Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop discussed his recent trip to Paris for the Centre Pompidou project, ongoing mishaps with the local 911 call center, and a recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll on the 2025 governor’s race.
“Look, I think that the city answered I think a lot of questions, but the reality is they [Paris officials] are here a lot working with us here and periodically we go out there with regards to meeting with their leadership and learning more about the capabilities around education, with programming in particular,” he said in an interview last night.
Fulop was joined with seven other city leaders in a trip to Paris that lasted from early Saturday through early Wednesday for most, though the mayor didn’t arrive in the capital of France until Monday.
The city released the full itinerary of the trip yesterday following an inquiry from HCV and has stressed that the endeavor was not taxpayer funded, though have not specified who paid for the trip.
While initially billed as opening in 2024, Fulop said that goal was to open the museum in 2025 and projections currently have it ready to go by late that year or early 2026 and he remains confident that the project is on the right track.
Fulop declined to estimate the budget for the effort, stating that the city is still working through some moving parts.
“It’s a global institution that’s choosing to have their North American location here in Jersey City, it could be anywhere. It’s gonna be an economic driver for the entire region and I honestly don’t even view it so much as just a Jersey City project because it’s going to impact far beyond Jersey City, of course Jersey City benefits because it’s here.”
As far as the Jersey City 911 call center goes, the video of a recent hit-and-run at Taqueria where a man drives a car into the restaurant also has a woman off camera stating that her call to 911 isn’t going through.
The local 911 service has had numerous issues over the years and the council rejected a $213,085.11 contract for a private firm to evaluate them back in November.
Fulop noted that the city wanted a fresh set of eyes to evaluate the problems there and come up with solutions, something he is hopeful will happen at the next council meeting on March 8th.
“There’s been a cultural problem there, a personnel issue, technology issues, and these things have been going on for the past several years – we’ve gone to the council asking for support. Coincidentally, we went to them two weeks prior to the Taqueria situation, we had a closed session specifically around this with the city council and this was the main topic – asking for support,” he explained.
“I feel like at that meeting they were supportive and we were gonna bring back the proposal that we did last year for another look from the city council. We tried to answer their questions in more detail in that closed session and I feel like, ultimately, the council agreed that it was worthwhile.”
When asked if city residents should still have confidence in dialing 911 during an emergency in the interim, the mayor said they should, noting that in the incident with Taqueria, 200 calls came within a few minutes and the center typically handles 48,000 calls a month.
Earlier this month, FDU polled potential gubernatorial candidates, the first poll regarding the 2025 race, and evaluated Fulop, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11), First Lady Tammy Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, and former Senate President Steve Sweeney on the Democratic side.
Fulop came in with 34 percent name recognition statewide, with 17 percent with a favorable opinion and four percent with an unfavorable opinion (13 percent said they didn’t know), the fifth best in the field among blue candidates.
Fulop said that the 2025 election hasn’t even really started yet, therefore the numbers are a snapshot in time that won’t be particularly important or valuable 27-and-a-half months from now.
“Largely, what I heard is a lot of people viewed it in different ways based on their biases coming into it: who they like, who they don’t like – it’s very early. There’s no field yet of declared candidates and any poll doesn’t really shape or change anything with regards to people’s decisions,” he began.
“Because at this stage, no one’s spent any money on advertising, some people are coming off last year’s elections where they did spend money, some people have been more parochial in different parts of the state, the numbers show that.”
One possible candidate that wasn’t included in the poll is U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5), who has been doing his own poll statewide.
Fulop announced at the beginning of the year that he wouldn’t seek a fourth term as mayor, signaling that it’s all systems go for a gubernatorial run in 2025.