September 2017 VVPA Monthly Meeting Reminder

18 Sep 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas, Updates

Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!

As usual, our agenda is full of awesome guest speakers and great topics. This month’s meeting features a meet & greet with Ward F candidates well as a developer presentation.


7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan

Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:25pm – 7:45pm – Old Business/New Business

Call for Volunteers

Events committee – Please sign up at vvpanews@gmail.com or let a board member know that you are interested in volunteering

Board elections will be coming soon!  Please let us know if you are interested in running for a board position.

7:45pm – 8:30pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

7:45pm – 8:15pm – Ward F Candidates meet & greet

8:15pm – 8:30pm – Developer presentation

8:30pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

The next VVPA monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 19th at 7:00pm in The Barrow Mansion (83 Wayne St.). As a reminder, the VVPA monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so be sure to mark your calendars in advance!

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY. Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood! Wine tasting to be provided by our friends at Jersey Wines & Spirits!

As usual, our agenda is full of awesome guest speakers and great topics. This month’s meeting features a meet & greet with Ward F candidates well as a developer presentation.


7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports
Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan
Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp
7:25pm – 7:45pm – Old Business/New Business.

VVPA Sponsored Events

Haunted Halloween in Van Vorst Park – Tuesday, 10/31
The VVPA and Friends of Van Vorst Park present a haunted Halloween in Van Vorst Park! Candy, cookies & costumes! Hot cider for the adults and fun for all! Stay tuned for additional details.

VVPA/DCNA Annual End of Year Holiday Celebration – December 9th, 7pm
It’s never to soon to mark your calendars for this fabulous end of year tradition! The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA), of which the VVPA is a part of, will once again be partnering with the Barrow Mansion for an annual end of year holiday celebration. There will be festive cheer, music, food & drinks, and as usual, a wonderful gathering of friends and neighbors in a gorgeous setting. Stay tuned for more details about this awesome event!

Other Community Events

St. Matthew’s Church Annual International Potluck Event – September 24th, 1pm – 4pm
Mark your calendars for the Annual International Potluck luncheon brought to you by St. Matthew’s Church & The Barrow Mansion! Bring a dish to share with your neighbors, and celebrate your heritage or learn about some new cultures. There will be music, food, kids activities and fun for all! And, its FREE! Additional details forthcoming!

JC Library Hawaiian Luau Fundraiser – September 21st, 6pm – 10pm
The Jersey City Free Public Library Trustees invite you to their Hawaiian Luau Fundraiser in support of the Jersey City Library system. Tickets are only $20 and can be purchased via emailing chesq@hotmail.com.

Election Debates, Sponsored by DCNA – October 16th & 18th
The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations will be sponsoring debates for candidates running for councilperson for Ward E as well as the Mayor’s Office. Ward E Councilperson Debate, hosted by Terrence McDonald of the Jersey Journal, will be on 10/16/17 at 7pm at MS4 on Bright Street. The Mayoral Debate, hosted by David Cruz of NJTV News, will be on 10/18/17 at 7pm, also at MS4 on Bright Street. To submit questions for the moderators to ask the candidates, click here. Deadline to submit questions is 9/15/17, so get them in asap!

JC Art & Studio Tour – Saturday, October 14th & 15th
The Van Vorst Park Association and the Historic Barrow Mansion invite you to a weekend of art and music as we join the Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (JCAST) to showcase pieces by local artists. Please join us for this show with two days of wine tasting and live music during the exhibit, as well as the sale of inspirational exceptional art! Additional details forthcoming!
Seasonal Events
The farmer’s market, brought to you by Friends of Van Vorst Park, is up and running on Saturday mornings at the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park. The Farmer’s Market runs Saturdays, from 8am – 3pm, through December 23rd.

The Historic Downtown Farmer’s Market, brought to you by the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID), is up and running on Monday’s at the Grove PATH Plaza.

Groove on Grove, a weekly local music series at the Grove PATH Plaza, is back for its 10th season! Performances on Wednesdays from 6pm-9pm.


