Mayor Lester Taylor's Agenda 2015

Holding Mayor Lester Taylor Accountable

Stated Campaign Goals Addressed

Stated Campaign Goals NOT YET Addressed

Lower Property Taxes - - -
Create new development in our city - -
Create good jobs for our residents -
Create a "better" educational system - -
Create Recreational opportunities for our young people +
Deal with adequate services for our seniors -
Deal with the issue of harrassment of our police department -
Provide both police and fire dept. adequate resources
to keep our community safe
- -
Develop a parking garage at or near Brick Church Station -
Additional Goals Quoted in Ebony Article 03/24/14:
"Make this community safer" - -

"Stabilize and reduce taxes" - - -
"Improve the city's unemployment rate" - -
"Create livable wage jobs" - -
"Use organized labor programs to train people and expose
them to career options" - -
"Prepare our students for college and careers" +

Reality Sets In...

Making Excuses for
EOWC Deficits

Yet ANOTHER EOWC Deficit and
Water Rate Increase!

2015 Tax Increase of 3.5%

Mayor appoints Terry Tucker to
Board of Education

South Orange Stops Buying Water
from East Orange Water Works

Poor Attendance at State of City

EO Schools Highest in Violence
and Substance Abuse 2013-14

Lester Taylor For Governor -2017

Uniform Crime Report 2014

Bread and Circuses *
First Annual Mayoral Ball
Second Annual Mayoral Ball
Held at "The Castle" in

* "The people did not realize
that they were merely recovering
a portion of their own property,
and that their ruler (mayor)
could not have given them
what they were receiving
without first having taken it
from them in taxes."
Translated from the Latin -
Decimus Junius Juvenalis
a.k.a. Juvenal c.100 AD

Holding Mayor Lester Taylor Accountable in 2014

This is what the Mayor HAS or HAS NOT done for us lately:


Here is a copy of the Budget which was approved by the mayor and city council on March 23, 2015. This is just a sketch of the budget. You should demand to see the full budget before approving it, but for now, just look at the section I have outlined in RED.

You may recall that I said last year that "we can only expect tax increases to continue next year and the following year, and so on. He(the mayor) has no clue about how to raise city revenue without taking it from those who own property in the city." You may have noticed that in the mayor's most recent message for April 2015, which still has not appeared on the city Web site, but is available on the city Facebook page, he states: "For the Calendar Year 2015 Budget, I have proposed a municipal tax levy increase of 3.5%, down nearly a point from last year's increase. That is an equivalent to a property tax increase of $212.70 a year, or $53.18 per quarter, for the average home valued at $175,000."

That's sounds good, until you realize that it is piled ON TOP OF last year's property tax and DOES NOT REPLACE IT. Last year (2014) we ended up with an increased tax rate of 4.908%, which represented a 3.9% increase from 2013. For the average household assessed at $175,000, this equated to an increase in annual taxes of $322.18, according to the mayor's letter of October 1, 2014 sent out with preliminary tax bills. So simply add last year's tax increase of $322 to this year's tax increase of $213 and the taxpayer living in an average home valued at $175,000 is NOW going to pay $535 more in taxes than was paid in 2013 when we changed mayors and voted for Lester Taylor who had promised over and over that he was going to LOWER taxes if elected.

Now we can see that the mayor has no intention of EVER LOWERING PROPERTY TAXES, but only ADDING NEW increases, no matter how small they appear to be each year until we finally dump him out of office. And the current city council will go right along with him, approving those increases and demanding no cuts in spending at all. The lavish parties and city give-aways will also continue because the mayor has his eyes on the governor's position in 2017.

Jim Gerrish 4/9/15


03/24/15 - What's Wrong With This?

On March 10, 2015, mayor Lester Taylor swore in Terry Swanson Tucker to replace Nicole Payne on the Board of Education. The news was relayed to The Alternative Press on March 24, 2015, by Nicole Wigfall, a FORMER Program Coordinator for Special Events under former Mayor Bowser. After all this talk about transparency, communication and accountability in his State of the City Address, does anyone have questions for the mayor? We know the mayor can appoint anyone to the Board of Education. We would expect him to choose someone who has background and experience in education. Instead, it seems that Ms Tucker's only qualification is that she works or worked for the Democratic committee - she has "connections" in the administration. But, according to the article in TAP, she "loves children." That seems to be her only connection to a position on the board of education. MAYBE she is qualified, but why was her appointment kept so hush-hush and why was the announcement of it handed off to someone who worked for Mayor Bowser? This is NOT being transparent.

It is time we got rid of this system of Board of Education appointments by Mayors, and move to an elected Board of Education by the people. I seem to remember the rejected Mayoral Candidate, KEVIN Taylor, wanted to start this process if he were Mayor by having a "partially elected school board, giving parents and teachers a greater say in running our schools." The mayoral candidate who actually won the election promised that he would "set goals for success and appoint only the most qualified and competent individuals to the school board and hold them accountable for results." When he won, we lost.



Links appearing in RED refer to the report published on 1/21/15 by NJ.Com, authored by Jessica Mazzola, NJ Advance Media for

“We are going to show people what urban is all about,” (Lester Taylor) told the crowd of at least 150 people at the Cicely Tyson Community School of the Performing and Fine Arts Tuesday night. The above composite photo by John Henry, published on the city's own Facebook page, shows the empty seats in the school's auditorium that seats 800 people.

I posted my rebuttal to the mayor's State of the City address in the comments at NJ.Com where they had a chance of being seen. I repost the rebuttal here with more detail and documentation to keep it from "accidentally" being erased.

Jessica Mazzola: "Taylor was sworn in to the city’s top job on Jan. 1, 2014. The 40-year-old is one of the youngest mayors in the city’s history."

And yet, on September 22, 2014, with only nine months "experience" of being a mayor, Taylor launched his campaign to run for New Jersey Governor in 2017. His Facebook Page opening his campaign for governor is at "Lester Taylor for NJ Governor 2017."

Jessica Mazzola: "His state of the city focused on many of his administration’s initiatives over the past year, which he said included an effort to increase governmental transparency and communication to residents, bringing economic opportunities to East Orange, and focusing on public safety and cleanliness in the city."

His entire speech should have consisted of what he did for the city in 2014, because that would show us the true state of the city as it is right now. There have been small increases in communication to residents, but as I have shown over and over on my Web Page to hold the mayor accountable (, he only pretends to have increased transparency when he gives a speech. The city budget is still not on-line so it can be clearly read and understood by the average citizen; there are no council agendas or minutes on-line; the city codes and ordinances are not available on-line. None of the mayor's many forums and speeches are available as written transcripts(including this State of the City speech) and of course, they are not available on-line.

Jessica Mazzola: "In 2014, East Orange reported a 25 percent decrease in shooting incidents, and a five percent decrease in violent crimes, Taylor said."

It's only his word against the State Police Report, and he has been repeating those same statistics since his October 2014 "Message" hoping they will be believed if he keeps repeating them, but fortunately, the Police report is on-line (and displayed above) showing a 10.6% INCREASE in violent crimes in East Orange. They have no report on "shooting incidents" but show that robberies in East Orange involving guns have decreased by 14.5%, while robberies using knives have increased by 50%, and that assaults by guns have increased 100%.

The rest of his speech is "pie in the sky" hopes and dreams for what could be, might be, may be... if all goes well. He doesn't say how building a golf course clubhouse and restaurant in Millburn/Livingston is going to "bring visitors to the city of East Orange." He talks about "redeveloping the Brick Church and East Orange train stations into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly town center, and an arts district" without giving away any details as to how that will actually take place in a practical business-like fashion. It's easy for him to day dream: “We intend to fully capitalize on (our neighbors’) affluence to bring (money) back into East Orange,” but with no business experience to make it happen the only way he has to redistribute wealth is to increase property taxes (he already has), charge residents more for their own water (he already has), and figure out new ways to get us all to pay to make his dreams come true (he's working on it.)

It was interesting to note that most of the other on-line commentors were more concerned to "discover" that East Orange has "900 plus" municipal employees. There were just under 900 when Lester Taylor took office - he has brought the number up closer to 1000 all by himself.

On 01/20/15, on the front sidebar of The East Orange True News, I made a "prediction" of what the mayor would NOT say in his State of the City address. My prediction was correct.

Lester Taylor Delivers State of the City Speech

I was not there, so I cannot tell you what was said, but I CAN tell you what was NOT said.

East Orange Homicide Casualty List for 2014

*Dana Jinks, age 46, found murdered on Park Avenue in EO 03/10/14

Isa Johnson of EO, age 24, shot to death on Fabyan Place & Hawthorne Avenue NWK, 03/29/14

Raheem Hughee of EO, age 33, shot to death on Mountainview Ave, NWK, 06/28/14

Kjuan Hall of EO, 25, shot to death on South 20th St, NWK on 07/29/14

*Edwin Gibson of EO, age 32, shot to death outside his home at Rhode Island Avenue EO, 09/5/14

Zoungo Sou-Oud of EO, age 34,shot to death at car wash on 18th Avenue, NWK, 10/12/14

Nafis Johnson of EO, age 34, shot on Avon Avenue, NWK 11/24/14

*Only two victims appear on the "official list" because they were within the borders of EO when they were murdered.

East Orange Homicide Casualty List for 2015

* Tyeshia Obie, age 21, shot and murdered while sitting in car on North Maple Avenue, EO, 01/05/15

Khendral Williams, age 29, killed in Hit & Run in Newark, 01/18/15

* Victims that were within the borders of EO when they were murdered.

No mention was made of the seven East Orange residents who were murdered last year, nor the two more residents who were murdered this year.

From: Commissioner’s Annual Report to the Education Committees of the Senate and General Assembly on
Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Public Schools
July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014
Published December 2014

There was NO EXPLANATION as to how our public schools were the highest in numbers of violent incidents and highest in substance abuse in all of Essex County this past year during mayor Taylor's watch.

There was NO EXPLANATION nor APOLOGY given for the mayor's inability to provide true transparency and accountability of government by posting the budget on-line and the city codes and ordinances on-line.

I was not there, so I am only guessing that the above statement is completely true. If I am wrong, play me the video recording of the speech and prove me wrong and I will apologize to the mayor and council.

01/21/15 Jim Gerrish - E. Orange, NJ


Next East Orange Council Elections
June 2nd, 2015
Time for a clean sweep of the East Orange City Council.

Former Council Chairwoman Third Ward - Quilla E. Talmadge
Four terms in office, since 1990.

Council Member - Andrea D. McPhatter
Two terms in office, since 2008

Council Member - Jacquelyn E. Johnson
Four terms in office, since 2000

Council Member - Sharon Fields
Two terms in office, since 2005

Council Member - Lonnie Hughes
Two terms in office, since 2007


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