That meant the introduction of several tax abatements, including one for the new $350 housing development being built on the site of the former Jersey City Medical Center.
That also meant listening to the public voice their dismay and anger over developers having influence in town while residents can't afford to live there. Residents also complained about having to pay an overbearing burden of the taxes that developers do not have to deal with.
And in a continuation from the previous City Council meeting on June 22, local members of the affordable housing advocacy group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) interrupted the meeting for about five minutes while they marched through the School 28 auditorium chanting, "What do we want - affordable housing! When do we want it - now!"
Six ordinances were introduced at this week's City Council meeting for abatements or tax exemptions. A tax abatement is an agreement to exempt a developer from paying regular property taxes. The developer usually makes a separate revenue deal instead. The city benefits because Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) money goes straight to the city rather than being split among the city, county and schools, like most local taxes. And developers can avoid dealing with the quixotic rise and fall of regular taxes.
But Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop voted Wednesday not to introduce two ordinances pertaining to the Medical Center transformation, as well as an ordinance extending the current abatement for the Portofino luxury apartment complex. Fulop was the only one on the council who voted not to introduce those three abatements.
The entire Medical Center project is projected to transform the old building into 1,200 rental and condo apartments, shops, a central courtyard, a dog run, a restaurant, a grocery store, and a parking garage with over 1,000 spaces.
The current owners of the Portofino building are planning to convert 283 apartments from rental to condominium ownership.
Fulop's opposition to the Portofino abatement is that the owners will get more than a $50 million in profit for transforming the building from apartments to condos. Fulop said that while he is not against abatements if they allow investment, he doesn't think they should be for personal gain.
Fulop opposed the abatements for the Medical Center on the grounds that the developer had promised when he was seeking to do the project that he would not look for abatements.
But all six of the abatements were introduced. There will be final votes at a later meeting. Residents speak out
During the public speaking portion, several residents spoke of being forgotten by the city's leaders.
Cheng Tan, the owner of the Golden Cicada Restaurant on Grand Street and a resident for 35 years, said that the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency is looking to take his property by eminent domain.
Lavern Webb-Washington, a lifelong Jersey City resident, said that developers should prove that they will hire local low-income and minority residents on the project sites as a condition for getting abatements. New issue
There were some new issues for the council to consider on the agenda.
The council approved a controversial resolution to pull money from Community Development Block Grant funds in order to finance the payment of federal loan that helped bankroll the Martin Luther King Drive Redevelopment Plan.
The plan has resulted in the construction of the area known as the "Hub" near Virginia Avenue, including a supermarket, two restaurants, and a spacious parking lot.
But that plan is in jeopardy as the joint partners in the redevelopment - the Martin Luther King Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation - are not on speaking terms.