Although Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro was clearly ready to vote on the measure, the council unanimously voted to table an ordinance that would have formally moved the 2017 municipal elections from May to November.
Before casting his vote, which wouldn’t have made a difference either way, Lavarro gave a three-minute speech to the crowd on hand addressing what he felt are misconceptions about moving the elections.
“That was in black and white, paper, advertised and printed, and we said from the start when we ran for office: that people can hold us accountable for the things we’ve promise and kept our word on,” he began, explaining that the meeting was properly advertised and moving the elections was another campaign promise.
Lavarro also stated that although the voter turnout earlier this month was undeniably low, “there was little effort put on to sway voters one way or the other, but the opposition, I will point out, put in a great deal of effort to do that and still, still it passed.”
The council president went on to say that although Wards A and F strongly opposed the ballot question, Ward C and D strongly supported it, so why wouldn’t the same logic apply?
Furthermore, Lavarro said it was unfair to compare the May 2013 election results, where then-Councilman Steven Fulop unseated Mayor Jerramiah Healy, to any other Jersey City election due to the amount of money that was spent – the most in city history.
Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano, who routinely opposes the Fulop administration on city legislation, began to claim that “it would’ve been a whole different outcome” if Wards C and D “pushed up” on November 3.
“Woulda, coulda, shoulda,” Lavarro quipped back, before the board opted to move on rather than continue to argue.
The first reading of the measure was passed at the November 10 council meeting, where Bill Matsikoudis – former corporation counsel under Healy – was among several residents who backed Boggiano in keeping the 2017 elections on the second Tuesday in May.