Categorized | Local Perspectives

The Perth Amboy Community Development Corporation

Since moving to Perth Amboy about five years ago, I have noticed that the City administration repeatedly launches large initiatives with the objective of organizing a group of volunteers to come together and create a non-profit entity to be in charge of, and fund, the project. This formula is effective up to a certain point. Some recent examples that come to mind are the 325th Anniversary Gala of Perth Amboy, the establishment of the Ferry Slip Museum, the creation of the Arts Council (charged with creating a city-wide arts plan and managing the Arts Gallery), the restoration of a vibrant Tennis Program and management of the new tennis complex and, the largest one to date, the $10M fundraising project for the restoration of our public library.

I would like to suggest another approach. The City should create a permanent nonprofit entity called the Perth Amboy Community Development Corporation to handle community development initiatives. These are serious projects for both our quality of life as well as resulting economic activity. In the current format, many volunteers join multiple initiatives and end up feeling burnt out or overwhelmed, and the project could lag in spite of everyone’s best efforts. It could be more effective to create one organization, one leadership structure, one overall community and economic plan, one grants management office and one system that manages all of the towns volunteers. This more unified and organized approach would produce more “bang for the buck” for each grant received, each volunteer work hour spent, each college intern utilized, each fundraising event or initiative held, each marketing/promo effort made, and the desired improvements would be realized sooner. Plus, the same funders would not have to decide between competing municipal community projects for their limited donations. When you consider the fact that the positions of Community, Economic, Redevelopment, Urban Enterprise Zone and Business Improvement District Director are all vacant, serious consideration should be given now to the formation of the Perth Amboy Community Development Corporation by our municipal leaders.

Thank you,

Tracy Jordan

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