Ward C Councilman Richard Boggiano has ignored challenger Kevin Bing’s invitation to a debate according to an announcement yesterday from the Bing campaign.
“We had hoped that a debate with an impartial and respected moderator would give the candidates an opportunity to explain their views on these vital issues and better inform the voters. Rich has ignored this request,” wrote Bing.
Last week, Bing wrote, “I invite Rich Boggiano to a public debate to be moderated by John Heinis of the Hudson County View. Voters in Ward C deserve to know where Boggiano and I stand on issues important to them.” Bing asked Boggiano to respond by Friday, Nov. 19.
Instead, on that date Boggiano trotted out an endorsement from Tom Zuppa, who finished third on Nov. 2. “With the issue of redesigning Baldwin and Summit Avenues taking a front seat in the runoff campaign, I am confident that Rich is the only one of the two candidates who is willing to listen to much-needed input from all of our residents before making a decision that will have a direct impact on the quality of life of everyone in our community,” Zuppa said.
Boggiano is attempting to make Bing’s support for bike lanes and the resulting possible loss of parking spaces the key issue in the race.
“While Kevin Bing plans to remove parking spaces in Ward C, I believe in creating more parking and more open space, and investing in public safety. I have listened to residents, and my platform reflects the issues that are most important to our community” wrote Boggiano.
Yesterday Bing countered that he had “received a wave of feedback from people who have been ignored, dismissed, or disrespected by Councilperson Boggiano.” Bill Armbruster, former president of the Journal Square Community Association (and a member of The Jersey City Times’ advisory board) charged that Boggiano had called him a liar at a public hearing and never apologized. “I would forgive him” if he did, said Armbruster. Former Editor of the Jersey City Independent, Catherine Hecht, said Boggiano had responded to only one of her many calls to his office. In that case he wrote only “‘YOUR WRONG’ (sic).” Trevor Batchelder said Boggiano never responded to his email about a program in Denver that deploys mental health professionals to emergencies traditionally handled by regular police.
Last week, Ward E Councilman James Solomon announced that he would co-host a fundraiser for Bing.
The runoff election will take place on December 7.