CivicParent Profile picture
Aug 9, 2018 21 tweets 10 min read
1/The #HudsonCounty freeholder meeting is packed. Many here due to controversial #ICE contract. These are your freeholders:
Jerry Walker
Albert Cifelli
Anthony Romano
Anthony Vainieri
William O’Dea
Caridad Rodriguez
Kenneth Kopacz
Joel Torres
cc @StPaulsChurchJC @MigrantCenterJC
First time at one of these meetings. Space is large, each freeholder has designated seat similar to City Council. Like city/BOE meetings they are doing student awards and such upfront before ongoing business/votes. cc @TheLocalJC @JerseyTogether @NJ08forProgress @Mahmoud4Congres
FYI there are 21 counties in NJ.
566 municipalities roll up into those counties.
Hudson County has about 15 or so towns including #JerseyCity, Bayonne, Hoboken, more.
My sense of County is that it’s akin to government “middle management” in some respects in NJ. For example the County is supposed to help manage compliance re property tax. Long stalled JC Reval is partially a Hudson County fail...
...There is a lot of service at County level too. Roads parks schools & of course the jail.
County freeholders are paid (like city council reps). Not sure of salaries.
O’Dea making case for new meeting at PS11 that next meeting Thursday 9/13 should be at @jcps_district PS11 given size of expected crowds.
FYI PS11 is where BOE mtgs are held - on Bergen. Down street from @MigrantCenterJC.
Need to leave soon but great to see large crowd. @Terrencemcd is here following issue.
FYI i Will tweet about parking for future reference in a bit (I had to find street). One hurdle w these public meetings in JC is often transport!
This freeholder in the middle (Albert Cifelli) voting to not have next meeting 9/13 at PS11. Same w Kenneth Kopacz. 2nd photo. O’Dea saying they both “lack courage”. O’Dea criticizing his fellow freeholders currently.
Here’s pic of freeholders now. O’Dea basically scolding fellow freeholders. Oh boy now Cifelli is saying he feels insulted that his character was maligned.
Public gallery clapped for O’Dea.
Tilo Rivas voted to move the meeting
Caridad Rodriguez voted to not move meeting. Said she’s a refugee from Cuba in ‘62. Cited need to not get too emotional about this issue, her personal story. Again this is a vote to move meeting space to PS11. She said this is “not a political issue” (#ICE contract)
Anthony Romano says he’s never seen issue so contentious among freeholders themselves. Praising activists. Called them the “mouth of the lion”.
He said freeholders need chance to prep for any meeting. He said board needs a month.
@JT4Freeholder saying it’s “hypocritical” that freeholders are asking for more time give this board rushed #ICE renewal contract last meeting. Said public rightfully views freeholders as “a joke”. Said public should be looped in ASAP ca blocked out while freeholders plan
Jerry Walker said these meetings never have this many ppl, only last 1-2 hours. Says he’s new to board and still learning. Made plug for his district. Voted to not move the meeting.
Again: this is just a location change
Anthony Vainieri voted against moving meeting & said freeholders who want to share more w public should have separate meeting w fewer than 5 freeholders to avoid quorum. Basically said “if you guys are interested then work it forward but don’t make it official business pls”
Now Cifelli is rationalizing his vote & saying he and O’Dea are friendly despite fireworks at meeting. Said “we have to make best of bad situation.” Saying “this is politics”
Again: this is about **moving a meeting* & opening freeholders up to pubic
Romano now defending the Hudson County jail. Said public rhetoric about jail is misplaced.
BTW this letter from #JerseyCity religious leaders gives context re jail.
Ok I have to grab the kids from summer camp. @MigrantCenterJC @StPaulsChurchJC @HudCoDSA @JerseyTogether @Mahmoud4Congres
FYI I asked as I left since this is my first time here: parking situation at these meetings at 567 Pavonia:
paid parking lots or
street parking only.
No designated public parking other than those 2 options. JSQ PATH not far away.
FYI I asked as I left since this is my first time here: parking situation at these meetings at 567 Pavonia:
paid parking lots or
street parking only.
No designated public parking other than those 2 options. JSQ PATH not far away.

