Fulop hits Murphy over Liberty State Park controversy: ‘This is compromising 40 years of advocacy’

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Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop hit Gov. Phil Murphy (D) over the current Liberty State Park controversy that could potentially open the door for development, exclaiming that “this is compromising 40 years of advocacy.”

“I’ve expressed in social media and in public that I’m disappointed in the governor,” Fulop said during a media scrum at an unrelated press conference about temperature and face mask scanners coming to municipal buildings.

“We communicated yesterday morning, he was aware that this was in the bill and we expressed the importance of line vetoing this particular line – still moving the budget forward – and he proceeded to sign it nevertheless, which is compromising 40 years of advocacy from the community, and governors prior, to protect Liberty State Park.”

Yesterday, Murphy signed a $7.7 billion, three-month budget extension after it was approved by the state legislature, though lawmakers denounced it once they found out it included a provision about state parks.

Specifically, one paragraph out of the 111-page amendment allows the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to solicit bids for leasing portions of state parks.

That language of the bill has been panned by several local officials, with many placing the blame on Reebok founder and billionaire Paul Fireman – who tried to unsuccessfully expand his Liberty National golf course into LSP back in December.

Fulop stated today that while he disagrees with Fireman’s plan, the blame should be placed on the politicians that allowed this to happen.

“I happen to disagree with Paul Fireman’s interests, but he’s not the one to blame: the public officials that are elected are the ones who are responsible for protecting the public.”

After several initial news stories broke, a spokeswoman for Murphy’s office, Alexandra Altman, indicated that they did not plan to develop LSP.

“The governor’s office and Department of Environmental Protection do not intend to do a solicitation for Liberty State Park,” she said last night, a point that Murphy himself reiterated at today’s daily coronavirus press briefing – which occurred after this afternoon’s  media event in Jersey City.

When HCV asked for Fulop’s thoughts on this sentiment, he scoffed at the notion that LSP wasn’t supposed to be implicated by the bill.

“Anybody whose been involved in this issue for the past two, three years knows that’s not true. This was put in to further the privatization of Liberty State Park, I think that’s commonly accepted, and if the governor is representing otherwise, it’s just not true,” Fulop said.

“The reality is that he needs to fix it. He was aware of it and he proceeded to sign it: that’s just unacceptable.”

The governor’s office did not return an email seeking a response to Fulop’s comments on Wednesday.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I wouldn’t take all the blame off of Fireman. He’s handing out a lot of street money or whatever to the local demagogues to push this through. AND his group is trying to make this ALL about race. There’s going to be a zoom session tomorrow evening hosted by Jermaine Robinson and Bruce Alston to try and turn this thing into a race issue. I happen to live in Ward F and have been a vounteer & supporter of Liberty State Park for several decades. I don’t happen to be black, so nothing I say has any weight in this argument. It’s ugly.

  2. LOOK,LISTEN,and LEARN .My great residents !!! Thank you Ms.De Bethune you are right on point !!!!!! these politicians are using race just to get people to put them back in office .Shame on them to give flyers that we need representatives that are BLACK or LATINO to represent us at LSP .well the park belongs to the state and all residents of this state .We are our own representatives .We need a representative that will fight for our community and help address the problems in our wards .No matter what Nationality they may be !!!! Our residents are trying to cope with this pendemic and fighting for equality , that they think we are Covid stupid !!!!Where have they been ! I haven’t seen them giving out food or checking if seniors are ok. I am also a supporter of FOLSP .and a friend to Mr.PESIN . I have been an activist in this community for 45 yrs .I am a member of The Abrelatas Social Club and The Hispanic Coalition of JC never seen these guys come and volunteer or take a shovel to clean the park and I was born and raise in jersey city .Our club was part of Ward F and have been around since early 70s I have personally and with phone calls to Our so call councilman Mr. Robinson with invitations on fundraisers we have done in Ward F .From Blood Drives ,earthquakes of Puerto Rico ,Dominican Republic ,Haiti ,hurrican Sandy also collecting can goods for needy families in Ward F helping out with our women’s Home and feeding seniors every Sunday ,never has he had the time to attend ,there was always an excuse, MIA .Never even once did he step in our club at least to apologize that he couldn’t make it..I am also not black or white !!!!! Never seen them in the community getting involve with the residents .or voice our concern when I led March to keep Greenville Hospital Open they weren’t there !!!Again MIA. We Need to seek a representative that cares . We the people have a lot of POWER the same way we put them in office is the same way we can take them OUT !! Please don’t get FOOL ! Never have these people care about LSP or what we are all enduring at this time ,all of sudden using tactics to get our vote . Is an election year ! Now everyone is coming out of the woodwork . The event was a scam !!!! So they can say they got a lot of calls why organize an event and not allowed the residents to speak and voice there opinion It was a waste of time .!!! SHAME ON YOU !!! I wonder how much money is going in there pockets .If we allowed this millionaire get this part of the park what to say they take the rest .And we the residents have no benefit from this golf course.And we loose a beautiful Free Park for our enjoyment.

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