Hudnut: Solomon Lost A Push to Hand the Jersey City Board of Education A Blank Check
JERSEY CITY – The City Council of Jersey City moved closer last night toward establishing regulations and a 2% municipal sales tax for cannabis sales. Through a consensus that the Council appears to have reached, the revenue will be split evenly between the Board of Education and social programs geared toward communities affected by the war on drugs. This consensus followed the input of Council President Joyce Watterman, Councilman Daniel Rivera, Councilwoman Denise Ridley, and Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey after Councilman James Solomon initially proposed handing the embattled Board of Education a blank check drawn from cannabis tax revenue.
“James Solomon continues to oppose the city having any say in how the Board of Education spends supplemental funds we send their way. His original proposed scheme for sharing cannabis tax revenue was a blank check to the Board of Ed,” said Municipal Prosecutor and Ward E City Council Candidate Jake Hudnut. “Now that the majority of the Council has wisely pointed this out and believes we should ensure that any money sent to the schools from this tax is spent with accountability, James is refusing to acknowledge the egg on his face and instead is touting a compromise that his irresponsible proposed forced.”
The nine-member Board of Education, which represents nearly 30,000 students throughout 42 Jersey City Public Schools, has been embroiled with issues ranging from fiscal mismanagement and a bungled reopening process during the COVID-19 pandemic to special interest groups becoming involved in campaigns that should instead focus on students’ needs.
“Our BOE draws a budget from our taxes that is bigger than the city’s budget, but still can’t meet the needs of our community, our children, and our teachers. Why should we give them more money without ensuring they will spend it wisely? James is more concerned with currying political favor with BOE members than he is in truly solving any of the problems in our local education system.”
The state deadline to approve a municipal cannabis regulation ordinance, including a tax plan, is August 21st. If the Council does not take this action, the City could potentially miss out on this revenue opportunity for the next five years.
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