On Tuesday evening a vote was taken by the Paterson City Council on indicted Mayor Jose Torres. Within the resolution that was presented for a vote was a vote of no confidence and also included a call for Mayor Torres to resign from his position effective immediately in light of the NJ Attorney General’s indictment.
I was very surprised not only to hear how the Council members voted on the resolution but their lack of knowledge on the form of government they represent. The vote of no confidence failed with only (2) council persons voting in favor of the resolution. The (2) Council persons that voted in favor of the resolution was Council President William McKoy and Councilman Andre Sayegh.
It is a very sad day for Paterson when council persons chose politics over good governance.
The city of Paterson is in a crippling position in all areas of government under the leadership of indicted Mayor Torres and his administration. People are getting shot or killed on a regular basis. People are losing or walking away from their homes and or businesses because of the extremely high taxes. Our children do not have adequate recreational programs or facilities. Our streets and roads are like a third world country. We have people begging on every major street corner in the city.
We have a massive drug epidemic and homelessness problem. We have people walking around the streets with severe mental health issues that are not being addressed. Moody’s Investors, a credit rating reporting agency, has downgraded Paterson credit rating many times. We have city workers operating without a contract for over (5) years*, yet Mayor Torres and his top cabinet members have received several raises since the beginning of his new term in office. We also must not forget the ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigation as it relates to 147 Montgomery Street which houses the NJ Reentry program for the possible misuse of federal funds at that site. These are a just a few of the problems facing the city of Paterson under the leadership of Mayor Torres.
I believe a vote of no confidence and a call for Mayor Torres’ resignation is not only appropriate but long overdue. The Paterson city council should take this one step further by enacting a ordinance that if a Mayor is charged and or indicted he should step down without pay until such time a decision is made by the courts.
In light of not only recent events but past events when another Mayor was indicted and convicted, the Paterson council should take action from preventing this act from happening in the future while protecting the public good.
Chauncey I. Brown III
Mayoral candidate for 2018
Editor’s Note: * Paterson has settled most of its agreements with labor unions. There are three unions – police motor pool, telecommunications, and law department – without contracts, according to a mid-February comment from Paterson business administrator.