After more than a hundred people protested at City Hall, mayor Jose “Joey” Torres on Wednesday said he plans to keep municipal pools open until Labor Day.
Torres said $140,000 in U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) money is being shifted from a new senior heating program to recreation, according to a Paterson Press report. He said the money was found after an “exhaustive review of City of Paterson discretionary line items.”
The mayor last week ordered the closure of two municipal pools and 36 summer programs by Aug. 12 in an intensifying spat with the city council over a tax levy. Those programs will still close on Aug. 12, according to the report.
Torres wanted a tax levy described by council members as “unreasonable.” His tax levy was rejected by the council twice. After the second rejection, the mayor ordered the closure of recreation programs.
He also cancelled the National Night Out anti-crime event that occurs during the first week of August. The Great Falls Festival, movies in the park, the Silk City 5K Run, and the annual Christmas event all have been cancelled as well, according to officials.
Torres’ maneuvers angered city residents. Many of the protesters at Tuesday’s city council meeting called on the mayor to resign while others urged the city council to introduce a no confidence vote against the mayor.