Give Back to your Community!
Periodically the VVPA receives inquiries from civic-minded folks like you looking for ways to get more involved in their community. Below are a few ways to accomplish this:

VVPA Sponsors –
In order to bring you free and low-cost events throughout the year, the VVPA depends on fundraising and sponsorships from local businesses and community members. For more information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, as well as the various sponsorship levels that are available, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

Charitable Donations –
For those looking to make financial contributions, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button! Don’t forget: VVPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, so be sure to ask your Company to match your charitable contribution! And, we are registered as a non-profit at Amazon Smile, so every time you shop through Amazon Smile, select the VVPA as your charitable organization of choice, and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the VVPA.

VVPA Board & Committee Positions –
The VVPA is always looking for people to lend a hand by becoming active on the VVPA board or on one of its many committees: Construction & Development Committee; Events Committee; Membership Committee; Special Projects Committee. There are no formal requirements other than a genuine desire to help to move the community forward in a positive direction.

Donate Your Professional Services –
Throughout the year, there are numerous opportunities to help the VVPA streamline costs and make our efforts more efficient through donating your professional services. And, if you have a professional skill you can share with your neighbors at an upcoming event, that would be valuable as well. All types of talents and expertise are welcome!

Spread the Word –
Make a commitment to bring a new friend, relative or neighbor to an upcoming association meeting or event. The VVPA welcomes all!


News You Can Use
As always, we try to bring you as many items of interest that affect our community. If you have any items that are important to share, please email us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

East District Captain’s Meetings, which are regularly scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (typically in MS4 Library on Bright St., but location subject to change), are a great opportunity for community members to discuss crime/crime trends, quality of life issues, and other safety/security concerns with the JCPD. For more information on upcoming meetings, reach out to the JCDP East District Community Relations Officer, Dina Lionakis, at 201.547.4370 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.

Pedestrian Enhancement Plan – The City of JC launched a study to understand how to make streets better for pedestrians. The end result of the study will be a Pedestrian Enhancement Plan which contains recommendations to improve specific streets in JC. The success of the study depends on all of our participation, so you are encouraged to provide your thoughts and feedback at one of the pop-up meetings throughout the city. For more information, click here. Questions and comments about this initiative can be directed to Michael Ahillen at mahillen@fhiplan.com.


Stay Connected, Stay Informed……

In addition to receiving news you can use from VVPA, we encourage all residents to sign up to receive Community News / Updates from your elected officials. Sign up for updates from Candice Osborne , Jermaine Robinson and Steven Fulop by clicking on the links provided. Or, you can reach out to your committee person for assistance on local matters. Please reach out to vvpanews@gmail.com for additional information on how to reach out to your local committeeperson.

Jersey City Resident Response Center is a resource available to all to find answers to commonly asked questions or to report non-emergency concerns/problems to the City of Jersey City (potholes, failure to pick up trash, fallen tree branch removal, etc.). In addition to utilizing the JCRRC website, residents may also download the app on their phone (JerseyCityConnect) and can attach photos to any request to help clarify the concern (note: directions to download the app have been added to the VVPA website, www.vvpa.org). We encourage all to utilize these resources to help resolve issues in their community.

Stay Informed and Active in your Community by signing up for the NextDoor and Swift911 applications and monitoring local news through NJ.Com/hudson, and the Jersey Journal and Hudson Reporter newspapers. Nextdoor is a private social network that connects neighbors to talk online and makes communities stronger, better and safer. The City uses the Swift911 platform to send citywide emergency and non-emergency alerts through a variety of channels including voice, text message, email, fax, pager, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Registration is free, so join today.


Tee and Tini Time!

08 May 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

It’s that time of year again!  The VVPA present’s our 2nd annual Golf Outing on Friday, June 9th!

Tees & Tinis—That’s golf tees and martinis—fun for everyone! For the seasoned golfer–take your shot at Hudson County’s only public golf course (the Skyway Golf Course at Lincoln Park West), and a challenging one at that! Shotgun start at 5pm, beverages on the course –throw in a few “games” and then retreat back for martinis and dinner. For the non seasoned golfer– Happy Hour on the course starts at 5:30pm. We’ve got martinis and putt putt games for prizes, snacks and socializing while we wait for our golfer friends to return for dinner. The sun sets over the Pulaski Skyway as we share our golf stories and get to know each other a little better. We had a great time last year…join us and see what the fun is all about!

