that is experienced in budgetary matters and at the state level, he was in charge of budgets of $170 million. Newark needs a mayor that is going to be able to cut fraud and abuse and can manage money more responsibly, and can manage the health care expense that is growing, said Jeffries.
“First we are going to cut our exorbitant council and clerks hours. We pay our council $85,000, we pay for five staff members, we pay for tax refunded vehicles and we cannot afford that. We are going to introduce choice and competition into how we purchase health insurance to drive down those costs. We are going to improve our revenue cycle. We have receivables in terms of our payroll taxes, as well as our parking taxes that we are going to recover more responsibly under my leadership,” said Jeffries. “We are also going to grow our economy. We need a mayor who can spur and attract new investment and that is exactly what I will do as mayor.”
Jeffries said that the city must have a quality business environment that is attractive to job growth, as well as safe streets and neighborhoods, and Newark is not going to get the economic and job growth that is needed when there are 111 murders. He said that given his experience with addressing violence, his track record and his results, he is going to create a foundation of safety that can also help Newark attract more jobs. He said that he wants to reduce taxes and regulations and streamline a way in which businesses deal with the city. He wants to build upon incentives, tax abatement, cash and gap financing so jobs can grow and the economy can become stable.
“There are even polls today that show that this race is tied. We have known for a long time that our message of change, reform and progress and are proven track record of results was going to resonate with the people of Newark. At a time that violence is out of control, we need a mayor who actually has a proven track record there. I have overseen crime plays that have reduced violent crime throughout the state,” said Jeffries.