Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Shared Services, Budget Cited in 5th Ward

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Shared Services, Budget Cited in 5th Ward

Article excerpt

Editor's note: This is part of a series of stories on the policy positions of candidates in Paterson's upcoming election for the six ward City Council seats. The responses are in the candidates' own words.

PATERSON -- Fifth Ward council candidate Chrystal Cleaves is proposing that the city create an office to handle grant applications.

Cleaves said the proposed office could help create non-profit entities, such as Friends of Paterson Parks, that she said would be able to tap into funding sources not available to municipal government.

Meanwhile, another candidate in the 5th Ward, Wendy Guzman, said she would like to see the municipal government enter shared-service agreements with the school district and Passaic County government to cooperate on such tasks as snow removal.

Rounding out the trio of candidates in the race, Luis Velez did not offer any specific proposals when asked for his ideas on improving the city, but spoke mainly in general terms.

Paterson Press: Please describe at least one new idea to make Paterson a better place that you would push to implement through an ordinance or resolution as a City Council member during the coming year.

Velez: My objective is to play an important role in the community, to perform many duties from listening to and trying to resolve residents' concerns, to pass an annual budget that is balanced and that our residents receive the city services they demand, pay for and deserve, and that the city has enough revenue to pay and provide the necessary resources.

My goal is to further open the lines of communication between the community and the local government, to host a series of meetings creating new opportunities where we can learn and better understand our residents' concerns and receive input. This will allow for me to adopt new ideas to help tackle problems, to be more proactive instead of reactive, to make fair decisions, to be more responsive to the community and to act in its best interest.

I plan to continue to work hard and to be visible in all community activities, enabling me to foster new relationships and strengthen old ones, while embracing all of the rich and diverse cultures of our community. …

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