Check out the Eventbrite link for more information and to buy tickets!

A Totally Awesome 80’s Prom ReMix!

21 Apr 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Events, News You Can Use, Updates

Free Drink Ticket with purchase!  ONE WEEK ONLY!

Buy your Prom tickets online this week from April 19th to the 26th and get a free drink at the Prom!! And don’t worry, if you’ve already bought your tickets we’ve got you as well!!!

Big Hair?  Check
Shoulder pads? Check
Neon colors? Check
Sunglasses at night? Check

Now get your tickets….(and your free drink ticket)

WHEN: Saturday April 29th
WHERE: The Barrow Mansion, 83 Wayne Street
TIME: 7-11 pm
ATTIRE: 80’s Attire–the more Prom like the better, for sure.
PROM TICKET:  $25 online at Eventbrite–$30 at the door

MUST BE 21 or over….ID’s checked at the door

Dancing with DJ Marvilous!  Munchies by Edward’s Steakhouse, The Brightside Tavern & more!  $5 bodacious beverages!

Check out Another Man’s Treasure...they’re putting together some totally rad outfits in case you’re looking for the perfect 80’s look.  And you should be since we have prizes from Orale & Gypsy Grill (more to come) for Prom King & Queen, Best Hair, Best Couple & Best Costume!!

Can’t wait to like, totally see you there– like, for sure.

Thanks to our Co-Sponsor:

March 2017 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

02 Apr 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

Meeting Minutes – March 21, 2017

7:05 pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

  • Tribute to Margaret Webber who recently passed away. Margaret was a Mercer St. Resident, Longtime member of VVPA, founding member of Drawing Room and Pro Arts.

Officer/Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan

  • All accounts in good standing, donations welcome

Events Committee Report –Marlene Sandkamp

  • Holi Event – very well received.
  • 80’s Prom April 29th – 7pm – 11pm, DJ, light food, cash bar. $25 in advance, $30 at door, prizes for prom king/queen, etc.!
  • Golf Outing – June 9th – target tee time 5pm.  Scramble & putting contest

Guest Speakers

  • Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti
    • Background:
      • 31st Legislative District, JC is large part of district, also has Bayonne
      • Formerly worked for Bob Menendez
      • Strong believer in improving infrastructure, he is a member or Transportation Committee including Port Authority, NJ Transit and Hudson Bergen Light Rail
    • Concerns w/ budget and school funding formula
    • Committed to protecting JC and resources we are currently getting
    • Jersey Ave Bridge Extension – project funding is allotted and ready to go ($ from Washington).
      • He will help to get Turnpike Authority to come back to meet with us to discuss final plans and how it impacts city transportation plans as well.
    • Challenges – PATH – need another tunnel and capacity to expand.  PA needs to re-think entire way we think about PATH system.  Can’t just maintain the system, have to grow it.
    • Revals – State is very reliant on property taxes in NJ, so it may be difficult to change reval system.
      • Reval company will hold a meeting after the reval is done for addressing concerns and making adjustments.  If still have issues, can file tax appeal.
    • Taxes – A community member suggested a theory that due to an overlap of services this may be leading to high taxes.  In less dense counties, consolidation makes sense, may not make sense everywhere.
      • Response from Mayor Fulop:  consolidation doesn’t always work – example: bid out garbage contract w/ Union City – bids higher, less vendors that could handle size/geography.
    • He will schedule periodic visits with VVPA as he is our conduit to Trenton.


  • Executive Director of Parking Mary Spinello
      • Lost employees with merger.  Since then, city has hired replacements, still looking to hire more, including more of a night crew.  Wants to have 1 officer per zone per day (2 for larger zones).  Doing 1 day/month Sunday for enforcement.
        • Focus areas: Permits, prohibited areas (corners, fire hydrants, handicapped spots)
        • Trying to balance giving tickets with understanding residents having limited parking
        • 25’ from corner is illegal (doesn’t’ have to be painted or posted).  Try to keep crosswalks clear.
        • Call the office 5am – 11:30pm M-F; 6:30am-5pm Sat for immediate complaints (blocking fire hydrant, etc.).  Other more steady complaints, use See Click Fix/RRC Ms. Paretti Spinello’s contact info: mparetti@jcnj.org; 201-547-5538


