Candice Osborne’s Email Update from Jan 30, 2015

Below is Candice Osborne’s email update from January 30, 2015…

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Happy New Year

Wow, we are already a month into 2015. It’s not too late to wish a very Happy New Year to all my Ward E constituents, supporters and colleagues who I have not had a chance to contact personally, as we face challenges new and old. Only by working together can we reach our goals to make city government work as effectively as possible and to improve the quality of life for all of us. Please join me in trying to make this year like no other.

Sign the petition and call the governor’s office to help save our park

We are in a fight to protect the fantastic recreational space we currently have in Liberty State Park. An Assembly bill includes last minute wording to put the state park under the partial control of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, which is set to merge with the Sports and Exposition Authority. This move could potentially open the park up to private development, according to a Star-Ledger article.

Please help fight this latest threat to the beautiful park. Sign the online letter of the JC Parks Coalition’s of almost 50 organizations, which urges the governor to veto the bill. Please also make your views known by contacting the governor’s office at 609-292-6000.

Start the year by volunteering for Big Brother Big Sister

I recently met with the organization’s president and CEO, Carlos Lejnieks. He reminded me how amazing the program is: for a child in the program, having a responsible friend to rely on can provide a moral compass, offer comfort during tough times, and boost his or her confidence to succeed both in school and elsewhere in their lives. For volunteers, being a big sister or brother to a youngster can be reward enough.  But since the program tries to match people with similar interests it can also be great fun too. Volunteers spend at least four hours a month doing something as simple as playing sports, sharing a pizza or even just hanging out and talking.  

If you think you can help, please consider applying by completing the short online application of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties. Volunteers are subject to background checks, must provide three references and successfully complete an interview. 

Volunteers needed to help respond faster to emergencies in Jersey City

Many of you remember helping me during our hugely successful community-based disaster response after Hurricane Sandy. Back then, social media helped us match volunteers to those who needed help. I am so excited to see the same principles as part of the new community 911 emergency response program that Mayor Fulop recently announced.

The new service, which has been tried and tested in Israel since 2006, harnesses GPS technology to direct community volunteers to the scene of a 911 emergency to provide first aid to a victim before the EMS ambulance arrives. When residents call 911, dispatchers will send an ambulance right away but will also use the United Rescue mobile app to locate any nearby volunteer who can respond to the scene faster.

Just like our experience with Sandy, for this program to be successful there needs to be goodhearted volunteers willing to be trained to help others when needed. Please consider signing up for this amazing program.

Snow Removal and Mini-Plows

No one needs reminding that the season for shoveling snow is upon us. Here is a quick reminder of the regulations for snow removal in Jersey City: shovel your sidewalk to create a path wide enough to fit pedestrians and strollers – and wheelchairs — within eight hours of a snowfall or dawn for overnight snowfalls. If you’re a business owner, you must do this within four hours. You can’t shovel any snow into the street – it has to be piled on the curb. Keep cars away from snow routes, and remember that meters remain in effect. Click here for the full list of regulations

This season the city is equipped with mini plows to provide relief for pedestrians who have had to trudge through snow that accumulates at crosswalks and intersections.  Also since the coordination of snow removal efforts now comes under the Office of Emergency Management, all the city agencies involved will be working as one to provide much more comprehensive coverage. If you have a concern please contact the Mayor’s Action Bureau at (201) 547 4900 or so the city can help you resolve the problem.

Let’s solve the parking problems and public safety issues together

Now that parking enforcement has been consolidated into the Department of Public Safety in Jersey City, I will be meeting with two representatives from each neighborhood association in Downtown Jersey City to discuss issues and concerns related to public safety and clean streets.

Please give your comments to your neighborhood association so representatives can discuss the issues you raise in a small working group. The Downtown associations include the Harsimus Cove Association, the Van Vorst Park Association, the Historic Paulus Hook Association, the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association, thePowerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association and the Village Neighborhood Association.

Utility companies must help preserve our pristine new streets

I am thrilled that the Jersey City Council has moved so fast to stop those utility companies that too often ruin our newly paved streets with sloppy patches to cover their excavation work. I want to thank my colleagues on the City Council who joined me to put an end to this wasteful practice by passing this common sense ordinance that I introduced just last month. The new rules are modeled on successful legislation implemented by Union City’s engineering department. A utility company must now re-mill and repave a street from curb to curb if it has been resurfaced in last 5 years. For roads that are older than five years, higher standards will apply to any patches. City inspectors will have to sign-off on the completed work. Jersey City will also publish schedules so utility companies can coordinate work with the city and avoid additional paving expenses.