Aslon Goow, former 2nd Ward councilman, outlined a plan for the city in a document released by campaign last Monday.
“My goal is to have the budget balanced within the first six months,” said Goow. By budgeting early, said Goow, it will allow the mayor to restore fiscal stability. The former councilman said he will not wait on the state’s aid numbers, instead he will rely on a conservative estimate to get the budget rolling “immediately.”
“That is the single most important thing, you can’t wait for the last minute,” said Goow.
Red tape and investment
Goow said red tape has been preventing businesses from investing in the city. The former councilman said he will restructure the community improvement and economic development divisions inside the Community Development department to reduce some of the bureaucratic runaround that investors are subjected to presently.
“There are people that want to build skyscrapers here and make Paterson into a new metropolis,” said the former councilman.
“It’s time to think about technology,” said Goow, who wants to bring high tech jobs into the city. With about 10-percent of residents holding a college degree, it remains unclear whether city residents will be able to fill these jobs.
Goow said he is confident city residents have the skills to land high tech jobs. “What we’re lacking is education, big time,” said Goow, while suggesting trade schools can help fill the education gap.
“We need a trade school in Paterson,” said Goow. He said the school district is already discussing the importance of training residents in specific trades. Goow said he will reach out to the state and the county and work with the city’s school district to open a trade school in the city.
Goow said once in office he will hire special police officer, part-time cops that have full police power. “What we’re lacking is police presence and visibility, and the specials is the way to go because it’s an affordability issue,” said Goow.
Hiring part-time officers will quickly boost the ranks of police without increasing expenses for the city by a large amount because part-time officers will not be provided the same benefits as full-time officers.
“All the quality of life call are not being addressed,” said Goow, who states the special officers will be able to respond to these calls freeing up regular officers for priority assignments. With more cops on the force police response time is bound to improve, said the councilman. “We will work to exceed the national and state averages for emergency response times,” read the former councilman’s plan.
Goow said his plan is to have 20-percent special cops, while hiring more regular officers. “I want to reinstate more police officer.” When asked how he intends to cover costs for so many new hires, Goow said he will correct abuse and mismanagement at the city to free up funds to hire more cops.
“We talk about the health contract, it’s been stated that on a national level everybody’s paying $11,000, whereas in Paterson we’re paying $16,000,” said the former councilman. Goow also said he will reform the city’s law department which, according to the former councilman, will free up millions of dollars that is being wasted on subcontracting and settlements.
“Nothing is going to improve until there is a strong police presence and visibility,” said Goow.
Goow said there is a lack of communication between the local government and city residents. “How are we going to communicate in an emergency?” asked Goow. He plans to address the issue by revamping the city’s website and opening up a press room inside the city hall.
Goow was reluctant to talk about specifics of his plans despite releasing the document that provides an initial outline. He said other candidates will copy his ideas. “Right now everybody’s copying what I’m saying. Andre is now becoming a crime fighter, Andre has no clue about crime,” said Goow. “Joey Torres is trying to use that theme also.”
The former 2nd Ward councilman said he is the only candidate with a plan right now. Indeed, other candidates have yet to make public plans in a written format. “I’m the only one with a plan right now,” said Goow.