Wednesday, November 29, 2017

To Pool or Not to Pool - Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher advocates for your input on NW Resiliency Park

Here is a note that went out to Hoboken residents regarding whether or not we should have a pool at the NW Resiliency Park or not from Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher. The City of Hoboken has a website where residents can provide input as to the features they want at the new park.

Dear friends and neighbors -

Do you want a pool in Hoboken (or not)?

If the your answer is Yes, then please fill out the survey in the link below by 11/30 for the NW Resiliency park and select "swimming pool" as your answer to the question about which features you want to see (answers are listed alphabetically so you will find it towards the bottom of the list).

If your answer is No or you don't care about a pool, please fill out the survey anyway and tell us what you would like to see in the park.

Click on the link: to learn about the park, and then click the red "Take Survey Now" button. Also, please plan to come to the public meeting on 11/30 at Wallace from 7-9pm to learn more and share your thoughts.

When I campaigned in 2015, I added "advocating for a pool" to my platform not because it was important to me (I am not really a swimmer), but because so many people I met said it was important to them.

Since then I have raised this issue at just about every conversation we have had concerning the new NW Park on the 6 acre former BASF site (4 of which are now the pop-up park). There are also many other features to consider as well for this park. I am currently on the subcommittee for the park and helped interview and select the planning and engineering group that will design the new park.

I have to say, what we saw in their presentations was pretty amazing with ideas for undulating terrain, trees, hills, and plenty of active space. All on a few city blocks in our urban village. So please be part of the process. And part of the vision. The survey takes less than a minute to fill out. Let me know if you have any questions.

2nd Ward Councilwoman

City of Hoboken Responds to NJ DEP Permit Application for Former Union Dry Dock Site

Just two days after both Councilwomen Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher sent out a communication urging residents to oppose the Union Dry Dock application to the NJ DEP application, the Zimmer Administration has followed suit and released this update:

City of Hoboken Responds to NJ DEP Permit Application for Former Union Dry Dock Site

After an evaluation by legal counsel, the City of Hoboken has provided formal written feedback to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regarding NY Waterway’s application for a provisional permit at the former Union Dry Dock site.

In a joint letter, Mayor Zimmer and Mayor-Elect Bhalla urge the DEP Commissioner to deny the application and ensure that the “entire transaction be fully evaluated in the light of day with full transparency for all interested parties. Unfortunately it appears as though the transaction has so far been conducted in a manner that appears intended to hide information from the public and from the City of Hoboken.”

The full letter from Mayor Zimmer and Mayor-Elect Bhalla along with a review of legal issues can be viewed at:

NY Waterway’s DEP permit application can be viewed at:

Editor's Note: The Zimmer Administration calls for transparency on the Union Dry Dock but did they know about this transaction before the election? It's a fair question to ask. Keep in mind for years Dawn Zimmer had the opportunity to negotiate for the purchase of the property but did not make it a priority. Now it appears to be a priority but it seems more like a face saving operation at this point for the lame duck Mayor. Share your thoughts below.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fischer Advocate for Union Drock Dock Site- Urge Citizens to reach out to NJDEP

This is from 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino who teamed up with Tiffanie Fisher to send out this message to Hoboken residents. Both Tiffanie and Jen voted for the right for Mayor Zimmer to use emminient domain as a tool to potentially acquire Union Dry Dock while Mayor elect Ravi Bhalla voted present in the same vote. If you should ever question advocacy look to this vote to see who supported this vote and who was potentially conflicted out.

From 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino:

Since 2011, I have been advocating to complete waterfront public park in Hoboken with the acquisition of the Union Dry Dock property. Most recently, I co-sponsored the resolution to add UDD to Hoboken's Open Space Plan, and then supported giving the administration the ability to use eminent domain as a tool to help facilitate the acquisition of the site.

Like many of you, I was surprised and dismayed to see that NY Waterway have been negotiating for months with UDD culminating in their indication of having recently acquired the site with the intent to move their fleet operations to the site. These operations will include storage of 20 ferries, refueling and maintenance for their entire fleet of 34 ferries, and potential for maintenance for their bus fleet which will bring increased traffic and environmental risks to an area that is surrounded by residential and recreational use.

I wholly support an expansion of ferry service for Hoboken and other NJ residents. But I feel that NY Waterways operations should be located elsewhere and that there should be a public process involving stakeholders to determine this. If you agree, then please help me advocate for this by sending a letter today (via mail) to the Department of Environmental Protection and tell them this. NY Waterway (along with UDD and NJ Transit) submitted an application on 11/14 for a provisional waterfront permit that will allow them to quickly set up operations as they exit their facilities in Weehawken.

To make it easier, below is a template you can use and edit before sending. Letters should be sent no later than today (11/28) if possible. I have also attached shown below a letter that 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher and I will be jointly submitting to the DEP urging them to deny the application. The UDD site sits in the 6th ward and the residents of the 2nd ward include many that are most directly effected every day. Tiffanie has been advocating for our public waterfront for several years and when she was elected in 2015 joined me in meeting with local residents and Fund for Better waterfront to continue advocacy for UDD.

Please consider sending a letter. If you would like to send, but do not have a printer, envelope or stamp, please let me know. We will offer to bring a letter to you tonight or pick one up from you with a plan to put a bundle together and send out tomorrow. Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue. Please let me know if you have questions or would like to see the entire DEP application - it is large so will need to be sent separately.

Sample Letter to NJDEP regarding Union Dry Dock: 

November 26, 2017
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Land Use Regulation
P.O. Box 420, Mail Code 501-02A
501 East State Street
Trenton, N.J. 08625
Attn: Hudson County Section Chief

RE: NJDEP Waterfront Development Permit Application by Port Imperial Ferry Corp. d/b/a NY Waterway for Block 259, Lot 1; 901 Sinatra Drive, City of Hoboken, Hudson County

Dear Hudson County Section Chief:

As a resident of Hoboken and someone who enjoys Maxwell Park, the Castle Point Skate Park, the Hoboken Cove Boathouse and uses the public access adjacent to Union Dry Dock, I urge NJDEP to reject the above referenced waterfront development permit application. This request from NY Waterway in partnership with NJ Transit is disingenuous, intentionally disregarding a 2012 agreement made by NJ Transit to not pursue the Union Dry Dock property for this use case. In 2012 NJ Transit clearly stated they “look forward to continuing to work with you [Hoboken Mayor Zimmer] as we continue to advance efficient, environmentally sound transit options for your residents and all the citizens of NJ.”

