Jersey City residents are keeping an eye on next spring’s mayoral election between current Mayor Jerramiah Healy and challenger Steve Fulop. Healy told NJ Today Senior Correspondent Desirée Taylor Fulop has a poor voting history when it comes to economic opportunities for the city. Healy also said Jersey City is on the upswing with Moody’s changing its outlook from negative to positive.
Healy sees Moody’s outlook for Jersey City as a very positive sign. While he had to lay off some civilian employees, Healy said Jersey City has had a budget without a tax increase for the last two years.
“We avoided laying off any public safety personnel — police, fire,” he said. “And as a result our city has continued to thrive. Crime has continued to trend down. And we’re still an attractive site for investment and development and we have to be business friendly, development friendly, investment friendly.”
According to Healy, Councilman Fulop voted against important economic opportunities for Jersey City. “His record has been rather destructive when it comes to city finances,” Healy said.
Some have complained that the economic resurgence has only helped certain Jersey City residents, but Healy disagrees. “It started on the Hudson River certainly but … that rising tide has lifted all boats,” he said. “All of our properties are much more valuable now than they were 15 years ago.”
Healy has been fighting a gas pipeline from Spectra Energy for almost two years. He said he will continue to fight, though it looks like the pipeline will be installed and run through Jersey City.
“We wrote to our congressmen and U.S. senators and we’ve been beating the drum against it because it’s safety of our citizens number one. We think it’s bad for the safety of our citizens,” he said. “We think it’s a disincentive for future investment and development in our city.”
The future of Jersey City depends on private investment, according to Healy. “State money’s dried up, federal money’s drying up quickly. We need the private sector and fortunately in Jersey City we’re poised to continue to bring private investment, private development to our city, thereby tax dollars and jobs.”