Jose Torres, former two-term mayor, who is seeking another term in the city’s upcoming mayoral election in May, received an endorsement on Tuesday from Pat Kramer, former city mayor who was in office during the late 1960s and late 1970s.
“I think he did a very effective job when he was mayor: ratables and jobs,” said Kramer, while citing Home Depot and Lowes, both of which opened under Torres’ administration. “I think Joey has a real feel for the things that Paterson needs right now: clean, safe streets; quality education for our kids; and all at the prices people can afford to pay.”
Kramer, who famously beat Frank Graves, a tough long-time city mayor, to win his re-election in the 70s, said Torres explained that the sick and vacation pay that he received of $77,165 was legal. “Joey explained that every bit of it was legal, and that’s good enough for me as long as it was honest and legal,” said Kramer. “Joey assures me the steps he took were absolutely legal, and I take him at his word.”
Indeed, the city’s policies on sick and vacation time for elected officials, was so vague and ambiguous that the city council recently passed a resolution that clarifies and bars public officials from cashing out sick and vacation time.
Kramer, who lives in Little Falls, is now mostly known for his work in the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park Advisory Commission, a committee that advises the National Park Service in creating a general management plan relating to the Great Falls. Thomas Rooney, former mayor and former councilman, also serves in that committee, and last month he too endorsed the Torres.
The two former mayors who seldom agreed on anything – Rooney being extremely conservative while the Kramer, a dyed-in-the-wool progressive — while active in the city’s political scene decades ago, appear in agreement with their endorsement of Torres.