By Michael Hill
Susan Greenbaum is ecstatic about Joey Torres’ return to the Paterson mayor’s office.
“Well, I’m very excited that he could hit the ground running. A lot of things to have to happen in this city in a very quick time,” she said.
Greenbaum runs Greenbaum Interiors — the business her dad founded here in 1952. She says she’s optimistic about another Torres administration.
“He brought in more development in this city than in the past 20 years I had seen before,” she said.
“The difference of the two Ps — people power versus party politics,” Torres said.
Torres beat the field of eight by capturing nearly 36 percent of the vote. The Democratic Party’s choice, Andre Sayegh, came in second, followed by followed by Aslon Goow Sr. and the incumbent Mayor Jeffery Jones finished fourth.
Torres says he plans to give Paterson property owners some tax relief by equalizing ratios and he plans on targeting crime by hiring 25 new police officers a year.
“You keep a safe place, you stabilize neighborhoods and that’s how you rebuild the city,” Torres said.
Jones, the outgoing mayor, says he took office at one of the worst economic times to govern a city. It seems symbolic potholes became his pitfalls. He had some guidance for Torres.
“He inherits I think from this election the notion that the people want what they see in other cities,” Jones said.
Jones says Torres will need more help from Trenton. State Democratic Party Chief John Currie agrees.
“We gotta fight Trenton to be more aggressive in helping us out,” said Currie.
“More doesn’t mean better,” Torres said.
With all the challenges of crime and public schools and monetary issues that Patterson seems to have, there’s one thing that almost everyone agrees on. Paterson has an image problem.
“There are a lot of fabulous things about Paterson,” Greenbaum said.
“I believe that if we had turned around the economy people still may have thought the worst of us because we are as complex as we are. And I’m not sure we were very successful in all terms that the notion of a city of minorities and poor would not always receive that negative connotation,” Jones said.
“I think that Joey has a tremendous opportunity. The time is right, the economy getting stronger, development looking here seen tremendous revitalization in Jersey City, Newark and Hoboken. It’s Paterson’s time,” said Greenbaum.