This proposal is anything but environmentally sound creating new environmental risks and quality of life issues for Hoboken. For more than 25 years residents, public officials and nonprofit organizations have invested tens of millions in public and private funds to redevelop the Hoboken waterfront. The city is extremely close to completing the vision of a contiguous public park along the Hudson River’s edge. This application jeopardizes all the progress the city has made to date and is grossly incompatible with the new development taking place along Hoboken’s waterfront. The proposed use is prohibited by local zoning laws and is in violation of the State’s Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Regulations.

In consideration of this, I ask that you please:

1. Deny this irresponsible application and hold an open public process to collect information from all stakeholders and discuss additional locations for NY Waterway to house their ferry maintenance, storage and refueling facility. The ferry system is an integral part of our mass transit system. We request a thorough examination of alternate sites and transparency in the process. It is our understanding Bayonne’s industrial waterfront has actively sought NY Waterway for years and in addition there are other locations owned by NJ Transit that are more appropriate and affordable.

2. Respect the current uses of the Hoboken Waterfront in vicinity of the Union Dry Dock site. Enjoyed by both residents and visitors there is currently a popular fishing pier, a skateboard park actively used by children of all ages, kids playground and swings, large grass lawn and a boat house including a natural sand beach to allow for free activities including kayaking. It’s an understatement to say a ferry refueling, repair and storage operation for 20 -34 ferries would be environmentally unsound and could destroy the opportunity for visitors and residents to fish, kayak or enjoy the public waterfront. In addition 20-34 ferries coming and going (using tier 1 diesel engines) and storage of large amounts of fuel would be a vastly different use case than Union Dry Dock currently operates creating new environmental hazards.

3. Uphold the state’s commitment to the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. CZM regulations (N.J.A.C 7:7 last amended Sept. 2017 – sections 9.46 Hudson River Waterfront Area and 16.9 Public Access) require public access be provided to the waterfront and the construction of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway for the 18 mile stretch between the Bayonne and George Washington Bridges. In Hoboken, this state-mandated public walkway has been nearly completed for the entire 1.5 mile length of its waterfront. The only piece missing is the 8 acre Union Dry Dock site. Approval of this permit destroys the opportunity to complete the vision.

4. Honor the 2012 NJ Transit decision to not pursue this proposal. New Jersey Transit Executive Director James Weinstein soundly rejected NY Waterway’s 2012 proposal in writing to Hoboken Mayor Zimmer “this is to confirm that New Jersey Transit is no longer exploring the acquisition of the Union Dry Dock property nor does the agency anticipate doing so in the future.” Thank you so much for your consideration,


Northwest Resiliency Park Design Session November 30th 7-9pm at Wallace School

From the City of Hoboken: 

Residents are invited to a public design charrette to work together with the Northwest Resiliency Park project team on design concepts for the park. The public charrette will be held on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 from 7pm to 9pm at the Wallace School Cafeteria, located at 1100 Willow Avenue.

Residents are also invited to complete the online survey for the Northwest Resiliency Park at

 Hoboken’s largest park will provide recreation and public space for our community. It will also be a fundamental part of Hoboken’s resiliency strategy by integrating green infrastructure and innovative stormwater management measures to mitigate flooding from rainfall events. In 2017, the City of Hoboken opened a temporary pop-up park at the site which will remain in place during the design process for the permanent park. The park is located between Adams Street, Madison Street, 12th Street, and 13th Street.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Season's Greetings from the Beth Mason Civic League- Christmas has Come Early

Beth Mason Civic League with Christmas Decorations up even before Black Friday
Beth Mason, former two term Hoboken City Councilwoman from 2007-201, has brought out the holiday cheer even earlier than ever this year. Her Beth Mason Civic League located at 12th and Washington Street was decorated this year in the Christmas theme even before Thanksgiving this year.

Beth Mason was not a factor (at least from what I could tell) in the 2017 Hoboken elections this year but was certainly busy spending time and money to bring some holiday pizzazz to Hoboken's premier shopping district. Washington Street has besieged by a poorly managed infrastructure project that is anywhere from 7 months to a year behind schedule and adversely hurting many small business owners I have spoke to. Politics besides, perhaps a little holiday festivity on street that is less drive-able than some war zones can't hurt. In all honesty, I find the decorations to be quite tastefully done as far as Christmas decorations go.

For the sake of diversity perhaps an additional menorah, some Denali inspired lights and a little Kwanza would add a little variety and inclusiveness. After all, Hoboken just proved it trumped hate with the Mayoral election results on November 7th.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from Mario's Pizza - Free Turkey Dinner from 1pm-8pm Tomorrow

Tomorrow for Thanksgiving, Mario's Classic Pizza will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal for free at their restaurant from 1-8pm. This tradition has gone back years and its a way for Mario Albunia and his entire family to give back to the community. Mario's Classic Pizza is located at 742 Garden Street in Hoboken.

No pizza tomorrow - just Turkey with all the fixins'
Here is a video clip of Mario Albunia talking about his Thanksgiving tradition: 

Talk of the Town - Juan Melli Hoboken's Communications Director Moving on to Private Sector and More

The holiday edition of Talk of the Town features some additional transitional news:

Juan in a Million - Hoboken's Communications Director Moving on to Private Sector:

Hoboken's communications director Juan Melli is leaving Hoboken Government for his new venture Progressive Strategies, a strategic communications firm. Working alongside Mayor Zimmer, Juan Melli did an excellent job of keeping the public informed and enhanced the City of Hoboken's website, real time HOP bus tracking via GPS, expanded social media options of Facebook and Twitter, helped create the Hoboken 311 ticket systems for public issue reporting and established Nixle alerts plus many other things not publicized. Juan is a multi-talented individual and was a great asset to the the City of Hoboken. Replacing him will not be an easy task.

Juan Melli - Founder of Progressive Strategies
and Hoboken Communications Director
Photo from Progressive Strategies Website

Juan had this to say about his new opportunity on Facebook:

"I’m excited to announce that I’m starting my next adventure with the launch of my strategic communications firm, Progressive Strategies. Check out the website at and drop me a line if you or someone you know is looking for communications consulting.

