Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres has been appointed as the newest member of the Great Falls Federal Advisory Commission by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
Torres was nominated by the Paterson City Council for the three-year term beginning August 14. Jewell appointed Torres to the commission last Friday.
“It’s an honor to be appointed to the Great Falls Advisory Commission, I join it with great enthusiasm and high hopes,” Torres said. “I am committed to engaging government officials and other core stakeholders in ensuring the 20-year plan gives us a national park that is the crown jewel of our City and a source of enjoyment for all those who visit it.”
The commission advises the secretary on the development and implementation of the General Management Plan for the Great Falls National Park. A draft of the plan for the Great Falls will be released in the fall.
GMP is a plan that outlines a long-term, 15 to 20-year, management plan for the park. It defines the overall purpose of the park, sets a vision with that purpose, and lays out a strategy to achieve desired park goals with heavy reliance on public input.
“The mayor will bring great energy to the commission during an exciting time at the Great Falls, a time where real tangible things are happening on the ground, and even bigger things are on the drawing board,” Superintendent of the Great Falls National Park Darren Boch said.
Boch said Torres has already demonstrated that he understands the way the natural and historic resources of the falls can spur economic activity and serve as an anchor to revitalize the city.
“We welcome Mayor Torres, whose commitment and engagement will play a crucial role in the work of the advisory commission during this important time,” The Commission’s Chairman Leonard Zax said.
Former city mayor Lawrence “Pat” Kramer and commission member welcomed the addition of Torres to the nine-member body.
“The addition of Mayor Torres to the Commission is excellent, his knowledge of Paterson‟s history and the work and the direction he’s taking the City make him an excellent addition to the Great Falls Advisory Commission,” Kramer said.
Commissioners are appointed by the secretary of the interior. Four members are nominated by the New Jersey Governor, two by the City Council of Paterson, and one by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Two additional members with national parks and historic preservation experiences are appointed as well.
Torres is joining Zax of the Hamilton Partnership for Paterson, Freeholder Theodore “TJ” Best, former William Paterson University Dean Leslie Agard-Jones, Montclair University President Susan A. Cole, founder of New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) Robert Guarasci, former city mayor Kramer, former National Park Service official James Pepper, and former city Councilman and Mayor Thomas Rooney on the board.