Bayonne 1st Ward council hopeful Paul Hagdorn says he’s got his sights set on starting a community neighborhood watch group, as well as helping the homeless population long term, if he’s elected on November 5th.
On the topic of pedestrian safety, Hagdorn, also a real estate professional, discussed the possibility of taking a page out of Hoboken’s book and implementing rain-guarded curb extensions, noting that recent flood solutions presented by the city don’t appear to include the short term.
“The engineers are trying to design something, I was told at the [community meeting], that the city wouldn’t be able to take part in it for 30 to 40 years, so that was kind of a big wake up call to me,” he said during an interview at his campaign headquarters yesterday.
Win or lose, Hagdorn says he plans on getting a neighborhood watch going as a way to give back to the community, also noting that helping the homeless population is high on his list due to being sober for 27 years.
“I really have a passion, not just to help the homeless [by] giving them a meal, but actually helping them long term … It’s all about giving them a permanent solution,” he explained.
” … I really believe myself that people don’t just end up homeless: alcohol, drugs, whatever, they lose their house, they end up on the street homeless.
Hagdorn continued that he has no intention of building halfway houses, though it’s important to get them treatment locally, sending them to a halfway house and then setting them up with an re-entry program to help them find employment.
While other candidates, including incumbent Neil Carroll III, have spoken about how to improve parking, Hagdorn says he really doesn’t see a path to make those improvements from the dais.
“I don’t know if I can make a difference in that area, I’d have to take it case by case if that was presented, but I don’t see it happening, in my opinion, and I’m a realtor also … if they find a space big enough for that they’re probably gonna want to build condominiums, rental units, that sort of thing,” he explained, clarifying he’d consider any plan put in front of the council.
In conclusion, Hagdorn says he feels he’s the best choice in the field of four candidates due to his accessibility and ability to serve full time.
“I really believe I’m gonna be full time and my heart’s in it. I want to do what the 1st Ward people want, that’s why I left the [web]sites up there to try and keep them as informed as I can. I feel like just being a resident of the 1st Ward, I find out about a lot of things after the fact.”
Hagdorn faces off with Carroll, Peter Franco and John Cupo at the polls one week from today.