I’ve really enjoyed working as Communications Manager for Hoboken and will be staying on through the end of Mayor Zimmer's term. Years ago when she interviewed me for the position, I admitted I didn’t know how to do half of the things I thought the job entailed (as it turns out, there was a lot more I didn’t know). She said I could do it, and I’ll always be thankful to her for putting her trust in me. I can honestly say I looked forward to going to work *almost* every morning, and I’m going to especially miss all my great colleagues who made the job fun."

Here is wishing Juan all the best in his new endeavor. As editor of this website and getting to know Juan over the years, he is a man of great intellectual gifts, solid work ethic and the utmost integrity.

Ravi Bhalla making a deal with Mike Russo to become City Council President?:

Just when the hardcore Ravi Bhalla backers thought they had a dead horse with the at least temporary suspension of the Hoboken Horse Blog otherwise known as the Mile Square View or MSV, the editor reveals this tasty dish before the holidays: Ravi Bhalla is purportedly backing Michael Russo for City Council President. Say it isn't so? For real?

Future City Council President Mike Russo and backed by Ravi Bhalla?
Photo credit MSV aka Hoboken Horse
First off, the Grist for the Mill is a political rumor column but typically most of these columns turn out to be true and are based on at least one solid source with a record for being correct. The thing that makes this plausible is that Ravi only has 2 secure votes on the City Council. He has to negotiate with someone to get to 5 votes on the City Council to get his agenda through. But why Michael Russo? Heads are sure spinning over at Grafix Avenger's Safe Space trying to spin their way out of this one. For me as editor of the the Hoboken Resistance it's like having desert before a great big turkey dinner.

More on this story at MSV: Thanksgiving Grist Special: Ravi Bhalla backs Michael Russo for Council President!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Breaking: After Years of Not Being a Priority - Mayor Zimmer and Mayor Elect Bhalla Make Union Dry Dock a Priority

Holy pre-holiday news dumps Batman! First John Allen gets a political reward with a Chief of Staff position and now finally after 8 years, Mayor Zimmer decides it is time to act decisively on Union Dry Dock. From the Office of the Hoboken Mayor via press release and Nixle alert:

Hoboken Community Update on Union Dry Dock:

Mayor Zimmer and Mayor-Elect Bhalla are completely committed to moving forward with acquiring the Union Dry Dock site for public open space now that it is no longer being used by Union Dry dock as a boat repair facility. The City is working expeditiously to complete its own appraisal and will pursue all options necessary to acquire the property from NY Waterway.

The following joint letter was sent to NJ Transit and its board members to ensure that the existing NJ Transit leadership and the new Administration understand Hoboken’s clear position on this urgent matter:

NJ Transit has advised the City that it will be entering into an agreement with NY Waterway for the option to purchase the property. The City was also advised that NJ Transit intends to allocate $12 million in its budget for acquisition of the property.

Residents may speak at the next NJ Transit board meeting which will be on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 9:00am in the Board Room at NJ Transit's Headquarters, One Penn Plaza East, Ninth Floor, Newark, New Jersey.

Tiffanie Fisher Hoboken City Councilwoman Advocates for Open Space at Union Dry Dock Facility

Below is a useful list of contacts for those so inclined to advocate for the Union Dry Dock property to be allowed to become a park instead of a facility for NY Waterway. Open space advocates for years have stated the goal of of having end to end continuous access in Hoboken and this site is viewed as the last piece of the puzzle.

Union Dry Dock Hoboken - recent photo
Below is an email from Tiffanie Fisher Hoboken City Councilwoman 2nd Ward to a number of Hoboken residents to get the word out to your representatives. That is what citizen advocacy is all about.

Dear friends and neighbors –

As a follow up to my prior email [concerning the Union Dry Dock Property acquisition by NY Waterway], I wanted to provide some additional contact information for you.  I have spoken directly with both Assembly Members Chapparo and Mukherji, Senator Gordon and John Leon from NJ Transit.  All are receiving your emails so keep them coming.  At the bottom is a copy and paste version for different groups and a few suggestions on what you can say for each.  Feel free to use / not use or add whatever information you feel is most helpful.

I assure you that more voices are better.  So please reach out to as many as you can.  This is a great contact list so definitely keep for your records for future concerns.  

- Tiffanie Fisher Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward

Another photo of Union Dry Dock Hoboken - recently taken


Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Hoboken Mayor – or call (201) 420-2013
Steven Marks, Business Administrator – or call  (201) 420-2059
Ravi Bhalla, Mayor Elect – or call (201) 420-2000

City Council:

Jen Giattino, Council President - or call (201) 780-6779
Peter Cunningham, Council VP - or call (201) 562-7071
Mike Defusco, Councilman – or call (646) 372-4341
Jim Doyle, Councilman - or call (201) 792-9319
Tiffanie Fisher, Councilwoman – or call (201) 208-1674
Ruben Ramos, Councilman – or call (201) 401-7947
Michael Russo, Councilman - or call (201) 401-9687

Hudson County:

Thomas De Gise, Hudson County Executive – or call 201-795-6000
Craig Guy, De Gise’s Chief of Staff – or call 201-795-6000
Anthony L Romano, Hudson County Freeholder – or call 201-795-6001

State Level Representatives:

Governor Chris Christie - or call 609-292-6000
Amy Cradic, Christie Chief of Staff –
John Spinello, Dir. Of Authorities unit of Counsel –
Governor Elect Phil Murphy -
Pete Cammarano (different one), Murphy Chief of Staff – or
Matt Platkin, Murphy Counsel –
Brian Stack, State Senator and Union City Mayor - or call (201) 376-1942
Annette Chaparro, Assemblywoman – or call (201) 683-7917
Raj Mukherji, Assemblyman - or call (201) 626-4000
Bob Gordon, State Senator and Vice Chair of Transportation Subcommittee – or call (201) 703-9779

Federal Level Representatives:

Frank Schultz, Deputy State Director for Sen. Bob Menendez - or call (202) 224-4744
George Helmy, State Director for Sen. Cory Booker –
Gene Matorony, Chief of Staff to Rep. Albio Sires - or call (202) 225-7919

New Jersey Transit/NY Waterway:

NJ Transit Board -
Paul Wyckoff, Deputy Executive Director NJ Transit –
Eric Daleo, Assist ED of Capital Projects –
John Leon, Government Relations NJ Transit –
Steven Santoro, Executive Director NJ Transit –
Richard Hammer, Commissioner NJ DOT -
Armand Pohan, Chairman NY Waterway –

Neighboring Cities:

Gio Ahmad, Town of Weehawken Business Administrator –
James Davis, Mayor of Bayonne -
Steve Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City -

Copy and Paste version with suggested questions:

Hoboken Administration and City Council:

What are you doing to protect our waterfront now that NY Waterway have announced they are moving in? What are you doing to ensure NY Waterway (or their successor NJ Transit) find a permanent home for their maintenance facilities?;;;;;;;;;;

Hudson County and Neighboring Cities:

What can be done within the Hudson County waterfront cities to provide a better, permanent home for NY Waterway in a location that is more industrial in use than residential?  Please consider locations in and around Hoboken’s Lackawana Terminal or sites in Jersey City or Bayonne for the permanent location.  Can the lease with Lennar in Weehawken be extended to accommodate discussions for a permanent location?;;;;;;

Governor Elect:

Please say no to NJ Transit’s potential acquisition of NY Waterway site in Hoboken and/or their future acquisition of NY Waterway.  Please have NJ Transit locate any of its operations and future expansion NOT at the UDD site, but rather another location outside of Hoboken or via expansion of the existing sites at the north and south end of Hoboken.;;;;

State Representatives:

Please advocate for NJ Transit / NY Waterway to not locate their operations in the center of Hoboken’s waterfront.  Hoboken residents have fought for decades to have an end to end park in Hoboken.  Please consider moving ferry maintenance to Lackawana terminal or to locations outside of Hoboken including Bayonne.  Please work with the Hoboken administration to determine the best alternative for Hoboken and existing and future waterway passengers.;;;;

Federal Level Representatives:

Please advocate for NJ Transit / NY Waterway to not locate their operations in the center of Hoboken’s waterfront.  Hoboken residents have fought for decades, along with Senator Menendez, to ensure that Hoboken’s waterfront would be a public park for its residents and visitors.  Please consider ways you can support moving ferry maintenance to Lackawana terminal or to locations outside of Hoboken including Bayonne.  Please work with the State and Hoboken representatives to determine the best alternative for Hoboken residents and visitors and existing and future waterway passengers.;;;

New Jersey Transit/NY Waterway:

What can be done to provide a better, permanent home for NY Waterway in a location that is more industrial in use than residential?  Please consider locations in and around Hoboken’s Lackawana Terminal or sites in Jersey City or Bayonne for the permanent location.  Can the lease with Lennar in Weehawken be extended to accommodate discussions for a permanent location? Hoboken residents have been fighting for an end to end public park in Hoboken for decades.  Please work with the State and Hoboken representatives to determine the best alternative for Hoboken residents and visitors and existing and future waterway passengers.;;;;;;

Editor's Note:

It way end up being the path of least resistance that wins out in the end. Fighting NJ Transit should they decide to purchase the property from NY Waterway would be a big legal hurdle due to their power of eminent domain trumping Hoboken's. Perhaps settling for easements and givebacks could be the easiest way to go while allowing NY Waterway to use property as envisioned. There is already a cleanup initiative underway. Should NY Waterway eventually give up its plans to use this site then perhaps the City of Hoboken could buy it down the line. I am not saying that is the best option but could be the only one viable one from a legal and/or financial position.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Hoboken Resistance Rebranded to Hoboken Resistance and Advocate

Double Your Fun with two URLs instead of one
The Hoboken Resistance was born out of a desire to keep the big outside dollars from totally influencing Hoboken's future in the aftermath of the November 7th election. The top two candidates approached $500k or more in fundraising and literally drowned out anyone else from a chance of even having a real voice in the last two weeks given the constant TV ads and the free media from the nationally reported flier-gate incident. Grass roots reform is dead as we know it. Future mayoral candidates will have to pony up and raise at least $400k- $500k in funds to be able to compete for the low information voters it will take to get over the top. Until Citizen's United is repealed this will be the unfortunate state of Hoboken when it comes to electing a new mayor in the foreseeable future.

The goal of this website is to report on the issues as they come up with a focus on what is best for Hoboken residents and not political office holders, candidates or outside interests. Unlike to the unabashed propaganda over at Grafix Avenger where talk of revenge still rages on for the so-called winners of this election, the website endeavors to keep it policy focused. From time to time I as editor will call out propaganda when it is at its most egregious and as always I reserve that right under the First Amendment.

Based on my small informal focus group there was ironically some resistance to the name Hoboken Resistance. Although my focus group has no where near the funding of Stronger Foundations, The Super Developer PAC that funneled at least $50k in advertising to help Ravi Bhalla get elected, they made a few suggestions for alternative names. Keep in mind there used to be a far more menacing sounding group that was called Hoboken Revolt. Their purpose was to protest and advocate during the Robert's Administration fiscal mismanagement that could have nearly doubled our taxes with larger deficits and the bankruptcy of the HUMC.

For those that do not remember or were not here, a trip down memory lane:

No pitchforks, but angry protesters storm Hoboken City Hall

My solution is a compromise and the new name is Hoboken Resistance and Advocate. Depending on your mood or issue you access this blog-site in one of two ways: or

Take your pick. I have decided to give you two different flavors of the same brand. Two links are better then one. Double Your Pleasure. Double Your Fun.

City Council Candidate John Allen Named Chief of Staff by Mayor Zimmer and Mayor Elect Bhalla

Mayor Zimmer and Mayor-Elect Bhalla Announce New Chief of Staff:

Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced today that she will appoint John Allen to serve as Chief of Staff effective December 4, 2017.

“In consultation with Mayor-Elect Bhalla, I am appointing John Allen as Chief of Staff,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
John Allen New Chief of Staff for Mayor Zimmer and
Mayor Elect Ravi Bhalla - photo via Facebook
“John will help ensure that there is a smooth transition between administrations and will be a tremendous asset to Mayor Bhalla and the City of Hoboken.” "John has all the right qualities and experience to take on this important role in City Hall,” said Mayor-Elect Ravinder S. Bhalla. 

