Response by Rick Thigpen
"Public opinion is one more obstacle to the realization of a professional sports arena in Newark. The Newark Arena has clearly become some sort of a symbol in the public's mind separate and apart from the economic and other public policy benefits that may argue in support of it. How do you explain this strong public opposition, heaviest among suburban New Jerseyans, that is not tempered by whose money is being spent or even how much it costs? Are we hearing faint echoes of the eventful summer of 1967 or simply strong opposition to the thought of somehow being forced to come to Newark? What is clear is the political minefield that any proposal to use public funds to finance this deal will have to traverse. With such strong suburban opposition that is apparently impervious to persuasion, it will be more incumbent on Mayor James to take the lead and to find sources of funding beyond the reach of suburban opponents. This will be no small challenge."
Comment by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Academic Associate, Rick Thigpen (J.D., Columbia University Law School). Rick is a former Executive Director of the New Jersey Democratic Party and now a partner in The Strategy Groupand is a campaign coordinator for the Essex County Democratic Party.
Rick Thigpen, Esq. can be reached at (609) 394-0888.