Jackson promises bike park for Paterson young people, increase in recreation spending | Paterson Times

Jackson promises bike park for Paterson young people, increase in recreation spending


Flanked by more than a dozen teens at his campaign office in downtown Paterson, councilman Michael Jackson on Saturday promised to build a bike park for the young people, who ride their bicycles over the yellow lane markers on roadways risking injury from motor vehicles.

Jackson, who is running for mayor, also promised to increase municipal spending on recreation. He did not have an exact figure on the spending increase. The city appropriated $2.1 million for recreation in its fiscal year 2017 budget. He estimates the bike park will cost a “couple” of hundred thousand dollars and can be paid for using federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money like the skateboard park on 21st Avenue.

“We have to do a better job providing an outlet for young people in our community,” said Jackson. “There’s a deficit here. There are things that are lacking in our community. This city has neglected to provide that outlet.”

Jackson proposes to construct the bike park next to the skateboard park on 21st Avenue.

“We don’t got nowhere else to go,” said Rondell Robinson, 18, a member of the Bombsquad, a bicycling group. “People don’t like us on the street.”

As the boys rode past City Hall and came down Market Street, Henry Bird, 61, who was in Jackson’s upper floor campaign office at the Mainmark Building, pointed to a problem that the next mayor has to address.

Jackson’s campaign office provides a clear view of the street below. He also uses the space to shoot campaign videos with the historic City Hall building as a backdrop.

Bird, a former football coach, wants to see the city spend money to provide summer jobs to young people to keep them off the streets. He also wants the city to keep its promise and renovate the historic Hinchliffe Stadium.

“I grew up in the city of Paterson and I used to play football right here in the stadium,” said Bird, who lives in the 2nd Ward. He said elected officials have been promising to restore the stadium for almost two decades. “That’s been said 20 years ago. It still looks the same,” he said.

Jackson has opposed spending money to renovate Hinchliffe Stadium.

Last summer, the city took the first big step to renovate the stadium. “Get it finished,” said Bird. He said the stadium can serve as a recreation venue for young people.

“I found him to be truly honest,” said Barry Smith, 62, who lives in the 1st Ward, speaking of Jackson. He too wants to see the stadium restored.

“We lived for that,” said Smith recalling the Thanksgiving Day game between the rivals John F. Kennedy and Eastside High teams at the stadium.

“I’m going to vote for him,” said Sheema McCrae, who lives in the 1st Ward. She wants the city to do a better job repairing potholes.

McCrae, who lives in a rough neighborhood, also wants more “good cops.” She wants more police officers without an increase in police brutality.

“A lot of people get into office and take from the city instead of giving,” said McCrae. Two of the city’s past three mayors in the 21st century served prison time for corruption.

McCrae believes Jackson will be different.

“He definitely can’t be worse,” added Smith.

Jackson came into office in late 2015. He won a special election to occupy the seat once held by disgraced councilman Anthony Davis. He previously ran, unsuccessfully, for an at-large council seat in the 2014 citywide elections.

Jackson, who ran for the first time in 2014, received 5,159 votes. His five opponents in the mayoral race have been under estimating him. For example, in a debate earlier in the month, Jackson levied attacks against all present, but none returned fire.

Ex-mayor Jose “Joey” Torres won the mayor’s seat with 8,382 votes.

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  • Plumber

    Yeah that's great more money spent on useless bullshit hey talking about waste of money how's that dog park on river and Montgomery st working out stupid

  • Dominick Perez

    How about fixing the damn potholes?

  • John Brown

    that's right promise everything, and deliver NOTHING!!!!!!

  • Dominick Perez

    Is this the guy who keeps getting caught driving while suspended and then whining that the cops don't know who he is?

    • John Brown

      Yes it is.. and he wants to run the city.(sarcasm)

  • Marqueesha

    This guy has fought any renovation for Hincliffe Stadium along the way, but now its convenient to be in support of it.

    Come on Paterson lets be smart here. Jackson is a failed business man who blames his trouble on everyone else but himself. He took out a business loan from the City of Paterson, defaulted on it, never paid any of it back. Think of all the entrepreneurs from our own community who could have benefitted from that, what $150,000 to help start our own businesses. For years he didn't pay his taxes. We have to pay our taxes. We never received any special favors. We never get away with not paying our taxes for years. This guy is a moocher off of the community of Paterson. Now he receives a paycheck as Councilman of the first Ward. Has the first ward improved under his leadership at all? Three years is a long time. There must be some improvements we can think of under Jackson… Go ahead, think about it. I'll wait.

    He's the head of the Public Safety committee but has done nothing to improve public safety in the City. He'd rather pick fights with our cops. I predict more failed infrastructure and more lawsuits that the City will have to pay out if this guy becomes Mayor. Now he's cozying up to DPW hoping they will get him the win, but I hope those hard working DPW men and women see through him.

    In three years, what successes has he had for our community. His latest is saying he finally got the budget for the Downtown SID voted down. Is he really leading ever debate with this tiny accomplishment. And I'm not even sure its an accomplishment. He clearly had something against this person running it. In fact, any thing he's ever taken up arms publicly about, goes back to some issue he's had with someone. WOW, what an accomplishment. I feel the City bettering already.

    I saw somewhere that the SID paid for the fireworks celebration and the tree lighting. Who's got that now? I guess since he did say he would donate his entire council salary to charity, he can sponsor those events for my kids now. He told someone that he's putting a Paterson kid through Rutgers with his Council Salary. I want to meet this kid, whose getting $40,000 a year for their college education. I'd like to hear it from this kid's family because I wouldn't trust a word that comes out of this dude's mouth.

    Be cautious Paterson. Lets be smart and not vote in another person who will do nothing but cause harm to the city. I don't know who the best candidate is. Hopefully I hear something great from the rest of them between now and May, but this guy? Please.