The city has received a $750,000 grant to promote “best practices” in municipal government learned from mayor Andre Sayegh’s participation in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.
Funds from the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation will be used to create an Innovation Team at City Hall with the goal of improving quality and cost effectiveness of government services, according to municipal officials. Grant funds will be used to hire a chief innovation officer and a chief data officer.
The team will use a range of strategies to conduct research and devise innovative solutions to address the city’s most pressing problems.
“Paterson was founded as a city of innovation, utilizing the power of the Great Falls to establish industry in our newly formed country. Now we need to innovate the way we serve our residents, focus on data to drive our policy decisions, and harness the power of modern technology to improve quality of life for our residents,” said mayor Andre Sayegh, who was elected a year ago. “I am beyond grateful for the generosity of the Taub Foundation in investing in Paterson in this unprecedented way.”
Sayegh was among 40 mayors picked to participate in Bloomberg’s program last July.
The Taub Foundation awarded the funds via Passaic County Community College in March. The college will hire the two project leaders for the initiative.
“I am very pleased that Passaic County Community College is able to partner with the City of Paterson in this unique way,” said Steven Rose, president of the Passaic County Community College. “We are especially excited about this program offering internship opportunities to students from the College because innovation is a growing field both in municipal government and private industry.”
The Taub Foundation will disburse the funds over a three-year period.
“Philanthropic institutions are increasingly recognizing the potential in the City of Paterson and its leadership. Our foundation trustees see this as a unique opportunity to bring state of the art management practices to Paterson,” said Barbara Lawrence, executive director of the Taub Foundation.