Fulop asked to denounce his pick in Newark mayor's race

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
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on April 18, 2014

Mayor Steve Fulop


A group aligned with Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries is asking Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop to denounce Jeffries opponent Ras Baraka for accepting salary increases as a councilman while the city laid off workers.

The move comes after Fulop told The Jersey Journal this week that a proposal to double the salaries of City Council members in Jersey City is “shameful.” Newark First, an independent coalition of Jeffries’ supporters, said today it would be “hypocritical” for Fulop, who has endorsed Baraka in the May 13 race, not to call out Baraka for his own pay.

“If Mayor Fulop truly believes that city council members accepting a salary hike is ‘shameful’ in Jersey City, he ought to denounce Ras Baraka for lining his own pockets while Newark is struggling,” said Newark First spokesman James Freedland.

Requests for comment from Fulop were not returned.

Baraka, who commissioned a poll that shows him leading Jeffries by a large margin, makes $85,000 as a Newark councilman. As principal of Central High School, where he is on leave as he runs for mayor, he makes $125,000.

Baraka spokeswoman Tai Cooper dismissed Newark First’s statement as “silliness,” and noted that Jeffries' council slate has three sitting council members.

“The Baraka campaign will be happy to talk about this totally fallacious statement as soon as Shavar Jeffries discloses all of his secret donors and the amounts they are donating to him through Newark First,” Cooper said.

The Newark City Council came under fire in 2012 when the Star-Ledger revealed it is the best-paid governing body in the state.

Here in Jersey City, Ward D Councilman Michael Yun has proposed hiking council members’ salaries from roughly $35,000 to $75,000, saying the state’s second-largest city should have full-time council members.

Fulop, who while a member of the City Council suggested making the position full-time, blasted Yun’s plan this week, saying he would veto it.

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