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Not in Agreement/ Not Representing PARA

9/11/17 Caucus & 9/13/17 Council Meeting

PERTH AMBOY – At the 9/11/17 Caucus Meeting, Councilman Fernando Irizarry had a comment regarding R-364-9/17 – Requesting permission for the Dedication by Rider for the Bridge Perth Amboy I Urban Renewal Trust permitted under the Tax Exemption Law, N.J.S.A. 40A: 20-1 et seq.

Irizarry said, “I am not in agreement with this resolution. It’s too vague and ambiguous. Break it down to percentages and uses. It’s not fiscally responsible. We should be paying down the debt and not using this for property tax relief for the homeowners. We will just have a temporary financial high.”

Councilman Fernando Gonzalez said, “I agree somewhat  with Mr. Irizarry, but taxes went up by $300. Our people can’t afford to live here.”

Irizarry countered, “This is only giving the taxpayers a band-aid. The City is paying interest on the debt they owe.”

Business Administrator Adam Cruz added to the discussion, “It’s the Council’s decision on how the revenue obtained from Bridgeport is used. Our municipal taxes were 0%. The tax increase mentioned by Councilman Gonzalez was because of the School Board’s Budget.”

CFO Jill Goldy added, “The City doesn’t have the ability to pay as you go.”

Resolution R-364 was voided on the agenda for the regular 9/13/17 Council Meeting.

At the 9/11/17 Caucus, Business Administrator Adam Cruz reported that PARA has hired Joseph Maraziti LLP to contact Kushner Developers about the problems on Rector Street.

Council President Bill Petrick spoke up and said, “The Council would like to have more say in this matter.”

Councilman Fernando Gonzalez said, “I am concerned because the developer has been doing some work that puts the City in danger.”

Annie Hindenlang said, “Kushner Representatives had meetings with the Landings Residents stating they were representing PARA.”

Law Director Peter King asked, “Has there been any written documents?”

Hindenlang responded, “We (PARA) will notify the Landings Residents that the Kushner Representatives that met with them did not represent PARA.”

During the public portion, some of the Landings Condo owners came up to speak. One of the Landings owners said, “We’re making progress with the Kushner vendors who are putting the units back in the condition that we were promised. There is nothing in writing, yet. The community room and gym are being transitioned back to the Condo Association once improvements are made. Only the Admiral units have not received their settlement money.”

Daniel Santo Pietro, who owns a unit in the Admiral Building came up to speak next, “We (the Landings Owners) are going in the right direction without any help from the Council. We want to see Perth Amboy thrive. There’s very little from City intervention. I’m going to talk to all the residents. It’s been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears from our side.”

The secretary from the Bayview Board said, “We received all our settlements from Kushner.”

Mayor Diaz came up to speak, “I want to thank the Landings Homeowners Association who worked to move the Kushner Project forward. There have been many mixed-use projects that came through the Zoning Board, yet you (the Council) have not asked them to come to the meetings. They (The Zoning Board) have approved large projects that have no parking with them. The Redevelopment Agency has always come before you.”

At the September 13, 2017 Regular Council Meeting, Resident and Business Owner David Caba came up to speak. He stated, “I’m happy because Rector Street (by the Portion of the Landings Property) is finally going to be repaired after 10 years, but only when Kushner’s new project is approved. It’s not moving the City forward when you build 600 rental units. It took 7 meetings to get things done. I hope I don’t have to come up here 7 times and talk about the same subject to get things done.”

Resident Alan Silber said, “The Landings Residents didn’t get that road cleaned up. David Caba and Irizarry did. Look at the road (Fayette Street) leading to Crow’s Nest. It’s horrible.”

Resident Ken Balut asked, “How much will the Bridge PILOT cause the School System and the City to lose? Our taxes went up on the school side because of the PILOT. Why is Arlene Quinones-Perez negotiating in regards to the Landings? Did the Landings people who spoke here tonight and said they approve of the new Landings project get more money in their settlement?”

Council President Bill Petrick said, “The Council has no information about Quinones’ meeting with the Landings residents.”

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