Report on Exchange Place Alliance Public Meeting, January 15, 2019

January 15, 2019

Dear Klara,

Overall, today’s meeting guarded good news.

At the Q&A, I asked Mr. De Marco if the Exchange Place Alliance intends to sue Jersey City to repeal the 19 December 2018 Ordinance. Mr. De Marco said that he “personally” has no plans to do so, but he can not say if other members of the Exchange Place Alliance may do so. Moreover, Mr. De Marco said that plans to build a “park” in Exchange Place “are on hold” following the enactment of the 19 December Ordinance.

The Katyń Monument is not in danger of being moved over the very near term.  Nevertheless, we must continue to be vigilant and work for two Jersey City Ordinances to strengthen the defense of the Katyń Monument.  This is why we need Jersey City residents, not only the Polish, to take the lead in lobbying the City Council to enact these two ordinances.

First, we must lobby for an Ordinance to make Exchange Place a Public Pedestrian Plaza, the first step in turning Exchange Place into Freedom Plaza.  This will prevent the Exchange Place Alliance from moving forward with plans they may have to turn Exchange Place into a so-called park, in fact, two driveways plus a restaurant where the Katyń Monument now stands.

Second, we must lobby the Jersey City Council to recognize a Stewardship Committee, which will prevent Jersey City residents from paying for clean-ups after events at the Katyń Monument, and for repair and maintenance of the Katyń Monument upon the recommendation of the sculptor, Mr. Andrzej Pityński.  I will not engage in any ideologically based quarrels, as I did at the caucus meeting Maria Scariati convened at, at Jersey City Hall, since the Stewardship Committee must appear pragmatic.

There are no plans right now by the Exchange Place Alliance to sue Jersey City for repeal of the 19 December 2018 Ordinance to keep the Katyń Monument in Exchange Place in perpetuity.  This does not mean that we should relax our vigilance.  Soon we may need to raise funds for the defense at law of the Katyń Monument.

Best regards,

John Czop

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