Newark Deserves Better


January 26, 2016


By now, Newark’s inadequate and shameful response to the recent disastrous snowstorm that engulfed the city is being universally condemned. And rightly so. Even as the storm wore on and it became apparent that the city’s clean-up mechanisms were inadequate to the task, the Mayor continued to flounder helplessly while the city was buried. Only later, when the complaints began to pour in, did the Mayor try to contact outside companies to deal with the city’s failure. Now, days after the storm, Newark and the Baraka Administration are still struggling to deal with the situation. Newark deserves better.

Of course, as the mayor has noted, the storm was stronger than expected. But it did not catch the city unawares. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and dozens of other cities had the same information and had to face the same storm. Yet, those cities somehow managed to deal with the fury of nature more effectively than did the Mayor and his officials. They generally had a plan to deal with the storm and capable people to carry out the plan. Newark had neither.

In fact, the Baraka Administration’s lack of planning and incompetent response are merely the symbols of a larger problem. Lack of planning and incompetence are now becoming characteristics of the Administration. Mayor Baraka, now more than a year into his term, still does not seem prepared to deal with many of the problems that continue to plague the city. An inability to deal with a big snowstorm is, we suspect, just the tip of the iceberg. When asked how he plans to deal with the financial, social, educational, or other problems that Newark faces, the Mayor responds with belligerence and dismissal. He questions the motives of the people who question him. He continually fans the flames of hatred and division that, in truth, have caused more damage to the city than all the snowstorms combined.

It is time for the mayor to start facing reality. Newark is unprepared to face the falling snow. It is equally unprepared to face the raft of problems that come with an uncertain economy, a sense of hopelessness in the city’s wards, a growing crime rate, and an inability to ensure that the city’s children have the proper educational tools to face the future with confidence.

The Mayor can start by making sure that his Administration is staffed by capable people who are up to their responsibilities. He can let us know his plans for dealing with the difficult problems of crime and poverty. He can ensure that the Mayor of Newark serves all the citizens of Newark.

At that moment, all that is certain is that Newark deserves better.

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commented 2016-01-26 21:31:46 -0800
Who wrote this? Who fact checked? The grammar & spelling sucks and the conclusions are off. DC is trapped under snow and face tremendous delays. The city reduced unemployment and attracting employers to the city. Finally, how does the author quantify hopelessness. The inductors does not allow us to see the problems Newark nor address said concerns. I wish this author spend more time editing and proving his or her conclusions.