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Vincent Frank Westside Ward "B"  On the Issues

Thank you for allowing me to share some (brief) views on a variety of topics. Hopefully we've been able to discuss these more in depth as I've visited each neighborhood over the last several weeks.

Shouldn't companies that receive tax abatements, guarantee a certain percentage of Jersey City residents employment with their company?

I do feel we can create more jobs and opportunities for Jersey City residents, but in the spirit of free enterprise, I do not think it is right to force companies to hire a fixed percentage of local residents. We have to scrutinize the entire abatement process to ensure the companies that are under consideration for an abatement truly need one, and I don't believe that is being done now. Also, if we take back our schools and concentrate on improving them so our children get a better education, they will be better trained to compete for a job locally. We won't have to force companies to hire a certain percentage, they'll be recruiting our children straight out of school.

Tell us why you're the best candidate to lead Jersey City into the 21st century?

 I consider myself an excellent candidate.......because I care. I'm not a politician. I am a regular person. I have a Bachelor of Science from Saint Peter's College and experience in the financial markets from my job at Chase Manhattan Bank as a Region Support Officer. I am a current Jersey City Planning Board Commissioner. I was a Jersey City Democratic Committeeman for five years, and I am a former labor leader in Hudson County. I've also committed my time and resources to many local organizations like Christmas in April, Catholic Community Services, and Hudson County Meals on Wheels. I've also supported many recreation programs four our children as a High School Baseball Coach, Jersey City PAL Baseball Coach, and CYO Flag Football Coach. In addition, I support the Junior Achievement Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I haven't just been talking about contributing, I've been doing it for my entire adult life.

Where do you stand on bulk lien sales?

I don't think the process was successful and should be inspected closer. I am not afraid to say I am not familiar with the entire process, so before commenting further I would have to study the process more in depth.

Where do you stand on waterfront development?

Waterfront development should continue with projects that will benefit the entire city, but we shouldn't be shortsighted about it. As a planning board commissioner, I have to review the applications for development throughout the city, and the bulk of those applications have been for the waterfront. I think the progress the waterfront has made is amazing. I believe the challenge the city faces is attracting continued development into the inner and western part of Jersey City. Nobody should be left behind as Jersey City continues to prosper and grow.

Where do you stand on crime?

I would first recommend we appoint a Police Director that commands the respect of the rank and file. I am in favor of community policing because it builds better working relationships with the communities. I also believe we can lower crime by offering opportunities, not just by beefing up patrols or rounding people up. We have to offer opportunity for a better education, better adult job-training, improved recreation services so our young men and women have someplace to be where they can be constructive instead of destructive. A large part of crime is economics -- if people are working and and have a home and family to support, then I believe you can reduce the crime rate.

Where do you stand on autonomous agencies?

We've privatized too much and now have no control over the autonomous agencies. The city should run certain agencies, and we can do a better job by running them as small businesses, keeping in mind their priority should be to service the residents of Jersey City as best as possible.

How would you lower or stabilize our tax rate?

Increase the ratable base in Jersey City which has decreased over the past several years. We are asking less to pay more, and that is not economically sound. Take a closer look at the abatement process and at least ask the question of the developer why they need an abatement. If they can prove they need one, then we should consider it, but the question isn't even being asked now. Create more homeownership opportunities instead of building high-density apartments. The residents are tired of high-density, and you can build the ratable base through more homeownership opportunities.

How should Liberty State Park be developed within the next ten years?

We should retain as much green space as possible in Liberty State Park. No water park, no amusement park, etc. The beauty of the park is the serenity and the view across the river as well as the view of downtown Jersey City now. 

How will technology and the Internet, play a role in Jersey City future?

Both should play a large role in Jersey City's future. If elected, I plan to seek out investors from the developers and business community to build a first-rate Learning and Recreation Center in Ward B that will be plugged into the future technologically. This is part of creating opportunities. It can be used for school projects, research by young and seniors, and there will be recreation services available for residents of all ages. I will have shuttle services from some of the senior buildings to the Center daily, and I would also encourage the police department to house a mini-precinct there.

Where do you stand on school vouchers?

School vouchers are part of competition, and I think if we focus on taking back our schools and rebuilding them one school at a time, we can improve our schools to the point where vouchers won't be a topic of conversation because parents will have confidence in the public school system.


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