The Filipino American Government Employee Association (PAGEA) of Jersey City toasted Double entry Celebration, as two of their own became full Cabinet-level heads of separate Jersey City departments. Serafina was recently appointed as the Finance Director of Jersey City, the second largest city in New Jersey. Eduardo Tolozo also received unanimous confirmation by the City Council (9-0) as the Tax Assessor. Jersey City is at the crossroad of becoming a great city again partly because of the Filipino-American contribution.
Serafina (Pining) is responsible for the city financial statement considered as the most political report by most analysts and what defines a local government. Current mayor, Glen Cunningham has realized the city needs Serarfina’s fiscal background and the solution to its ongoing fiscal woes. She is well known for her tough managerial skills but her uncompromising financial approach with objectivity is the excellent prescription for the struggling crisis that the city now faces. I had the opportunity of working for her for several years and I might be bias but she is highly intelligent individual. She graduated from the famous Accounting school, the University of the East. She moved to the United States after working for banking institution in Manila. She joined Jersey City government starting as an Auditor where she was immediately promoted to the City Controller position in the early 80s. She successfully converted the antiquated manual and cumbersome procedure into the computerized accounting system. The integration by computer and linking the various divisions from tax to payroll would soon be her permanent signature. She left briefly for a short stint with the Internal Revenue Service. She returned as the Chief Auditor just in time to evaluate the controversial Bulk lien sale that temporarily gave relief to city fiscal crisis. The funding innovation was so new that Wall Street and local government were caught off guard. Jersey city therefore pioneered the accounting procedure in the nation. She was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer in the late 1990s. It is her ability to teach accounting principles to all level of employees that left enduring respect among the subordinates. Her eternal vigilance in safeguarding various funds has at times exposed old bad accounting process that some city employees refuse to give up. She is relentless and sure minded that she never succumbs to political pressure in her performance.
Ed Toloza started as principal clerk in the City tax division and lately as the Assistant Assessor. During his employment the city complied with the State of New Jersey’s mandated property revaluation. The city wide of property revaluation done by private company in the 1980 has cost the city in tax collection. The court required tax refund to lawsuit court decisions due to disparity of the assessed value. Operating deficit continued as the various administrations try to balance tax abatement and secure funding for the faulty revaluation. It is against this back draft that the current mayor recognizes Ed’s experience as assessor that his peers in the county already knew. Confident that Ed will be able to manage a paramount distribution of tax based on an assessment that is as fair as his appointment.
PAGEA Dinner Party was held in NHA TRANG PLACE AT 249 NEWARK AVENUE (the former Miss Saigon Restaurant yesterday, July 16.
The big gala Fiesta celebration will be held Tuesday, July 22, 2003 at the Jersey City Hall. More than four hundred people are expected and eight (8) roasted lechon pigs are going to be served.
Everyone is invited to the swearing ceremony inside the City Council Chamber of Jersey City Hall.
Events are scheduled to start 5 PM complete with entertainment that would rival the Filipino-American yearly festival.
We need recognition without reorganization. The tide will rise.
Congratulation to the dynamic duo!