Paterson Art Factory Gets Temporary 30-Day CO to Host Sayegh Mayor’s Ball


Mayor Andre Sayegh’s controversial One Paterson group began sending out invitations to guests for their second annual Mayor’s Ball fundraiser late last month. Its location, the Art Factory, at the time, did not have the required occupancy certificate to host the event.

“I just got it back,” said David Garsia, owner of the Art Factory, referring to a certificate of occupancy on Monday morning. He didn’t have it on July 3, when the Paterson Times asked the city for a copy of its building’s CO. It has been approved for a temporary CO which must be renewed every 30 days on July 11.

Some local activists have raised questions about One Paterson hosting their fundraiser at the controversial location without a certificate of occupancy in recent weeks. “Suddenly they have a temporary CO?” Who else gets this kind of access? Asked political activist Ernest Rucker. He alleged that the mayor had “pulled the strings” on the Art Factory.

Under pressure from activists and critics from the mayor, David Gilmore, director of Community Improvement, which deals with building code enforcement in the city, has faced increasing pressure to take action against Art Factory.

“My interest here is public safety,” Gilmore said Monday. He said he did not want a ghost ship-like incident to occur in Paterson under his watch, referring to a fire at an artist-turned warehouse in Oakland, Calif., Which has Killed 36 people in 2016. “At least I did my part. I don’t want it on my watch or on my conscience.

Gilmore met with the mayor and his corporate administrator to discuss the situation several weeks ago.

Sayegh referred the calls for comment to lobbyist William Pascrell, III, chairman of One Paterson, a 501 (c) (4) welfare organization.

” It’s not my problem. It’s their problem, ”Pascrell said of the Art Factory. It’s not One Paterson’s job to verify if the Art Factory has a certificate of occupancy, he said. “The place hosts weddings. They had over 100 weddings last year.

Garsia Hall still does not have a dance and entertainment hall license. Last year, the mayor’s ball featured live music and dancing.

“We don’t do entertainment, we dine,” Pascrell said. “We will have music, but there will be no dancing.”

Pascrell said the venue does not provide music for the event. A lawyer, Pascrell said the dancing license is for nightclubs. He doesn’t think the venue requires an entertainment license.

“No performance, spectacle or entertainment of any kind will be given in a street or in a building or other place of the city for any price or gain whatsoever without first obtaining a license for this purpose, as provided for. hereinafter by this chapter “, reads the local ordinance. require venues to have entertainment licenses. “No owner, occupant or other person having the property, possession or control of a house or other building or land or premises in the city shall knowingly undergo or allow representations, shows or entertainment specified in this chapter are presented, performed or performed on or on this chapter, unless a written license to do so has been issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. “

Garsia said he had gathered applications for both licenses.

“He wouldn’t have to get an entertainment license. If he’s going to pursue him, that’s fine. It has no impact on our event, ”said Pascrell.

The second mayor’s ball is scheduled to take place on July 31. Tickets range from $ 150 to $ 1,000. Sponsorships range from $ 5,000 to $ 10,000.

Some well-heeled promoters – the owners of Center City Mall and Charles Florio – are boycotting the mayor’s ball due to friction with the Sayegh administration. The two bought tables at the ball last year.

Last year, One Paterson raised $ 240,000, mainly through the Mayor’s Ball at Brownstone. This year, the Brownstone will host the event at the Art Factory.

One Paterson donated $ 30,000 last year to improve local ball fields.

“OnePaterson seeks to improve the quality of life for all who live, work and play in our city. By working with our neighbors, local businesses, the mayor, his administration and city council, OnePaterson strives to create a vision for a safe, prosperous and prosperous Paterson, ”explains the second page of the annual prom event. mayor.

Pascrell reiterated the group’s mission.

One Paterson has been the subject of criticism since its inception. Some have criticized the group for not releasing its donors, fearing that companies and individuals could contribute to the group in return for favorable treatment from the Sayegh administration. The group said it would consider releasing the names of donors.

When the group launched their website “as a platform to uplift the historic city” and showcase their work on July 1, some board members objected to having their photos on the “Meet Our Team” page. .

A Paterson quickly removed the photographs of the nine board members from the website.

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