Categorized | Editorial

EDITORIAL: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

When you area newly elected politician, you inherit from the previous administration the good, the bad and the ugly.

Case in point. Under the tutelage of former Mayor and Assemblyman Joseph Vas, the good that was inherited was Best Buy, Geek Squad, U.S. Food Services and other corporations on the outer Amboy Avenue section of Perth Amboy. Some of the other good included the renovations of some of the recreational parks baring Bayview (which in my opinion was better off before with band shell located close to Rector Street.

The way Bayview Park was redesigned makes it difficult for all sitting in the park to see the performers and band. To get the best view of the performance you have to stand on the sidewalk of Rector Street or if you are sitting you must sit on an incline – and those stairs are murder on your knees!) With the old design, wherever you sat you had a good view of the performers and the band. The concept of the new design of Bayview Park was so that the audience was looking out over the water while the concert was going on.

The water will always be there but most people came to the concerts to watch limited engagement of first class performances during the summer.

Everyone knows about the bad and the ugly of Joe Vas. The bad was a $250 million debt which turned into something very ugly during the recent municipal election.

Joe Vas sold Runyan and made that a very ugly underhanded deal with the Middlesex Water Company.

Although many people said that the $250 million debt was being overplayed, personally I don’t know how I would have gotten it down myself. Think about this scenerio.

Suppose you were told you inherited a beautiful mansion. When you saw the mansion from the outside, it was gorgeous. When you opened the door, the previous owner took a sledge hammer to the walls, ripped out the insulation, electric wiring and really trashed the place. Maybe there were termites you didn’t know about. There are leaky pipes and a leaky roof.

So what looked so beautiful from the outside was covering up the ugliness of the inside.

The latest legacy of Joe Vas is the Landings. Vas brought Kushner to Perth Amboy to build a $600 utopia. They marketed these luxury apartments with amenities so desirable that it attracted people who were looking to retire or relocate to a smaller, less congested area that was still close to New York City.

The Waterfront of Perth Amboy was always known as its gem. The amenities promised at Landings because of the Waterfront area at the time seemed feasible to the potential buyers. But as we said before the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. In this case it went way astray.

The Landings is not the only development with broken promises. If you look at the original plans of Harbortown you can see how those plans also went astray. Hidden Village on New Brunswick Avenue was supposed to have a community center and swimming pool. Neither ever came to fruition and some of the land was taken away when they redid the railroad bridge to build the Municipal Complex.

Remember the original cost of the Municipal Complex ballooned from $35 million to $90 million.

This is a lot to inherit and to put on your plate. Anyone can come voice their complaints at Council Meetings. My father used to always say, “If you make a complaint, you should also offer some sort of solution to the problem.”

To all elected officials – Do well to all of the residents whether they voted for you or not. C.M., K.M.

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