Updates

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.

Agenda:

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?
Answer:
• 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.

 

NEW INFORMATION  

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:

TITLE NAME EMAIL ADDRESS
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

Disco

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!!

LIMITED SEATS —  MUST RESERVE BY WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24TH!

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

VVPA Monthly Meeting Reminder

16 May 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

Just a reminder that the next VVPA monthly meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday, May 17th) at 7:00 PM in The Barrow Mansion, located at 83 Wayne St.  See you there!

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!

This month’s meeting features a meet and greet with James Shea, Director of the Department of Public Safety for the City of Jersey City (rescheduled from last month), along with guest speakers June Jones from the Morris Canal/Lafayette Neighborhood for a meet & greet, and Bridget D’Souza discussing the Team Wilderness program.

Agenda:
7:00pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore
7:05pm – 7:30pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:30pm – 8:00pm – New Business – Community input is welcomed for any new issues/concerns affecting our community.

  • Maureen Crowley of the Embankment Preservation Coalition – Donation Request

8:00pm – 8:50pm – Guest Speakers

  • James Shea, Director, Department of Public Safety – Meet & Greet
  • June Jones, Community Activist from the Morris Canal/Lafayette Neighborhood – meet & greet as part of the VVPA’s “Meet Your Neighbors Initiative”
  • Brigid D’Souza, Community Activist, discussing the “Team Wilderness” program (a new program aimed at bringing JC high school aged kids on outdoor / wilderness events, like hiking, kayaking, etc)

8:50pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

CORRECTION TO MAY NEWSLETTER:  In the May newsletter, we incorrectly stated that Tuesday, May 17th is NJ Primary Day.  Primary date June 7th, registration ends May 17th.

February 2016 Monthly Meeting Reminder

16 Feb 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

Just a reminder that the next VVPA monthly meeting is tonight (Tuesday, February 16th) at 7:00 PM in The Barrow Mansion, located at 83 Wayne St.  See you there!

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!

This month’s meeting features a recap of the immensely popular DCNA Town Hall Meeting held on 1/26/15, discussion about the current and future status of the Pedestrian Mall, as well as two developer presentations.

Agenda:
7:00pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore
 7:05pm – 7:30pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Bright & Varick Committee Report– Ceci de Leon
  • Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:30pm – 8:00pm – New Business

  • DCNA Town Hall Meeting (1/26/15) Recap [Click here to access the video of this meeting — thanks, Yvonne]
    • Community Action Items / Follow Ups
  • Community input is welcomed for any new issues/concerns affecting our community.  In particular, we’d like to hear from you about the future agenda items / guest speakers you’d like to see at our monthly VVPA meetings.

8:00pm – 8:45pm – Guest Speakers

  • Pedestrian Mall – Brian Platt, Office of Innovation, JC Mayor’s Office
  • 87 Bright Street
  • Proposed Development Project at the foot of Jersey Avenue near the Morris Canal Basin – Architect Jay Valgora

8:45pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking