As a born and raised Patersonian, it is disappointing to see our government gridlocked over the budget, now resulting in a shutdown. This has happened time and time again over the years, and it does very real harm to the credit rating of the City and does very real harm to the citizens.
It results negative effect on our financial outlook, and credit agencies will downgrade us as a result. This makes borrowing much more expensive, and that in turn increases our debt.
The administration must act more expeditiously preparing budgets early on in the fiscal year, with an eye towards the future. We must make cuts where needed. It might be unpopular in the moment, but kicking the can down the road will only make it more expensive for us in the long run. We can’t solely rely on State aid to make up for the hard choices that we are responsible for.
The Council must act in good faith for the people of Paterson. Time and time again, the Council has voted to raise taxes to pay for growing budgets and ever-increasing benefit payments. Now, in an election year, there are some Council members more interested in prolonging this gridlock for their own political gain, trying to turn this into a referendum on the Mayor, rather than trying to offer real solutions.
It was disheartening to read in the Paterson Times yesterday that a budget meeting could have been held if not for scheduling conflicts among council members. This is a critical time for Paterson, and the Council’s participation, and cooperation, is required.
There is a human cost to this shutdown. Our seniors won’t get the services they need. Our streets, which are already unsafe, are deadly without crossing guards. Our youth will not have after school programs.
As an educator and a coach, I know how important those programs are to the positive development of our kids. And yet, during times of crisis, people show how resilient they can be. Citizens were even volunteering their time as crossing guards.
Paterson’s governing body needs to be resilient too, and needs to come together and end this shutdown.
6th Ward Council candidate