McKoy Goes on the Attack Against Sayegh in the Debate’s Closing Moments


PATERSON – Giving his closing argument for why he should be mayor of Paterson, Bill McKoy erupted on the perceived frontrunner at this afternoon’s debate, one-two punching behind an attack already leveled by rivals Pedro Rodriguez and Alex Mendez.

Rodriguez highlighted Ward 6 Councilman Andre Sayegh’s receipt of dollars from developers and his closeness in particular to Charles Florio, who loomed all debate long as the unmoved mover of an ongoing conversation concerning the city’s future.

“As long as the checks keep coming, he’s going to keep renting to a drug dealer,” complained Rodriguez, noting the worst conflict of interest potential in Sayegh’s relationship with residential renters.

“Because he’s taking thousands of dollars from developers, he’s not going to be able to represent the citizens of Paterson,” griped Mendez, who found himself on the receiving end of Sayegh’s point that Mendez has not made clear who is own donors are by failing to file reports with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

McKoy lingered longest on the argument, singling out Sayegh for his closing statement dressing down.

“Last time he ran we told him Paterson is not for sale,” McKoy said. “Now they’re not coming through the front door anymore. They’re coming through the back door. Councilman Sayegh has already told you he has no interest in being the mayor. He will pick a business administrator to run the city and he will be a cheerleader in chief.”

He objected to Sayegh’s continuing argument about being a relationship-builder, making the case that government service should not be a matter of making “friends” with fellow elected officials.

“No one is entitled to more or less services because they’re friends,” the councilman said. “Your constitution gives you the right to the same service.”

Allies of Sayegh dismiss the councilman’s attack, noting that he’s had almost 20 years in elected office and failed to translate that time into meaningful and sustained political capital, even as their candidate quickens his outreach efforts into the city’s African American neighborhoods.

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