Paterson City Council Grapples with River Street Project and Juneteenth Celebrations

In a recent Paterson City Council meeting, members unanimously voted to reject all bids for the River Street reconstruction project due to a court ruling, sparking a city-wide discussion on the poor state of infrastructure and the need for expedient action. A resolution authorizing the solicitation of new bids was passed. The council also engaged in a vibrant dialogue on the upcoming Juneteenth festival, approving a resolution to commemorate the historic event with plans for a public celebration at the Underground Railroad on June 22nd.

The River Street reconstruction project was at the forefront of the council’s agenda, with members unanimously agreeing that the condition of the road was untenable for the city’s residents. The decision to reject the previous bids was a strategic move, taken in response to a court ruling. Council members expressed a shared hope that the new bidding process would be swift and result in favorable terms to avoid further court delays.

The meeting also saw the passage of a resolution to honor local figures Bishop Albert Bland and Reverend Dr. Ethel Bland, with the designation of a street in their names. Council members paid tribute to the Blands, recognizing their lasting impact on the community, particularly through the annual Easter egg hunt.

The council tackled the memorandum of understanding between the city’s Department of Health and Human Services and cumac E Inc., a topic that received broad support from council members. Despite the absence of a legal resolution, the council moved forward with the memorandum, anticipating benefits for the fourth ward’s residents and promising to address the accompanying resolution upon receipt from the Corporation Council.

In addressing the public’s concerns, council members reassured residents about ongoing technical difficulties with the sound on channel 75 and managed interruptions from the public during the meeting. These interruptions included a request to move a parked car and a moment of celebration for a church’s legacy and the installation of a new pastor.

Public engagement was a part of the meeting, with speakers voicing concerns over a variety of issues. Criticism was directed at the council for the allocation of a $19 million fund in 2020, which lacked innovative ideas for the city. The council was also confronted about the lack of action regarding an incident involving a seriously injured eight-year-old boy, with calls for accountability and transparency. Furthermore, complaints were raised about the cleanliness of the city, the need for more community resources for children, and the bureaucratic hurdles faced by organizers of the Juneteenth festival.

A particularly contentious topic revolved around the treatment of predominantly black city employees, with a council member accusing the administration and council of complicity in their struggles. The issue of reparations and the ongoing fight for civil rights was also broached during the discussion of Juneteenth.

The council discussed the challenges in hiring weekend inspectors due to limited resources and the hesitancy to approve a tax increase. Additionally, the Mayor addressed concerns over the redirection of the $19 million American Rescue Plan funds, initially earmarked for a recreation center, to other projects such as park improvements and road resurfacing. He also defended the city’s financial transparency in response to accusations of mismanagement.

The meeting concluded with a focus on city employee payment issues, particularly concerning election workers. The council debated the necessity of detailed time sheets to process payments and the urgency of resolving this matter. The council members expressed a commitment to ensuring that all election workers received proper compensation for their services.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
André Sayegh
City Council Officials:
Michael Jackson, Shahin Khalique, Alex Mendez (Council President), Ruby Cotton, Luis Velez (Council Vice President), Alaa “Al” Abdelaziz, Maritza Davila (Councilwoman At-Large), Dr. Lilisa Mimms (Councilwoman At-Large), MD Forid Uddin (Councilman At-Large)

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Human Resources Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes