Two things this morning, we're going to discuss the abject lack of common sense at 280 Grove St. but also check in with Jersey City's Most Pitiable Official.
First off, back in 2105 Jersey City discussed selling a parking lot on Academy Street next to the municipal court. Ward D Councilman Michael Yun (Or just Michael now to the media from Fulop's press agent, not the courtesy of Councilman or Councilman Yun) said that would be a bad idea, court workers and residents will need those spaces. Since the court is not scheduled to close why inconvenience residents he asked? But sell it the city did and now it comes to light was going to rent 30 parking spaces on Academy Street from Vaishno Ma Academy LLC, controlled by Raj Gupta of Gupta Development.
Who does this? Sell it so you can rent from it? What about the residents who used to park there? In Johnny's best Lewis Black voice, "Wait, there's moooore."
This part sure pricked up Johnny's ears when he read it (And there has never been a better Jersey City beat writer than Terrence T. McDonald, it's why he wins awards) and it obviously did with someone close to Mayor Fulop too:
As part of the deal, Gupta said he would provide free parking spaces to the city for 18 months.
The Guptas have had a past business and personal relationship with Tom Bertoli, an expeditor who was at one time a Fulop political strategist. The mayor and Bertoli had a falling out around September, when Fulop decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for governor next year.
"Unless the courthouse was going to disappear in 18 months, only a moron would make a deal for only 18 months," Bertoli said. "It doesn't make any sense."
Exactly, you have what Gupta wants to buy, get those spots in perpetuity, negotiating 101. You're still taking away from residents and some court employees but you have something. The court isn't closing. It's not slated to. You don't sell your house so you can rent it back out.
This plan seriously flirts with the Underpants Gnomes on South Park and their understanding of business:
They city's response? Jennifer Morrill said Michael Yun doesn't live in Jersey City. A claim she's tried twice this week when met with fair criticism of Fulop's policies or seeming lack thereof. As we discussed here yesterday, giant abatements for an area already heavily abated going against what the mayor ran on is fair game. Councilman Yun, again, Michael to Morrill, did that. This deal that once it came to light seems destined for the scrap heap of "Somebody turned on the lights" ideas is also fair game. The Ward D councilman did that and again, "Michael doesn't live here."
Johnny sometimes so pities Morrill. Let's look beyond the fact she's making a claim that's not fully substantiated about Yun not living in Jersey City. Morrill backed Healy on any question of former Ward C councilwoman Nidia Lopez's address (mea culpa Johnny met with Lopez four times when he lived in Ward C) and was pretty darned quiet when Lopez ran on Fulop's first mayoral ticket (and lost). She's OK with Lopez possibly being a Floridian but her first inclination is to be nasty and condescending to Councilman Yun calling him simply Michael. Is that really where the city has sunk to? The mayoral spokeswoman makes nasty digs at Fulop as Healy's employee and turns around and says nasty things about Healy as Fulop's charge. It's too bad we as a city can't get more mature and issue focused comments from the mayor's office. Snipe, slap, slag, swing, it gets old and really starts to insult the citizens of Jersey City.