Earlier this week, after a lengthy scuffle between the mayor and the city council, things adjusted for the better. On Tuesday, during the city council meeting, Jeffery Jones, mayor of Paterson, managed to attend the city council meeting to discuss the city’s budget.
Mr Jones touted of his accomplishment in office: bringing down the deficit from some $70m down to no more than $22m, he said, “In the beginning when this administration took over, we faced a 78 million dollar budget deficit, and I am proud to say we got it down from 78 million dollars to 22 million dollars. Not the perfect number, but it’s a whole lot better than 78 million.” Mr Jones was lauded by the council for bringing down the deficit to a “reasonable” amount.
Much of the discussion between the council and the mayor focused on $3.3m deficit that resulted after the formulation of a budget that included an assumed $20m Transitional Aid package from the State. On Thursday that changed when the State announced the city would receive $22.4m, reducing the deficit down to little less than a $1m.
Charles Thomas, business administrator for the city, did not rule out cuts to Paterson Police Department and exorbitant tax increases for property owners. With more than assumed aid from the State, it is unlikely that the police department will suffer much, but property owners might be forced to pick up the tab — that tax increase will likely be no more than 100 dollars per a home owner.
Mr Jones came to the council meeting to procure an “emergency temporary appropriation”, and at the end of the meeting all the council members voted and approved a temp budget for February and March. However, Kenneth Morris junior said, “This will be in fact the last temporary appropriation that we’re asked to move forward on”.