“I look forward to working with John as my Chief of Staff in 2018.” Mr. Allen is an attorney who specializes in the representation of governmental bodies, including boards of education and municipalities. He serves on the Board of Directors of Easterseals New Jersey, one of the state’s oldest and largest charitable organizations dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and earned his law degree at Rutgers School of Law. 

Editor's Note: 

There had been some speculation that perhaps former Zimmer Chief of Staff Vijay Chaudhuri would be appointed to be Ravi Bhalla's Chief of Staff but it looks like he is forging ahead with other opportunities. Vijay had previously resigned mid-week to join the Bhalla campaign as manager in late August.

As for John Allen, this is an interesting move for a full time lawyer in an established firm that actually brought in more in government contracts in the prior year than Ravi Bhalla's law firm according to the Michael Defusco campaign. Michael's prior assertions are referenced here with the following link:

In Hoboken DeFusco goes after Bhalla for adding political establishment attorney

We will have to see how this plays out but these appointments usually go to someone more junior and more familiar with the local political landscape then John has exhibited to date at least publicly.

Additional comments from Michael Defusco appear on Hudson County View's latest piece on the hire:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hoboken Mayor Elect Ravi Bhalla Unveils His Transition Team

Hoboken Mayor Elect Ravi Bhalla - Credit MSV 
From the Ravi Bhalla Campaign/Transition team:

Mayor-elect of Hoboken Ravi S. Bhalla has unveiled the leadership of his Transition Team. Chaired by Phil Cohen, the transition leadership includes 4 of the other candidates in this year’s mayoral election and two new Council Members, who will serve as chairs of key policy committees, along with other people with expertise in Hoboken government and civic affairs selected for these important transition roles.

Each Committee Chair is charged with preparing at least 3 substantive recommendations for implementation in 2018. Mayor-elect Bhalla encourages any Hoboken residents that are interested in joining the Transition Team and serving on one of the transition committees to send an email to Cohen identifying their area of interest and the committee on which they are interested in serving, which will be provided to the relevant Committee Chairs or Co-Chairs. His email address is

Based on the recommendations of the Committee Chairs, the Transition Team will assemble a report to be considered by Mayor-elect Bhalla and the members of his Administration. Mayor-elect Bhalla said, “One of the largest untapped assets of Hoboken is the intellectual capital of its residents. I encourage interested residents to participate in this process so our Transition Team can provide the kind of quality recommendations that will better enable us to hit the ground running.”

Bhalla went on to say, “I appreciate the participation of so many of my fellow mayoral candidates. This demonstrates unity in our common interests as a community, and promotes effective governance.”

Phil Cohen - Chairman of Ravi Bhalla Transition Team
Transition Team Chair Phil Cohen has a long history of active involvement in local civic affairs. He currently serves on the Zoning Board of Adjustment and has served on the Planning Board. He is the First Vice Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party and is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the United Synagogue of Hoboken, the past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Stevens Cooperative School, and the recipient of the Corporate Leadership Award from the Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation.

The Committees with their respective Chairs are listed below. Biographical information is available upon request:

  • Affordable Housing - Councilwoman-elect Vanessa Falco  
  • Arts, Music & Culture - Chris O'Connor & Liz Ndoye  
  • Constituent Service – Assemblywoman Annette Chapparo 
  • Drug Abuse Prevention – Angelo Valente 
  • Economic Development - Councilman Michael DeFusco 
  • Education - Councilwoman-elect Emily Jabbour
  • Infrastructure – Jon Otto & Stewart Mader
  • Public Safety - Freeholder Anthony Romano
  • Quality of Life - Mayor David Roberts
  • Small Business Development - Karen Nason
  • Transportation and Parking - Ron Bautista

Talk of the Town - Power Outages in Hoboken - Balloons, Seriously?

Welcome to the Talk of The Town, a periodic blog series that catches you up on the latest political rumors and happenings around Hoboken, our beloved Mile Square. It is similar in respects to Al Sullivan's or "Between the Lines" or MSV's "Grist for the Mill" columns in that only a single reliable source is necessary to publish but sometimes with a bit of political satire mixed in for some entertainment. Keep in mind that this editor does endeavor to be correct as possible on these columns but do take this with a bit of cautious skepticism as all discerning citizens should. For this first column I am going to start out with something more lighthearted given the heated Hoboken election season and everyone's need to tamp it down a bit.

Party Balloons in Weehawken Cause Power Outage in Hoboken, For Real: 

Around 10:15 PM in Hoboken, many uptown residents lost power for about 10 seconds last night. Then about 7 minutes later around 10:22 PM many of those same residents lost power again for about 10 minutes. In the end it was only a a minor inconvenience but happened during the 2nd half of a very anticipated Dallas Cowboys Philadelphia Eagles NFL game. Perhaps the  inconvenience would be best summarized in the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems. No known other power incidents happened after that time.

6th Ward Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino was responsive as usual. She wrote on Facebook last night:  "If your power went out it tonight it was apparently due to party balloons hitting power lines in Weehawken. Thankfully power is back."

Party Balloons in Weehawken Source of Power Outage

This naturally begs the question: Was Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner throwing a party after foisting NY Waterway and NJ Transit on Hoboken with their recent purchase of the Union Dry Dock site? Just kidding of course. Richard Turner is a popular Mayor in Weehawken and very effective serving his constituents. They said "Not in my backyard" and he proved to be far more effective than Mayor Zimmer who had years to acquire Union Dry Dock but never made it a priority until it was too late.

The last time this area had a power outage in the area it was due to a squirrel that blew a transformer several months back.It is clear to me now that Hoboken has a knack for unorthodox causes of power outages. At least one enterprising chef knows what to do with the leftovers.

No squirrels were harmed during last night's power outage

Hoboken Police detectives are reportedly interviewing 99 Red Balloons as an object of interest despite their heavy case load looking into the persons behind the pre-election racist flier depicting Ravi Bhalla as a terrorist. Not sure what the point is investigating nonmetallic red balloons other than being very thorough but it does at least give me an opportunity for an 80's flashback:

More juicy tidbits on the post election fallout tomorrow.

Friday, November 17, 2017

NHSA Update - 2018 Preliminary Budget Flat and Zero Percent Usage Rate Increase Projected! Yipee!

Your Projected Usage Rates are Flat in 2018 Hoboken!

Flat 2018 Budget with no usage rate increase:

Last night the NHSA Board approved unanimously 9-0 the preliminary 2018 Budget for first submission to the State of NJ for comment. The budget is flat compared to last year with $52,593,032 in Revenues and $50,737,897 in Total Appropriations. The good news is that for rate payers there is no rate increase projected for this year. The annual facilities charge is projected to go up only $4. The long term trend is that usage overall for municipal sewers is averaging about 1.5% less every year due to more efficient appliances, demographic changes in household sizes, and smaller capacity toilets that are driving consumption down in spite of recent development in the area.

Keep in mind this is the preliminary budget but if this should hold up it is good for ratepayers in all 4 cities served by the NHSA.

About the NHSA: 

The North Hudson Sewerage Board serves Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City and West NY communities. Each city has two appointed commissioners except Hoboken which has three. The current Hoboken commissioners are Kurt Gardiner (myself), Brian Assadourian and Ed Friedrich. 7 votes out 9 are required to pass any resolution so Hoboken does have veto power but has not used it since I started my five year term in February of 2016.

Executive Director Contract Renewed:

The contract for Executive Director Richard Wolf was also extended for another 5 years and unanimously passed by the board. Richard Wolf has done an excellent job with his execution and stewardship over the years and is a key to continued success of the Authority. As long as Richard desires to continue and is able to work there he will continue to have support from all the major stakeholders. All three Hoboken commissioners including Mayor elect Ravi Bhalla were in agreement in the contract extension and see him as a key to getting the third pump completed at the BASF site which will further help alleviate flooding and remain in CSO compliance for the Authority as a whole.

Mayor Elect Bhalla Outreach:

I did receive a call from Mayor elect Ravi Bhalla before the NHSA meeting last night. He expressed his support for the contract renewal. We also discussed our shared goal of seeing the third wet weather pump in Hoboken which will be funded by the Sewerage Authority but of course require cooperation from the Bhalla Administration in terms of integrating into BASF Park Design. Also discussed in the 9-11th and Madison Sewer Collection Improvement Project which will get out of design phase in February of 2018. I hope to continue to have a professional working relationship with Ravi with respect to these infrastructure initiatives.

NHSA Debt is down:

Through a program of graduated defeasance The Authority has paid down its debt. In 2013 that debt was $443 million and in 2017 it is down to $394 million, a reduction of $49 million in just 4 years.  Additional pay down of some debt in 2018 is expected to continue. The NHSA won't know the exact figure for 2018 defeasance until the budget is completed.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Viral Video - Mayor Elect Ravi Bhalla Gets Hugs - Hugs Chief Propagandist Nancy Pincus

Below is a PR video of Mayor Elect Ravi Bhalla hugging it out with residents of Hoboken courtesy of foreign media outlet AlJezeera. Winning the Mayorship of Hoboken as a Sikh has understandably been a milestone for people of that faith nationally and even in parts of the world where that faith is concentrated. The racist flier that first appeared on the Friday before the election insinuating Ravi was a terrorist has no place in our Hoboken politics. The vast majority of Hoboken residents do not subscribe to that world view and that was proven out by Ravi winning the election.

If this was an election stunt to try and suppress the vote for Ravi it truly backfired. In fact many speculate the flier drove higher turnout in Hoboken and propelled Ravi for the breakout win. Both Ravi Bhalla and Michael Defusco were the breakaway candidates due to their large campaign war chests and constant TV ads especially in the last two weeks of the campaign. Ravi in particular was the beneficiary of at least a $50k advertising campaign from Stronger Foundations associate with a union that wants to build large residential buildings at the NJ Transit site. It was Mayor Zimmer that railed against outside PAC money in 2009 but I guess in this election cycle it is anything for the win. Right?

Here is a video capture of Ravi Bhalla hugging it out with his chief propagandist Nancy Pincus. Nancy runs the website Grafix Avenger. During this campaign cycle Nancy and her small cadre of insiders have had a particularly nasty tone resorting to personal attacks about people's personal life, intelligence and even going so far as to assert not voting for Ravi meant you were racist. In my case I had voted for Ravi three times so that assertion is quite laughable. I support the First Amendment so anyone has the right to express themselves but speech also has consequences. Toxic speech and personal attacks from the author of Grafix Avenger and its insider commenters have no place in Hoboken just as a racist flier has no place. Anything for the win right? I have yet to hear Ravi or any elements of his core supporters or campaign denounce these attacks.

Local Blogger Nancy Pincus, a real Bhalla insider gets a hug from Ravi Bhalla

There were reasons for being a supporter of Mayor Zimmer both times and yet not supporting Ravi for Mayor and these are the top reasons why I went with someone else:

  1. Zimmer announced she was resigning and on the same anointed Ravi her successor. That rubbed many people the wrong way from the start. Even her many of her strongest supporters acknowledged that.  
  2. Ravi was less than candid with me about when he found out Zimmer was not seeking a third term. Another account had him finding out two weeks in advance when he said he only knew for a few days initially. Trust is both earned and verified.  
  3. I felt that Jen Giattino would focus on Hoboken day to day quality of life issues the most. She walks the street every day. 
  4. Ravi's line of work in seeking government contracts would lead to numerous potential conflict issues as an executive that are more easily dealt with as a legislator by simply abstaining.
  5. Jen Giattino had the best plan for future development in Hoboken, as commercial as possible. 
  6. Jen Giattino had the best financial acumen of the major four candidates and she showed that to me by voting no on the PILOT at Jackson Street. That deal was way too generous to the developer and harmful to the taxpayer and Jen knew it. Ravi Bhalla was chair of the Finance subcommittee in 2015 and not once did he call a meeting during that year. He has the intelligence but never has demonstrated the focus on finance which is key to being the head executive of Hoboken. 
  7. Hoboken needs more hotels. Jen voted yes on the downtown hotel. Sure its too tall but progressives like Jim Doyle and Ravi Bhalla don't get that you can't dictate what hotel model you want, it has to be economically viable or the developer won't agree, at least a smart developer.
  8. The Zimmer Administration became less than transparent in its last two years and Ravi would be more likely to continue that trend. I am hoping I am wrong now of course. 
  9. I felt that replacing almost all of the directors would be a good thing. Only Ravi Bhalla was the likely status quo on this issue. Washington Street project needs new management pure and simple.
  10. Jen was an outstanding Council President and displayed professionalism and an ability to work with others and unify. 
  11. Jen Giattino I knew would run a positive campaign. She did. Ravi did not.   
Hindsight is always 20-20 and based on my analysis of this election I don't think Jen Giattino had a path to victory as the results bear out for the following reasons:
  1. Ravi had a unique ability to fund raise outside of Hoboken due to his religion as a Sikh.
  2. Ravi and Mike Defusco had a huge head start. Jen started very late as did Anthony Romano. 
  3. Low information voters decided this campaign which limited Jen's strength of one on one campaigning and connecting to voters. 
  4. Mayor Zimmer's endorsement really mattered even if her favorables had dipped a bit. Her negative attacks on Jen also likely moved some voters fair or not. 
  5. The Mayor's office behaved politically even stopping Washington Street in late September due to a safety incident that idled it for a whole month. A whole month? Really?  
  6. The Mayor's email list was extensive and a valuable tool for camp Bhalla. 
  7. Mike Defusco proved to be a formidable campaigner and certainly earned his votes limiting Jen's support in wards 2,5, and 6 which she needed to win. 
  8. Being a Republican is one thing but the Bhalla campaign tried to paint Jen as a Trumpist. The irony is that some Hoboken Republicans did not support her due to to the fact she is too liberal. If I thought Jen was a Trump supporter I would not have supported her. Perhaps a Republican can't win in Hoboken. The playbook on how to eviscerate one is open public knowledge now. 
  9. The racist flier may have given Ravi a huge boost in sympathy vote. The turnout was very high for a Hoboken election coming in over 15,000. Without exit polling we won't know for sure but it is a safe bet the flier increased turnout. 
  10. The Giattino campaign was out executed. This was partially due to funding on her side the Bhalla campaign had three full time and experienced staff members that had success in the past. Jen needed more funding to get the right professionals and execute better. 
So when you add all that up should I have changed my vote? The answer is no. My first choice did not win and I sincerely congratulate Ravi Bhalla on winning but not in the way he won. I support the democratic process and more importantly checks and balances. 

I am hopeful that Hoboken will be reasonably developed, infrastructure enhanced, Suez contract resolved with full disclosure to City Council and public, our parks in progress completed and to see our day to day issues much better addressed than the previous administration. If Ravi Bhalla is able to work towards these goals this editor will give him support. If decisions are made to the detriment of Hoboken then the criticism will come forth in a measured and constructive way. As my traffic grows I will encourage my commenters to do the same.

Additional Editor's Note: I had a comical comment come from Grafix Avenger on her site that the video was not from AlJezeera. At the very end of the video this logo appears. Do you really trust someone who blogs that can't even research basic facts? I don't and helps explain why this website is needed in Hoboken.

This logo appears at end of video above.
Nancy Pincus proven wrong on basic facts once again. 

Hoboken Election Results - Final including provisionals

More for posterity than anything else, Here are the 2017 Hoboken Election Results over all. I will have more detailed ward and district breakdowns next week when the provisional votes are added to the City of Hoboken Clerk's office final document.

The winner of the Mayoral election was Ravi Bhalla with only about 33% of the vote. Ravi won Wards 2,3,5, and 6 and second place finisher Mike Defusco won Wards 1 and 4. 66% of the Hoboken voters voted for someone else besides Ravi Bhalla. Keep that in mind because there is no mandate and the result has prompted a group of Hoboken Residents to at least discuss the idea of instant runoff voting. Whether this leads to election reform is another matter.

For City Council Jim Doyle won re-election along with newcomers Emily Jabbour and Venessa Falco.

For the Hoboken BOE, the Hoboken Proud slate of Sharyn Angley, Chetali Khanna, and Melanie Tekirian won and will represent Hoboken's district schools for 3 years. Incumbent Peter Biancamano lost and just missing the number 3 spot by a little over 100 votes.

Rev. Alex Santora Opines on - Bhalla a Minority Mayor who needs to build bridges

Hoboken Mayor Elect Ravi Bhalla

Rev. Alex Santora, who I rarely agree with on Hoboken politics has some interesting thoughts on the Hoboken election outcome on the website where is a guest columnist. His opinion piece is that Ravi Bhalla is a minority mayor who needs to build bridges hits the mark on two major points:

Ravi will have to be his own mayor and build a working coalition:

"The voting results and City Council members do not augur well for Bhalla. And the factions among camps in the city need someone who can bring people together and build coalitions. The verdict on Bhalla is still out. Can he come out of the shadow of Zimmer who put so much on the line to get him elected? Ostensibly, Zimmer and her followers have hooks in Bhalla. I hope he is not her puppet. And the atmosphere is so poisoned that he has to be a healer."

The flier has all the makings of a Nixonian stunt: 

"I think this flier was in the line of a Nixonian dirty trick. For example, Bhalla ran twice before and his religion hardly registered a blip in the past. The media seemed ready to pounce so some people were getting information out there asap. Word was that a reliable poll right before the election showed a tightening race and Bhalla's wearing of a turban was the perfect way to get people to fight prejudice and give him a boost. I do not believe any of the other candidates engineered this and I think Bhalla was in the dark. Ferrante will do a public service by finding the culprits."

Again, I don't normally agree with Rev. Alex Santora on much, especially continuing the lawless Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade in its previous format that led to hundreds hospitalized and rampant debauchery in the past  but on this election he makes two insightful points.

Link to full article:
Bhalla a minority mayor who needs to build bridges 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Post Election Fallout- Defusco and Bhalla Battle Royale at Last City Council Meeting

At Monday's Hoboken City Council meeting the fallout of the contentious election season continued with an exchange between Mike Defusco and Mayor elect Ravi Bhalla over the racist fliers that were distributed on the street the Friday before the election. The manner in which the campaigns were conducted may have a lasting impact on how policy decisions are accomplished in the next 2-4 years.

The following video clip is from News Channel 4 NBC New York and discusses the City Council exchange between the top two Mayoral vote getters Defusco and Bhalla as well as a status update on the Police investigation of who was behind the racist flier depicted Ravi Bhalla falsely as a terrorist.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

City Council Update - Union Dry Dock Eminent Domain Approved

Last night at the Hoboken City Council meeting, the potential use of eminent domain to acquire the Union Dry Dock property was approved 8-0-1. The lone abstention was Councilman Ravi Bhalla who has also recently recused himself from potentially voting on the Suez contract due to his extensive legal connections.

This vote merely allows the current Administration and the Mayor elect to pursue negotiations with either NY Waterway or NJ Transit with the option to exercise eminent domain for leverage. A separate vote would be required to actually acquire the property should direct negotiations fail.

The Union Dry Dock site is the one remaining property that would complete a contiguous path along Hoboken's beautiful waterfront. Citizens and organizations like the Fund for a Better Waterfront have been advocating for its purchase for some time. The Fund for a Better Waterfront stated their opposition to actually using eminent domain in a letter dated 10/3/2017:

Fund for a Better Waterfront Letter 10/3/2017

The proposed use by NY Waterway is a bus depot and ferry repair station. A number of residents spoke out against the usage of that site in terms of traffic pollution and the obvious loss of aesthetics. It was mentioned that there are other potential sites in the area including Bayonne and Jersey City.

Editor's Comment: Eminent domain should always be a method of last resort. However, I thought in this case the City Council was reasonable in allowing the Administration the tool of eminent domain to use as leverage to keep the cost of acquisition in check based on current zoning evaluations or fair value. This leverage could save the taxpayer money should the purchase go through either way.

There are potential pitfalls to this and one of them is price of at least $11.5 million which was the price paid by NY Waterway. Additionally, it was revealed at the meeting that NJ Transit’s Eminent Domain authorities trump Hoboken’s (pun intended). This means if Hoboken is successful in acquiring the parcel, NJ Transit could then acquire it from Hoboken which is not good.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Hoboken Resistance Continues

In 2015 we had a Mayor in Hoboken Dawn Zimmer that was considered a reformer with a long list of accomplishments and had on paper and in practice a 7-2 City Council majority. Things looked bright for Hoboken’s future.

Remember, Remember the 7th of November

Fast forward to 2017 and we have a new Mayor of Hoboken handpicked by Mayor Zimmer that was propelled into office in a highly negative campaign. As a result we now have a 4-3-2 City Council or even a 2-7 split depending on the issue. The Mayor elect Ravi Bhalla, thanks to his negative campaigning and Dawn Zimmer’s botched baton toss has seen a split in reform due to poor decisions and flat out arrogance. Despite abandoning the principles of reform of running positive campaigns, resisting outside PAC money, and showing a lack of transparency at the end of her 2nd term Dawn Zimmer was able to elect her man. However, from where I sit it is a Pyrrhic victory with only a 2-7 City Council to start and so came at a great cost. Ravi Bhalla's biggest challenge will be to build a 5-4 coalition on the City Council but the 6 votes for bonding may turn out elusive. Simply ramming legislation down the City Council's throat will no longer suffice as Zimmer did since 2015. The role of the citizen advocate will be important as well to speak out and ensure good decisions happen going forward.

The reform movement as I once knew it is now dead but the Hoboken Resistance Movement is being reborn and I am assuming the mantle of leadership to just kickstart the new post reform era from those on the outside. I look forward to growing a collaborative group and sharing in the leadership with others who want to ensure Hoboken continues down the right path. 

This site is inspired by the role I once played in Hoboken pre-2009 when government was not working for the citizens of Hoboken. Finances were being improperly handled, PILOTS were being abused, bad hiring decisions were being done in form of patronage and infrastructure was being ignored. 

Join the Hoboken Resistance now and hold our elected officials accountable once again. Please retweet any posts you like from this with the hashtag #HobokenResistance. We must remain vigilant to ensure the progress we have made in the last 8 years does not succumb to fiscal mismanagement and big developer greed or horse trading for political advancement. Hoboken can be great only if our citizenry is informed and engaged. 

Ranked Choice Voting or Instant Runoff Voting In Hoboken as an Option

In light of the Hoboken election results with the Mayoral winner Ravi Bhalla only getting 33% of the vote due to the elimination of the runoff, there has been discussion of returning to the runoff elections for municipal contests. Another option is the instant runoff which requires no extra elections.

The organization has an option for voting reform called Ranked Choice Voting or Instant Runoff Voting. The link is here explaining the concept:

There is a new Facebook Group Hoboken Residents For Election Reform which has just been formed and already has 120 members. Of course not everyone will support this concept as to be expected. This change can happen for the 2019 Ward Council races either by ordinance or ballot initiative.

What is not clear yet if the ability to do Ranked Choice Voting has been made legal yet in New Jersey. There was an initiative in the NJ legislature but as of this writing it is not confirmed by this author if it has passed.

The link to the 2016 NJ legislative initiative is here:

Here are some features of the instant runoff concept:

Promotes Majority Support With ranked choice voting, if no candidate has more than half the vote in first-choices, candidates finishing last are eliminated round-by-round in an instant runoff until two candidates are left. The winning candidate will be the one with majority support when matched against the other. In a multi-winner election, ranked choice voting promotes majority rule because the majority of voters will always be able to elect a majority of seats, without fear that an entrenched minority has used gerrymandered districts to ensure they stay in office.

Discourages Negative Campaigning In non-ranked choice voting elections, candidates benefit from “mud-slinging” by attacking an opponent’s character instead of sharing their positive vision with voters. With ranked choice voting, candidates do best when they reach out positively to as many voters as possible, including those supporting their opponents.

Provides More Choice for Voters Too often, to avoid “vote splitting” in which candidates can and do win with very little support, efforts are taken to limit the number of candidates who compete. This limits voters’ choices. In some places, that means a low turnout primary election eliminates most of the candidates; in others it means restrictive ballot access laws keep out challengers; and in others it means that candidates are shamed into staying out the race. Ranked choice voting allows more than two candidates to compete without fear of splitting the vote.

Minimizes Strategic Voting Voters should be able to vote for candidates they support, not just against candidates they oppose most. Yet in elections without ranked choice voting, voters may feel that they need to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” because their favorite candidate is less likely to win. With ranked choice voting, you can honestly rank candidates in order of choice without having to worry about how others will vote and who is more or less likely to win.

Mitigates Impact of Money in Politics Too often, candidates win by barraging opponents with a slew of expensive, negative ads, rather than building a positive, grassroots campaign for support. Candidates who have run and won in ranked choice voting elections have been successful because they built grassroots outreach networks. