At Least One Paterson Councilmember Is Skeptical About Plans to Revitalize Great Falls Area

What should a local elected leader do when he or she disagrees with a high-profile expenditure with support from on high?
October 2, 2017, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Joseph Sohm

Officials from the city of Paterson, New Jersey gathered with officials from the county, state and federal government to celebrate a the launch of a $3.2 million improvement project at the Great Falls National Park recently.

Joe Malinconico reports, however, that at least one voice on the City Council doesn't thing the project is the best use of money. First Ward Councilman Michael Jackson, who represents the part of Paterson that includes Great Falls. According to Malinconico, Jackson "has not bought into the enthusiasm with which other officials in city, county, state and federal government have embraced the ongoing plans for developing the park around the Great Falls." Moreover, Jackson has "questioned other officials’ assertions that the park could be a catalyst for Paterson’s possible revitalization."

Councilmember Jackson prefers that investment dollars be spent elsewhere in the city, thus summing up one side of a common argument about the effect of projects presented to the public as catalytic. "If we don’t fix the rest of the city, people are going to have negative perceptions of Paterson and not want to come here," said the Councilmember in his own words, as quoted in the article.

For more information about the project, Malinconico reported in a separate article in August about the what the $3.2 million will add to the park.

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Published on Thursday, September 21, 2017 in Paterson Press
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