  • Parking Questions from Community


    • Hoboken has modern system – can we do this instead of Band-Aid repairs?
      • In process of looking at permit programs connected to license plates
      • Muni Meters – tried in heights — didn’t work.  Downtown may be more familiar with their use.
      • Working on plan for pay by phone
      • Evaluating possibly re-creating the parking zones to be by Ward vs. how they currently are today
      • Happy to revisit resident only parking on one side of the street proposal
      • She is open to trying new ideas, willing to sit down w/ VVPA and other neighborhood associations to try and work on solutions
    • Shuttle busses by PATH – Police giving hassle to bus drivers, so the pickup location changes periodically without notice.  Community needs consistency re: what side of street to meet on.
      • Ms. Spinello will work w/ Commerce Dept to help address it.
    • Double parking on Columbus/lack of enforcement = danger for bikes and pedestrians.  Cops not there consistently.  Generally happens between 5-8pm.
      • Ms. Spinello will alert the parking officer in the area to increase focus/enforcement.
    • Has the department caught up on the parking permits computer issue?  [People didn’t know they had to re-up their permit because reminders weren’t being sent out]
      • They believe they are caught up, not 100% sure.
    • Parking options for non-residents?  Not a lot of options.
      • This needs to be looked into further in a more holistic approach w/ City
    • Can we modernize appeal system for tickets?
      • Municipal courts responsible for driving this process.
  • Mayor Fulop – Sci Tech City
      • Wants to clarify misinformation out there
      • Project has been out there for 2+ years and thoroughly thought through
      • Once in a lifetime opportunity to develop a world class science institution , train /develop/teach young persons on JC STEM, attract brightest mind
      • Property is 16 acres – was junk yard for decades, went through 3 decades of no one wanting it for development.  Not worth anything unless zoning and density is changed.
      • Not a gift, it is a partnership.  We share in revenue stream.  LSC not buying at market value bec then City would have to create a re-development that warrants sale at market value and the project wouldn’t happen.
      • LSC will have to raise $78M for project –will also try to get Federal funds/grants, etc. to offset the amount they have to raise.  After LSC recoups their investment, revenue stream will be split between JC & LSC according to prescribed schedule in contract.
      • If it fails, or any of the items are defaulted in the project, land comes back to the City
      • Plan is for a traditional public school K-12.  Will need to discuss more fully with Board of Ed when time comes with donor money
      • Protected not to transfer to a not for profit; Getting a school out of the deal
      • Questions from Community
      • What is plan to address impact of traffic, infrastructure, etc.
        • Will need to do site plan approval, including traffic study.
      • Source of Revenue flow?
        • Business incubator, tech lab, visiting professor housing.  Nurture small businesses to become large businesses
      • Where exactly is this located?  Is Liberty Humane Society being kicked out?
        • 16 acres south of LSC – not kicking out Liberty Humane Society.  Working w/ LHS on this.
      • Community engagement – was this fast tracked through?  Discussions with Ward F?
        • Has been out there in the public for 2 years.
      • Any educational institutions on board with this project?
        • None affiliated with the project as of yet.  But Mayor Fulop believes that it will be successful even w/o them on board
      • Jersey Ave Bridge: concerns that it will become a “hidden highway”
        • State earmarked $10 M for that bridge. Shovel ready.  Small piece of property under federal control – working it out with them.  Mayor does not have access to what designs are right now.  Goal: not use it as a cut-through.  Design it with islands, etc. or use calming measures or lights, etc. to address this.
      • Any similar projects in the city we can learn from?
        • Not that he is aware of.
        • Rolando Lavarro indicated NYC is building a tech hub where land was donated and this could be a comparator
      • He hopes you join w/ FOLSP and Morris Canal Group in supporting this


  • Councilman Yun – alternative viewpoint on Sci-Tech City from his constituents in The Heights


