An ordinance to limit Jersey City council members from reintroducing failed agenda items to once every six months brought comparisons to a totalitarian state by the councilman the item appears to target.
Councilman Steven Fulop said the ordinance was an attempt to silence him, and compared its sponsor, Council President Peter Brennan, to a Soviet premier.
“I suspect that it will pass… Brennan believes that this is the Communist Republic of Jersey City. No televised meetings, all political deals in smoky back rooms with the few connected getting wealthy, everything on the agenda must be monitored closely, and all enemies must be eliminated,” he said. “I understand the next ordinance he wants to propose is to send me to Siberia to break big rocks into little rocks”
Fulop, a reform advocate who is the only council member not politically aligned with Mayor Jerramiah Healy, has been pushing a reform package that would eliminate health benefits for appointees to the Municipal Utilities Authority and Incinerator Authority, televise city council meetings, and put decals on city-owned cars issued to employees.
The items failed to pass last month, but Fulop put them back on the agenda and said he would continue to do so until they passed.
Brennan could not immediately be reached for comment.
“The role of a Council person is to represent the public, not line their own pockets. The Council should be working to improve Jersey City and make government more open and accessible to all residents,” said Fulop in a written statement. “This ordinance strives to do the opposite by limiting what the public can see, hear, and read about what we do at City Council.”