The non-profit arm of the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation paid for eight officials to travel to Paris as part of the Centre Pompidou project in Journal Square, Mayor Steven Fulop said today.
” … Who paid for it? That’s an important question. As I said earlier, not a single dollar of taxpayer dollars went towards this,” the mayor said in an interview in his office this morning.
“In the EDC, the Economic Development Corporation in Jersey City, during COVID we established a fund based on private dollars to keep economic development going and support the city during COVID and post-COVID around economic development initiatives. We raised millions of dollars, we were transparent about that, and there’s a couple hundred thousand dollars left to focus on economic development … that’s the funding source.”
Fulop said the administration was transparent around the trip, which lasted from February 18th to February 22nd for most, though only from the 20th through the 22nd for the mayor, information that was found in the itinerary, which HCV first published.
The mayor insisted that “misinformation” around the trip came from the Jersey City Times, who first published a story about the trip citing anonymous sources, who he repeatedly referred to as a blog run by “a trust fund baby that’s kind of been lost for a long time trying to find his way.”
He also referred to an JCT advisory board member as “a failed perennial candidate for office” who has been unsuccessful in every avenue he’s pursued.
Additionally, Fulop said that City Hall always responds to “legitimate news outlets” when they have an inquiry, but aren’t going to waste time trying to fight with blogs that consistently put out inaccurate material.
Furthermore, he said that it was not really “a junket” or vacation since it was work based, centering around developing the Centre Pompidou project which is slated to open in late 2025 or early 2026.
Fulop indicated that he didn’t have an exact dollar or estimate for what the trip cost, but noted that everyone flew coach and stayed in a hotel near the Centre Pompidou-Metz. He also said he was open to releasing receipts pertaining to the trip.
“This is as vital to Journal Square as a project as anything that we have, actually vital to New Jersey,” he added.
JCT Published and Editor-in-Chief Aaron Morrill said that they stand by their reporting and plan on continuing to cover stories of public interest like this one.
“For a failed blogger, I certainly seem to have succeeded in getting under the mayor’s skin. Similar to bullies like Trump, the mayor prefers to call journalists names rather than address the issues,” he stated.
“The mayor failed to point out a single inaccuracy in our reporting, of which I am very proud. We will continue to shine a light on the administration notwithstanding the mayor’s efforts to keep the public in the dark.”