    • Agrees on Sci-Tech city idea.  But need to know small fine print
    • Not clear what the effect will be on tax bill and budget, especially in future
    • Land has value – concerns about transfer of land to JCRA who will sell to a designated developer.  LSC will hold land and lease land to private developers
      • Note: Lawyer on project says that statement is incorrect and that land has to stay in non-profit status
    • Concerns that after construction is finished in 7 years, developer may say that they can’t find people to rent space in Sci-Tech city then it will be filled with non-scientific residents.  Further, we may never see a penny in revenue.
    • Better option: Lease it; Propose: Sell land to JCRA who will sell to LSC, or lease land to private developer – rent income from builders.  Need to study financial benefit.
  • City Planner Annisia Cialone
    • Background: 11 year resident in JC.  Worked as an architect, and urban planner, doing urban design.  Represented community organizations for development oversight.
      • Believes it is important for open dialogue w/ city planner.  Focused on big ideas professionally.  Look to future and ask: what do we want things to be?  Have dialogue early and set vision for city and work within that vision.  Currently one-off discussions and approvals.
      • Best way to have input and dialogue?  Through neighborhood associations


    • Opportunities/Comments:
      • Master Plan
        • Tools need to be updated to match the vision and master plan (regulations, zoning, etc.)
        • She will have a detailed action plan with follow ups, responsibilities and funding to ensure that it is a living, breathing document.
        • Vendor will need to have a variety of community engagement sessions
        • RFP was drafted – stopped for now to make sure we do it right before we proceed, and wants to ensure adequate staffing to be ready for handling master plan
      • Increase citizen participation and involvement earlier in the process
        • Need early citizen participation codified by administration to get weight behind that requirement.  Creates partnership, saves time & money, reduces stress
      • Need better way to get information to the masses to prevent misinformation
        • Public Notice time should be advanced – will look at this.
      • End of compartmentalization of development – cutting up fabric of the city
        • Need an urban designer on staff in the city – she is working on that.  She has to develop comprehensive staffing plan and responsibilities to be able to fill position and get funding to properly staff.
      • Volume/pace of development in City – how will planning director be able to push back on this?
        • Need to continue to dialogue with Port Authority to address transportation concerns.
        • Mayor Fulop: Port Authority is reactive and they will adapt to our growth/change
        • PATH in capital plan extending cars and platforms
        • Need more imagination to get across the river
        • Intra city transportation – how to connect communities?  Transportation planner on her staff will be looking into this.  Will start Bike Mater plan (city-wide)
      • Access to Information
        • Office of Innovation – efficiency audit of the planning office, moving on many of the items.  More modern, better functioning office, getting ne system to get ability to digitize documents.
      • Community boards vs. neighborhood associations?  Could be a way to formalize the process and could get input from residents that don’t come to the neighborhood associations.
      • Blighting – why is the City doing redevelopment plans in downtown anymore?  Shouldn’t be blighting!
        • Brunswick Triangle.  Rehabilitation, not redevelopment.  Developers picking up parcels one by on and going to zoning for variances for more development.  Getting renovations for the nearby park.

New Business

  • Acquiring a building to make a museum near PATH system Journal Square

Adjournment – 9:20 pm

March 2017 Monthly Meeting Reminder & Important Updates

Just a friendly reminder that the next VVPA monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 21st at 7:00pm in The Barrow Mansion, located at 83 Wayne St.  Please note that there have been a few updates and changes to the agenda – there’s something for everybody at this meeting!

New Agenda ItemWe will have a short meet and greet with the new City Planner, Annisia Cialone, regarding her role and the City-wide Master Plan;

New Agenda Item: Come hear Council President Rolando Lavarro and Ward F City Councilman Jermaine Robinson speak about the Liberty Science Center/Jersey City Joint Venture (Sci-Tech City) which ordinance is on the City Council’s Agenda for 3/22.  Please also see the Q&A about the project, prepared by Mayor Fulop, which appears later in this email.

And, finally, let’s talk about what to wear to the upcoming Totally Awesome 80’s Prom!!

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!  Wine tasting to be provided by our friends at Jersey Wines & Spirits!

This month’s meeting features a meet and greet with new City Planner, a meet and greet with Assemblyman Chiaravalotti, the Executive Director of Parking Mary Spinello will answer prepared questions about parking enforcement in Jersey City, and Council President Lavarro  and Ward F Councilman Robinson to explain the Sci-Tech City plan and why they support it.


