Categorized | Local Perspectives

COMMUNITY VOICE: What Unity? What Change?

As the election approaches, it’s only natural for Perth Amboy to reflect on the last four years. In 2008, Mayor Diaz ran on a campaign rooted in the idea of change without more. To that end, she capitalized on the emotions , and perhaps the turmoil surrounding the longevity of former Mayor Vas with promised improvements – which she was ill equipped to deliver. At the height of the economic downturn, Mayor Diaz seemed to make the most out of our fears and used it to her advantage to get herself elected. For the 18 years of Mayor Vas’ administration, my support for him grew as the progress for our City grew. Regardless of his current situation, it is clear that the personality and assertiveness exhibited by Mr. Vas was necessary to properly lead our City in order to accomplish the tasks which were in its best interests and actually create real positive change.

In 2008, Perth Amboy had more police officers, more protection from our Fire Department, and better services including garbage collection. Fast forward to 2012 and we are faced with less of everything and yet her promises keep coming. At some point , we have to stop kidding ourselves and accept that Mayor Diaz cannot accomplish the changes she promised by taking pictures with children and raising flags at the City Hall Circle. Consistent tax increases; year after year, with obvious reduction in taxpayer services has never made sense and certainly doesn’t make sense for Perth Amboy. Our city needs a strong leader who is not afraid to stand up for our needs and fight for the support we need from Trenton. It was very easy for Mayor Diaz to lead the pool of candidates with no track record to speak of , but how can the same be said for the last four years.

Initially Mayor Diaz ran on a divide and conquer strategy which lends itself to be continued into this election given the number of candidates. In this year’s election, people from Perth Amboy basically have a choice between someone who has done nothing for Perth Amboy for four years or an empty suit, opportunist or others with an ax to grind. We should want better for ourselves and not simply the lesser of six evils.

The truth is leading a city like Perth Amboy requires a personality that is lacking among the candidate pool. In all honesty, say what you will about Mayor Vas, he got the job done for us both locally and in Trenton. A person’s ability to lead should be judged substantively and not superficially as was in the last election and as we risk in this one. In this election, we are armed with information, facts, statistics and, above all, reality. In the end regardless of PA’s changing needs or tides, the constant is the need for stability and progress.

Regardless of the outcome of November 6th, nothing can make up for the time and resources Perth Amboy has lost. Even more disheartening is the inevitable lack o f confidence we have no choice but to feel towards Mayor Diaz.

Frank Paone
Business Owner
City of Perth Amboy

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