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Paterson — Letters to the Editor

The Future Backroom Deal for the City of Paterson

Gus Penaranda

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 • 3:38pm

The recent report on more questionable payouts to Paterson mayors and city council members should be a wakeup call to all Patersonians.  The city of Paterson is treated and used like an ATM for both money and votes, especially during elections.The reality of the situation is that Paterson is key to what will be the new face of Passaic County in the next decade.The involvement of the county in Paterson elections is nothing new, even when the chairman of Passaic County denies any involvement in any municipal elections. This is clearly false, but in the past it was usually done behind the scenes. There is a lot of discussion about who the county, via the Congressman’s office, will endorse for Mayor of the City of Paterson, but that has nothing to do with who is the best to manage the issues plaguing the city, like crime, infrastructure or business development; but it does have everything to do with the future of the county itself.

Among all the candidates for Mayor of Paterson, there are some that want more than just being mayor, but seeking higher office requires the county’s approval.  The chairman decides, in the end, who runs for what office, regardless of who the residents prefer. This decision also comes with a nice financial benefit for the individual selected by the chairman, as he, the chairman, has personally stated to many individuals asked to run for county offices.  This is one way of keeping control of the specific office and making sure to fend off anyone who would not do as he requested related to specific matters like budgets and funding.  It is speculated that the following scenario is the plan for the City of Paterson.  The chairman has agreed with the congressional office to support a candidate for Mayor of Paterson as a way of persuading such individual not to run for congress.  The support of the county will bring this candidate money, both political and personal, and elevate the recognition of this individual.  This will then set up an unwritten agreement that upon the opening of the congressional seat in the future, the full support will be given to the chairman’s first and only choice to fill that seat.  The chairman has his sights on one of the assembly members to be the new congressman in the future and moving up a current freeholder to replace the assemblyman.  Now, of course, there is a “process” of “screening” to find new candidates, but everyone in Passaic County politics is well aware that this process is false and just a screen to avoid any doubt that those “selected” by the county leadership are genuine candidates selected by the people.

In the end, this mayoral election is the first step in a backroom deal to appease a mayoral candidate and prepare the path for the chairman’s new congressman and assemblyman.  This backroom plan shows absolutely no consideration or concern for the people of the City of Paterson or the issues that plague their daily lives.

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