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More from @CivicParent

Sep 30, 2018
1/A bit abt last 20 years of property taxes in #JerseyCity & how it can inform problems w school funding in 2018.
This is #JerseyCity’s 3 tax levies (Levy=amount raised by property taxes to help fund the budgets).
Red line is city tax. Green is County. Orange is @jcps_district
2/Notice how much city taxes have gone up in last 20 yrs. last 10 yrs in particular. The school tax have gone up, but at at slower clip. This slower growth results in smaller base on which to increase local revenue in ‘18
3/now let’s look at smaller suburbs nearby. Like Montclair (smallish city), & Maplewood, small town w few businesses to pay taxes. Some diversity but not as much as JC, and more homogenous wealth than JC (which has disparate wealth ie very wealthy & very poor)
Read 12 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
This picture tells a story, but it doesn't show the backstory.
This during the BOE meeting at Snyder HS auditorium, which I attended w another JCPS parent & also to support @Harshal623 who, along w Teacher @jnaatus, is driving a civic effort to get filtered fountains in McNair.
I signed up to speak during public comment last night. I wanted to ask a question on record about Special Education. I've been learning about the potential impacts of under-funding for those students from parents. Before publi comment began, this happened:
So when I got up to speak, I asked my planned Q, but I also asked: "You spent 30 min debating $5K, but you have a $30 million cut next spring & none of you are debating that. Why? And related Q: when will we start to see earnest dialog & details from BOE re: #PayrollTax"?
Read 19 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
1/If anyone is wondering why the #PayrollTax is needed in #JerseyCity to help fund @jcps_district schools, here's a thread. This is admittedly complicated & fraught w/ legacy & external issues (eg 2% cap) but ultimately public can/should engage & understand this LOCAL problem.
2/ I created a #NJ #PropertyTax dashboard to show property tax history for last 20 years in NJ. Here's the link: civicparent.org/2018/09/27/nj-…
Drill into #JerseyCity (w/in Hudson County). And you'll see tax base growth & also property tax levy growth for City, County, & BOE.
3/ Notice tax base growth of #JerseyCity from 1988 to 2017 (lower left chart). We have largest tax base in entire state in '17. On lower right, notice City property taxes (red line), which correlates somewhat w/ tax base growth (it's going up)...
Read 7 tweets
Aug 30, 2018
1/ FYI: @JC_Gov Tax Base value now $34B, post-Reval (note: this excludes abated property). 2018 tax levy of ~$125M assumed a base of about $29B.
Applying same rate on $34B = $136,000,000. @JerseyTogether UFB is here: cityofjerseycity.com/UserFiles/Serv…
@stateaidguy @CouncilmanYun
2/ I don't understand Abatements data-doesn't make sense to me. Will call Tax Office tomorrow to inquire. Tab 6 Abatements still has $2.7B, which was pre-Reval (24% ratio) value. Monaco North building alone is still valued at $20M - same value it had in 2015. @Civic_JC
3/ Here's the "Assessments" summary from "UFB-5 Tax Assessments" tab and it shows summary of Tax Base (on left). On Right shows exempt properties incl "Other Assessments" at $11B. That's presumably the abatements (that makes sense for post-Reval value). @EllenXSimon @cjkovach16
Read 6 tweets
Jun 26, 2018
2/ NJ Legislature reps huge to our schools because they can advocate at state level for proper funding of our schools, including a) forcing accountability of city (e.g. PILOT reform) & b) allowing for new revenue mechanisms (e.g. payroll tax directed to school coffers)
3/ Some of our NJ reps on twitter here:
District 31: @AswMcKnight @NicholasNJ31
District 33: @RajMukherji
Are any other D state reps on twitter that I'm missing here? @Amy_DeGise @NJ08forProgress
Read 8 tweets
Jun 21, 2018
@EllenXSimon @JCEA_jerseycity TBH-I’m 1 of many parents who advocate more than the JCEA on this. The bar isn’t that high, frankly. That JCEA leadership isn’t more on top of this really big, really pressing challenge is frankly concerning and increasingly noticeable. And it begs lots of Qs.
@EllenXSimon @JCEA_jerseycity I see lots of amazing teachers online who call attention to legit concerns like expenses-and parents have MUCH to learn & should IMHO listen. But I see more teachers as individuals than I do the union as an org w coalition power & I don’t understand why that is
@EllenXSimon @JCEA_jerseycity And twitter convo won’t IMO bridge this understanding gap esp when dialog gets polarized...but maybe more coalition-building & relationship building would. I love my teachers & want to support them which means solutions sooner vs later on long term sustainable LOCAL funding
Read 4 tweets

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