Last Wednesday, the sounds of anger and disapproval rang throughout the Jersey City Council chambers. The Redevelopment Pay to Play Campaign Reform ordinance that many Jersey City residents had worked so hard to get passed was voted down. Only Councilmembers Steven Fulop (Ward E) and Viola Richardson (Ward F) voted yes while six others voted no -- Council President Mariano Vega abstained.
"Development is the big Jersey City topic," said Dan Levin, President of Civic JC, a non-partisan community based organization that promotes good municipal government practices. This was apparent -- not only from the crowd's shouts of dissaproval, but from Councilmembers' personal attacks against each other in the weeks prior to the vote. Even Mayor Jerramiah Healy got in on the act by writing a scathing letter to the Jersey Journal denouncing the ordinance as undemocratic.