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Letter to the Editor

Perth Amboy Deserves Better

Just six years ago, Awilda Diaz and her council team, Fernandez Gonzalez and Ken Balut, took office by defeating now Council President Joel Pabon. Two years later, Pabon was elected without the support of Wilda Diaz. In fact in that election, Pabon was demonized and ostracized by Diaz who identified him as the “Vas Candidate.” Despite this stigma, Pabon was victorious and, in fact, was the lead vote getter. However, Pabon could not carry his ticket and two Diaz supported candidates were elected including William Petrick.

In the four years which have passed since Pabon was elected, it seems that he has not only shed the Vas affiliation but has quite opportunistically “reinvented” himself as a member of the “Awilda Diaz Ticket.” Pabon is not the only one to reinvent himself, the Diaz ticket itself has shed Kenneth Gonzalez and replaced him with Sergio Diaz. Ironically, despite being quick to denounce former members of Vas’s administration, Diaz, along with Pabon, represents the Vas administration in ways that Diaz seems quick to ignore when convenient. For those keeping score, Sergio served in the Vas Administration’s Urban Enterprise but was let go from his position by Diaz once she took office. It seems that once Sergio became Wilda’s daughter superior at 1st Constitution Bank, he gained her confidence, or at least, her approval. In contrast despite remaining aligned with Diaz, Petrick, has on occasion voiced his concerns about the perennial tax increases that have come with this administration, even going as far as voting against this year’s budget and tax increase.

As the November election approaches, the splinters in the factions are becoming more apparent. After running with and assisting Wilda to gain the helm as mayor, Fernando has now defected from Wilda’s team and ventured out on his own, together with his own ticket. His motivation may be ambition or maybe because he realized that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side following his own tax bill doubling after Diaz’s tax increases. Regardless of his motivation and despite his former ties, Gonzalez and his ticket represent a new direction that Perth Amboy desperately needs.

Perth Amboy needs to look more closely at the “gains” made by the city since Diaz took office. Diaz is no different than her opportunistic foes turned allies. Her claim to fame is the increase in the city’s credit rating by S&P, but the cost to the city and its citizens is not worth the mythical gain. The reason S&P raised the city’s rating was its lack of borrowing which implies liquidity through tax increases.

Unfortunately for Perth Amboy tax payers, the reason the city did not have to borrow money was because it raised taxes, decreased fire and police, and forced the money from its citizen’s pockets in a difficult economic period. Even despite these increases in revenue collection, the slashes in services citywide were more apparent to taxpayers than a credit rating increase. What good was paying down debt and reducing borrowing if at the same time trash collection and police protection was being reduced. Drugs are infiltrating our city and this past week a violent crime took the life of a man, known to many, brazenly and without dignity.

Fernando, Mascenik and Caba are not unblemished, however, I believe they represent qualified candidates that will better serve the interest of Perth Amboy, not those of Woodbridge and the special interest that support the incumbents. While running on a false statistics and a broken record, the “Diaz Ticket” has demonstrated that their focus lies with themselves and with the political power brokers especially those from Woodbridge. Diaz acts with an eye towards endearing herself to the County leadership. Her minions act with an eye to endear themselves to her and her efforts at political jockeying. In the end, her cast of characters does not act with Perth Amboy and its citizens in mind. If elected officials are really looking towards bettering the city, their focus should be on improving the Board of Education and in turn the quality of education in our city. Instead, Diaz and her policies are weakening education and causing an exodus from the city which weakens it in ways which are not measured by S&P.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Ferreira

Democratic Committee Person, Ward 6 District 4

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Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. Jan 24
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THURS. Jan 25
• Historic Preservation Commission
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

MON. Jan 29
• Special Public Meeting, RE: Discussion of Rezoning Ordinance
6 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

 

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South Amboy Calendar

WED. Jan. 31
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. Feb. 7
• City Council, Business,
6 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!