While it’s not uncommon for everyday folks to take a stand against politicians in Jersey City, no group scored a bigger victory this year than the Ward F community, pressuring former Gov. Jim McGreevey (D) into cancelling his plans for a new prisoner re-entry center at the Sacred Heart Church.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Let’s be honest: Ward F, a a whole, was never going to like McGreevey.
They had written him off as just another run-of-the-mill Hudson County politician (which rarely equates to anything positive) long before he introduced his plan to turn the Sacred Heart Church priory into the next site for the city’s prisoner re-entry program.
Therefore, when the executive director of the Jersey City Employment and Training Program announced he wanted to set up shop at the historic church – which is in close proximity to an elementary school – the dreaded you know what hit the fan.
While McGreevey did his best to try and be proactive in the situation, his enthusiasm actually ended up further crashing his stock: getting embarrassingly tossed out of an August community meeting about the potential new prisoner re-entry center.
At this point, many began to accuse McGreevey of simply carrying out the orders Mayor Steven Fulop, none of whom said it quite as brutally as then-Republican Assembly nominee Matthew Kopko.
Clearly, things looked grim for McGreevey and the JCETP at this point, but the death stroke came at a community meeting hosted by the former governor at Sacred Heart.
After a couple hours or so of being lambasted by the public, McGreevey, like the tragic hero Brutus, to his credit decided the only way out was to fall on his sword and cancel the planned center on the spot.
The last second 180 was a huge triumph for the little guys (and girls), showing that sometimes, community concerns don’t fall on deaf ears.
As of this writing, a new site for the prisoner re-entry center remains up in the air.
This, coupled with his infamous lifetime pension debacle (per The Jersey Journal) that made headlines throughout the East Coast for weeks, 2015 is probably a year Jim McGreevey would like to forget as soon as possible.