They say the pen is mightier than the sword. But no one was trying to wield either at the mayor’s office in Jersey City.

Tell that to them.

Let’s start from the beginning of this itchy little tale. My colleague Kylie Moore wrote a piece a study that was done by Pest Gnome that came away saying Jersey City was the 10th worst city for bed bug infestations in the U.S.

Photo by Morgan Lane on Unsplash
Photo by Morgan Lane on Unsplash

She was clear in that it was their study, not hers nor the radio station’s, and was careful to include the metrics of exactly how they arrived as such a conclusion.

Cut to a couple days later when a chain of emails from Jersey City’s government arrived via Mayor Steven Fulop’s press secretary. She wrote to Moore expressing consternation on the unflattering study results. In the email it was claimed her article didn’t explain the metrics used, although it did list the exact metrics used and how they extrapolated their rankings.

Two things on this tempest in a teapot. In my humble opinion only, I believe the real reason this story was met with such anxiety by the mayor’s staff is that Mayor Steven Fulop is running for governor.

Farewell Ceremony
(Office of the Attorney General/Tim Larsen)

When your boss is running for governor, everything is a bigger deal. Anything less than flattering about his city is going to be have them go into public relations mode with an upcoming campaign. I get it.

Two, his press secretary is right to question the study. No one here told our readers how to feel about the study, and by Moore pointing out the methodology used it logically invites people to question it.

Look, here’s how a lot of these studies are done today. Companies trying to get a little press like Pest Gnome which hooks people up with various pest control companies in their area, does a study that’s not entirely scientific and many of us are smart enough to laugh at the results.

One of their metrics is simply a count of Google searches using keywords related to bed bugs and where those searches pop up more often. I can Google Lamborghinis and night terrors but it doesn’t mean I have either.

Also, even if there were higher amounts of bed bugs in a place with a higher population that would be completely expected. The denser any population cluster the easier for things like bed bugs to spread. Just like flu. That’s comes with the territory of a city.

Photo via S.Rohrlach
Photo via S.Rohrlach

But you know what else comes with the territory? More economic opportunities, more services and resources, more recreation, restaurants, nightlife, etc..

I take no sides in Fulop’s upcoming campaign for governor. But as far as how Jersey City is doing they’ve received multiple credit rating upgrades since he’s been in office, have the biggest and most diverse police force they’ve had in many years, and they’re finally developing in a serious way in places other than only the waterfront.

I asked the mayor’s press secretary Kim Wallace-Scalcione if Jersey City had their own metrics on bed bugs in Chilltown. According to their Health Department there have only been six bed bug complaints made so far this year.

Some bed bugs, a lot, or none, I think with the growth Jersey City is experiencing and the desire for housing going up they really have nothing to sweat over a little study that was reported.

Fulop is in a good position and, frankly, Jersey City should live up to that Chilltown nickname.

America's new #1 supermarket has 21 locations in New Jersey

The ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) analyzed data to determine which supermarket chains ranked highest in customer service. Even though some numbers appear to be the same, there are numerous factors that help determine the overall ranking across the U.S. that are not listed here.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

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