Categorized | Local Perspectives

COMMUNITY VOICE: Clearing the Fog

I haven’t engaged in any kind of political activity for quite a few years. But with large number of candidates running for office of Mayor, not to mention City Council, and the potential for great confusion on election day, when we also vote for President of the United States. I would like to clear some of the fog.

I know for a fact that Mayor Wilda Diaz loves the City of Perth Amboy much more than how happy she’s been being Mayor of the City of Perth Amboy. To her, being mayor is a precious job which is never finished because there is always something new on the horizon to deal with pertaining to city affairs. I’ve heard many people say that she is not a good politician, but that alone does not make her a bad Mayor.

Believe me that it takes a full term to learn the job of mayor and that it takes just as long for a City Council member. That’s why a Mayor or Council member may run for additional terms of office. In Perth Amboy, because we operate under the “Faulkner Plan B” form of government, which no longer exists, there are no term limits. Perth Amboy would have to change its form of government in order to impose term limits.

Among the other candidates with whom I’m familiar, I have nothing negative to say, Rev. Bob McCoy is a wonderful person with high intelligence, and the same could be said for Billy Delgado. But what Mayor Diaz has that they don’t have is experience with a very difficult town to govern. For instance, not enough is being done about quality of life issues, and sometimes with all the noise in my neighborhood from a nuisance restaurant across the street, it seems like I’m living on Route 34 instead of High Street. The noise is a disgrace. I’m willing to give the mayor four more years to rectify that kind of problem because she knows that this is a residential community and is not supposed to be a place for loud dancing and carrying on. Some people actually need their weekend sleep so they can carry on with their normal business, like going to church on Sundays. Something like that is not easy if you’ve been kept awake by the loud thumping of music and noisy customers congregating in the parking lot. And the cars with loud boom box radios which drive up and down our streets with ridiculously loud music should be pulled over and ticketed and forfeit their radios and loudspeakers. Yes, I’m willing to give the mayor four more years to address those problems, but they must be addressed.

Perth Amboy used to be a city with class. Presently, it’s becoming a crass city. The citizens have to be educated about how to keep our city relatively quiet and clean. When you walk down Smith Street, all the black spots you see are chewing gum people have spit onto the sidewalk. It’s a shame common sense does not prevail, and it is a sad state of affairs when have to be taught not to do something so crass and disgusting. I’m willing to give the mayor four more years to institute a program addressing these problems.

The mayor has been busy trying to deal with our fiscal crisis and with city budgets in trying to control taxes. Apparently there has been little time for addressing the type of issues listed above. Also, our mayor is the first mayor in a very long time to appreciate historic sites. She supports them and understands that if promoted correctly, they have the potential to bring many tourists into the city. This requires more work over the next four years, including establishing a city museum.

Mayor Diaz should be allowed to finish things she has started, and to begin addressing the matters set forth above inasmuch as she has a firm grasp of the nature of Perth Amboy’s financial woes. It’s really time to make our police more visible by having policemen doing their foot patrol as a deterrent to littering, spitting gum, and general disorderly conduct. The public has to see their presence. Then maybe the kind of group I saw last week by Sovereign bank and the post office would disappear. While sitting in my car I was approached by someone with a large knapsack asking me if I wanted to buy a pie. Imagine, mobile grocery stores?!! Or at least, we’ve had mobile dessert stores.

Study your sample ballot carefully this year as I feel it may cause much confusion with so many names being on the various lines of the ballot. It’s legal to bring your sample ballot into the voting machine with you. Let’s give the mayor another four years, and if she doesn’t get the job done, we’ll have a vast array of candidates to choose from in 2016.

Very truly yours,

Jack M. Dudas, Esq.

Former Council Member
City of Perth Amboy

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