7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan
  • Events Committee Report – Marlene Sandkamp

7:25pm – 8:35pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

  • City Planner Annisia Cialone
  • Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti
  • Executive Director of Parking Mary Spinello
  • City Council President Rolando Lavarro and Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson

8:35pm – 8:55pm – New Business

  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community.

8:55pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

Q&A: Liberty Science Center/Jersey City Joint Venture (Sti-Tech City) – by Mayor Fulop

In an effort to clear up some misconceptions and to clarify some details, Mayor Fulop has prepared and shared with us Q&As regarding the new Liberty Science Center/Jersey City Joint Venture

Question: What is LSC relationship to Jersey City, I don’t believe LSC is invested in Our city?
Answer: LSC is invested in Jersey City
• Employs 101 Jersey City residents (33% of total labor force)
• 1,935 Jersey City families have LSC memberships
This will expand of course with SciTech city. 

Question: What is the current relationship with the Jersey City schools?
• 30,500 Jersey City students visited in 2016 (82% of student population)
• Provides free STEM education programs to 5,740 Jersey City students
and teachers by obtaining $465,000 in grant funding
• 100 Jersey City teachers participate in LSC professional development
programs annually

Question: Is this a gift to the Science Center?
Answer: No. This is a shared venture that the city benefits from as PARTNERS. The project will generate revenues for the non-profit (operating income, ground lease income etc.).   Over time, if you add up this surplus each year when it exceeds the amount of money raised in donations for this project.  At that moment this surplus will begin to be shared 50/50 with the City until the City receives its appraised value.  Once the City receives its appraised the split is reduced to 80/20 nonprofit/City forever.  So over time the City will eventually get more than its appraised value for the land.  This is truly a joint venture but City is protected in every scenario including ultimately getting value for the property beyond all of the other important benefits (school etc.).  The appraised value is really just a way to indicate when the split goes from 50/50 to 80/20.  With all that said, our goal is not about making money here but about further strengthening our city. 

Question: What is the risk to the city? 
Answer: None. The city is a partner in revenue and in the case of any violation there are reverter clauses if they don’t build the project, violate terms of the agreements or property is transferred to, or ever owned by, a for-profit entity then the entire property returns to the city. 

Question: Will this be a traditional Jersey City Public School?
Answer: Yes. This will be a Jersey City traditional public school. Cost of schools recently constructed in Jersey City have been more than $50million.  This will be at no cost to tax payers. 

Question: I heard LSC is losing money. Is that accurate? 
Answer: No. $4.5m in operating funds generated in FY16.  After debt service, capital investments in facility etc, lsc has $1.4m in net revenues from operations.  

Question: What is the attendance at LSC?
Answer: During the past four years, LSC’s attendance has grown 53%, to more than 650,000 visitors annually, making the Center the fastest growing established museum in the United States.  That growth should continue with the opening at LSC in December 2017 of the biggest and most technologically-advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, which will draw tourists to Jersey City and serve as an unparalleled educational resource for students and families in New Jersey

Question: The city gave LSC a loan in 2008. Was this load repaid? 
Answer: Yes. LSC borrowed $2.5M from UEZ in 20008/09; the loan was fully repaid by 9/1/2011.  There is no current debt to the city or state on the LSC balance sheets. Since the time of the loan nearly the entire board and executive leadership has been changed. They have taken a once struggling entity well into the black. 

Question: Why not sell the property? 
Answer: The current proposals are for a major convention center and hotel being built by a private developer. An alternative plan that some have suggested is selling the property for maximum dollars which would mean thousands of high rise condos in this location. Our administration doesn’t believe either of these plans are in the best interest of all residents with regards to the potential we have in creating a citywide asset like SciTech city at this particular city site adjacent to liberty state park. While previous administrations would probably have sold this for short term gain we are trying to invest in a city asset, build a new school and a new science hub for generations of Jersey City residents to come. 

Question: What will this mean to Ward F?
Answer: This will take vacant property and turn it into a $280 million dollar investment in Ward F (the largest ever) that will create permanent jobs, construction jobs, and define Bergen Lafayette as the home of the premier science center in the region. It will create a new public school and inspire generations of future leaders who will surrounded by some the sharpest minds in the world. 

