Jersey City Council approves Liberty State Park resolution, election switch referendum

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The Jersey City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing management of Liberty State Park being transferred into a newly created Meadowlands Regional Commission – opening up the possibility of private development in the park.

Jersey City Council

By Michael Shurin/Hudson County View

The first meeting of the Jersey City Council in 2015 was a relatively tame one that saw the passage of two major resolutions.

One of those resolutions was regarding Liberty State Park, with the city council unanimously approving a resolution opposing management of Liberty State Park being transferred from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to the newly created Meadowlands Regional Commission – opening up the possibility of private development in the park.

The resolution states, “the Christie administration has advocated measures to privatize various management functions of and services offered within Liberty State Park and other New Jersey State Parks.”

Amanda Khan, speaking on behalf of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, said “for us it’s not a political issue, it’s not a right or left issue – it’s about open space and eco-access.”

Sam Pesin, of Friends of Liberty State Park, said “the park as we know it is sacred New Jersey and sacred American land.”

For Pesin, the approval of the resolution was a needed victory after efforts to have a similar resolution introduced by the Hudson County Board of Freeholders failed last week.

The other major resolution approved would direct the Hudson County Clerk to place a non-binding referendum on the ballot for the next General Election regarding Municipal Elections.

The ballot question will ask Jersey City voters if they support moving Municipal Elections from the second Tuesday in May to the general election in November.

The resolution passed 7-1-1, with the support of Fulop’s election running mates, Councilman Michael Yun voting No, and Councilman Richard Boggiano abstaining.

It was not clear if this would end run-off Municipal Elections, which were necessary to decide each council race minus Ward E, where Councilwoman Candice Osborne was elected with more than 50% of the vote on the coattails of Fulop in the first election.

Without a run-off in the 2013 Jersey City Municipal Election, only Ward A Councilman Frank Gajewski would’ve not won his seat in the first round of voting.

Finally, Kern Weissman, speaking on behalf of the Riverview Neighborhood Association, voiced the group’s opposition to the 100 steps project being named after former long-time Ward D Councilman Bill Gaughan – instead they want it named after the late Maria Tuzzo. Councilman Boggiano suggested they co-name the steps.

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