By admin on Monday, May 11th, 2009 at 10:37 am
Municipal elections will be held tomorrow for city offices in Jersey City, Hoboken, and other non-partisan municipal elections around the state. In Jersey City, this means the Mayor and Council all have the chance to get unelected. Candidates must win a majority of cast votes, or face a run off election.
Civic activist Dan Levin might be the underdog in a race against a sitting mayor and a former assemblyman and a former councilman/acting mayor, but Jersey City’s electorate has always been unpredictable.
Mayor Healy is relying on his $3 million war chest to carry him to victory, and its no wonder that as head of the Hudson county machine he was able to raise so much cash, and its no wonder looking around the city why he needs to spend the money. As the incumbent, this election is a referendum on Healy, and its his legacy that will either bolster support or require him to defend.
Healy has flooded cable television and mailboxes across the city with propaganda telling voters the great things he’s done. He’s taking a cue from the Karl Rove playbook: repeat a lie enough times and maybe people will begin to believe it. Sure, Jersey City’s skyline is rising, but it was growing before Healy showed up, and will continue to grow after he is gone. The real challenge is whether city life will continue to improve. Municipal services take their direction from the top; Healy’s government is unresponsive, self-serving, and indolent, so its no wonder he’s had to spend so much to tell people otherwise.
Some pundits have chosen Lou Manzo as the Healy alternative. Manzo has served Jersey City admirably in Trenton in the past, but he didn’t get into the assembly without playing along with the Hudson county machine, even if he has turned his back on them in recent years. He’s also the perpetual candidate for mayor, having been rejected by voters four or five times already, not to mention during one of those races he was up against his brother.
Dan Levin is a civic activist, not a machine insider. While we may not agree with him all the time, he’s not dismissive and we’d trust in him to have a responsive city government open to the new ideas needed in facing the challenges of a growing city. His quiet demeanor is not that of the typical politician, and let’s face it, Jersey City has too many typical politicians. Unlike his opponents, he’s not looking simply to get his hand in the city coffers. Dan Levin promises the city government we all want and deserve.
The Ward E councilman is the one elected official Jersey City residents don’t have to be ashamed of. He and his office are responsive to his constituents. He’s an independent voice on the council, not a machine hack. He active seeks input from community groups and has pushed for government reform. Healy doesn’t need another crony assisting in the distribution of patronage checks; Steve Fulop is the right choice for Jersey City and more importantly, the right choice for Ward E voters.