Irizarry Starts Second Term
Newcomer Caba Begins First Term as Councilman
1/3/17 Inaugural Ceremony
By: Katherine Massopust
PERTH AMBOY – Master of Ceremonies Lissette Martinez welcomed everyone to the 1/3/17 Inaugural Ceremony held at the Auditorium in the Perth Amboy YMCA. Martinez thanked the Clergy including the Police Chaplains, the Fire Department, Police Department, Administration, Staff and everyone who attended the ceremony. The Perth Amboy Police Department and Fire Department Honor Guard gave the presentation of colors and the Pledge of Allegiance. Firefighter Javier Cruz sang the National Anthem. Pastor Bernadette Falcon-Lopez of the Perth Amboy Police & Fire Chaplain Corps and God’s Army Ministries of New Jersey gave the invocation. City Clerk Elaine Jasko certified the 11/8/16 election results.
Jelmin Caba was sworn in as Councilman first. He gave his thanks to God and to everyone for their support. “It has been a very humbling and exciting experience. We need to demonstrate in deeds and not to engage in nasty politics. To the Citizens of Perth Amboy, I am every bit optimistic about the future of Perth Amboy.”
Fernando Irizarry was sworn in next. Irizarry opened up his remarks by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. He too, thanked God for his blessings and his family and church and the Stronger Together Team. “I serve as a Councilman because I believe it is part of my destiny.” Irizarry continued, “The City is bound for glory. We will overcome. We shall focus on the bigger picture and the greater good for our community – not our differences. Let’s work together instead of working as individuals. I renew my one and only promise – to do what’s in the best interest for the wonderful City of Perth Amboy.”
Lissette Martinez welcomed keynote speaker Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski of the 19th Legislative District. Wisniewski began his remarks, “It is always a thrill to be in Perth Amboy, the city of my birth. It is one of the most historic cities in New Jersey. I am proud to call it my original home, and one that I am proud to represent. When she (Diaz) first took her oath of office in 2008, she was the first woman to lead Perth Amboy. Presently she is the only elected Latina Mayor in New Jersey. Mayor Diaz is a leader. She has been at the forefront of many issues. Wilda Diaz has expanded many programs fighting fake news, Twitter posts and Facebook postings. Wilda Diaz has been open and honest. In order to do this, cities need revenue and to create jobs. Under Mayor Diaz there has been job creation. Mayor Diaz has worked hard to preserve history by renovating the Public Library and pushed for new designs of the train station (handicapped compliancy in the near future). When Superstorm Sandy hit, Diaz oversaw over $17 million making Perth Amboy’s infrastructure able to withstand future storms. In Perth Amboy, Mayor Diaz welcomed Veridian and Buckeye. There is being built a $180 million E-Port Logistics Center. She is a Latina Trailblazer who understands the importance of standing up for what is right.”
Asm. Wisniewski then welcomed Wilda Diaz. Wilda Diaz was then sworn in for her third term in the Office of Mayor of Perth Amboy. Diaz offered her remarks, “I’m humbled by the tremendous outpouring of residents. My incumbents – I owe this to God and to you. To my Husband Greg for being my rock, my son, Gregory Jr. is on his second tour overseas, and my daughter, Samantha, to my five sisters and to my parents’ blessings who are in Puerto Rico. My parents taught me to stand up for what is right. It is by that I advocate that this City has survived centuries – One of hope and belief in our City. Each mayor faced highs and lows. No place is perfect. It is an honor to serve the City for a third term. Together we have created a better quality of life. Today Perth Amboy has a better rating than the State of New Jersey. Our home has over $600 million invested by private developers. By the end of 2018 all our brownfields will be developed.”
Diaz continued to speak, “We are stronger together. We took a devastated Waterfront with over $10 million in damages and fixed the shoreline. Our community is always on the move. That is the nature of our community. Later this month will see the redevelopment of a 6 acre Second Street Project. For New Jersey Transit and the Perth Amboy Train Station, I have been advocating for ADA compliance since 2008. We will enhance the downtown area in early 2019. Together we will continue our goals. I am determined to see it through. A Public Meeting will be held when we will work together, we are stronger together. We will stay focused on redevelopment. We took our first steps are securing a new Perth Amboy High School. I hope to continue lead with Fernando Irizarry and Jelmin Caba. We are a strong, determined team. I want to recognize Former Council President Lisa Nanton and to continue to work with Councilman Fernando Gonzalez, Joel Pabon and William Petrick. We will work for what is best. I will remain vigilant how to move forward. We have worked together through difficult times. There’s a time for everything.”
Diaz concluded by asking the audience to say aloud, “We are stronger together.”
Pastor Bernadette Falcon-Lopez gave the Benediction.