By Ricardo Kaulessar
“I am proud to announce that in 2014, we will introduce a budget with a tax reduction and flexibility for the Council.” That was one of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s final lines in his State of the City address Thursday night, when he addressed not only the progress of the city on various fronts since he took office last July but also how it is going forward in the upcoming year. But Fulop was more detailed about other accomplishments and goals while speaking in front of over 400 people inside the McMahon Student Center on the campus of Saint Peter’s University.
He spent time talking about how the city’s consolidation of the Fire and Police departments into the recently-formed Public Safety Department enabled the city to save money to hire 26 more firefighters and 34 more cops, and how the additional cop manpower along with the employment of various crime-fighting initiatives will help the police bring crime down by double-digits by the end of this year.
He then said coming this Monday, the city will launch a reentry program for ex-offenders that will provide treatment, housing options, and job opportunities with the goal of reducing recidivism for ex-offenders by over 30 percent from the current average for those residing in Hudson County. This effort was described by Fulop as being in sync with his Marine training.
“We here in Jersey City also believe no person should be discarded, that no life is nonredeemable, so as a progressive and as a marine, we’re doing things differently,” Fulop said. Continue reading Fulop’s State of the City: Municipal Budget to Greater Police Presence