Question: Will any board member or affiliate  be a developer of this project?
Answer: No.



We just received new information regarding this meeting and are passing it along to you.  According to City Council, due to the projected number of attendees, there will not be an opportunity for public comment at this meeting.  The two nominated candidates (Jermaine Robinson and Michael Griffin) may possibly speak at this special meeting.  City Council has indicated that residents should email their opinions regarding the candidates as soon as possible to Rolando Lavarro and copy all the council members.
As per the City of Jersey City website, council email addresses are as follows:

Council President Rolando R. Lavarro, Jr.  RLavarro@jcnj.org  
Councilwoman at Large Joyce Watterman jwatterman@jcnj.org 
Councilman at Large Daniel Rivera DRivera@jcnj.org 
Ward A (Greenville) Councilman Frank Gajewski FGajewski@jcnj.org
Ward B (West Side) Councilman Chris L. Gadsden CGadsden2@jcnj.org
Ward C (Journal Square) Councilman Richard Boggiano RBoggiano@jcnj.org 
Ward D (The Heights) Councilman Michael Yun MYun@jcnj.org 
Ward E (Downtown) Councilwoman Candice Osborne COsborne@jcnj.org



On Saturday, 1/21/17 at 6pm, there will be a special council meeting in City Hall (280 Grove St) to decide who will be the councilperson selected to represent Ward F.  Please make every effort to come out to voice your opinions and contribute to the discussion.  Help set the direction for your community by being active in this selection process!
All are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Spread the word: tell your friends and neighbors!

Ten Things You Can Do to Improve Your Neighborhood

18 Nov 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

As discussed at our last monthly meeting, many of us are looking for ways to become more involved in our community and to make a difference in our neighborhoods.  Councilman Michael Yun has come up with a simple list of ten ways we can all make improvements in our neighborhoods:

  1.  Clean up your sidewalk and curb
  2. As your neighbors if they need help
  3. Be quieter after 10pm every day
  4. If you have a driveway, do not park on the street
  5. Curb and clean up after your dog
  6. Attend community meetings
  7. Get involved in your local neighborhood association, or start one!
  8. Download Jersey City’s “See Click Fix” app and use it to report any problems
  9. If you see something – say something – report it to the police hotline (201) 547-5477
  10. Vote in your local elections!

Thanks to Councilman Yun for sharing his simple, yet effective ideas.

Sizzling Summer Happenings – Disco & Dinner!

19 Aug 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

Don’t forget about the two upcoming sizzling summer events: Disco in the Park and the Summer Sendoff Dinner Party!

This Saturday, August, 20th is the 3rd Annual Disco in Van Vorst Park from 7pm – 10:30pm


The Disco Ball will be up in the park and DJ Marvilous will be spinning the tunes as we dance the night away under the stars for the 3rd straight year in a row!!  At 7:30 we learn The Hustle from the amazing teachers at Jersey City Ballroom.  Food & snacks for purchase—dancing your shoes off all night is FREE!!

Friday, August, 26th is the Summer Sendoff Celebration!!  Dinner in Van Vorst Park from 7pm – 10:30pm

summer sendoff

Bring your dinner and drink to the Park, dress in your summer whites, and join us as we say so long to the summer!!


Tickets available through Eventbrite!

When: Friday, August 26th
Where: Van Vorst Park Gazebo
Time: 7pm – 10:30pm
Cost: $10/person
What to bring: Your dinner & drinks
What to wear: Shades of White, casual to semi-formal!
What we provide: Tables, chairs, utensils & plates, entertainment & dessert!
What’s it all about: Dining al fresco, meeting new friends, trying something new!

If you wish to sit with a group, please reserve as a group.  We will email early next week with local restaurants offering dinners to go at great prices!

How to Sign Up For Jersey City Connect

28 Jun 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

At the June 2016 VVPA Monthly Meeting, a representative from the Resident Response Center (RRC) shared information about the new application that residents should be using to file complaints with the RRC.  The new application is called Jersey City Connect and is available to download on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets, as well as through desktop computers and laptops.  Please see attached directions provided by the JC RRC.

Jersey City Connect Directions