The line above comes from a story that the Jersey Journal's Political Insider Augie Torres authored about Civic JC and the good-government outfit's leader, Esther Wintner, who is expected to seek election to the Ward B City Council vacancy created when Khemraj 'Chico' Ramchal resigned as part of a plea bargain.
A few weeks ago, Torres stumbled upon Esther and the other Civic JC executive board members, Aaron Morrill, Valerio Luccio, Rebecca Shapiro and Daniel Levin, as they huddled in a local diner to discuss Jersey City's long delayed property revaluation. In this particular Jersey Journal article, Torres made a number of flattering remarks:.
Wintner heads the good-government outfit
Civic JC is taking the high road... Yet like most champions of good government, it doesn't mean that they give up their individual right to take part in democracy
Wintner has strong community activist credentials,
Wintner took unsuccessful runs at the Ward B City Council seat in 2010 and 2013. Recently, there was an online petition in a push to have her appointed to the Ward B vacancy...
The columnist overlooked a couple details, however.
City Council has the power to fill the vacancy, not Mayor Steve Fulop. That begs the question of whether the governing body members have the courage to be independent rather than merely obedient. Nobody in Jersey City expects that.
More relevantly, Fulop has more to gain by seating Wintner as the Ward B representative rather than have her elected to the City Council in a special election in November. He really does not need to lose an election in the city right before he launches a statewide campaign for governor.
This would put Esther to work addressing problems instead of protesting outside City Hall. Instead of litigating her differences with Fulop in the pages of local newspapers, she would be talking them over with his staff, trying to wrangle the bureaucracy and persuade her council colleagues.
An old adage comes to mind that says, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." This might be an important test to discover if Fulop is a truly wise leader or just another insecure, small minded politician. If he is smart enough to turn a critic into a co-worker, maybe Fulop can go far.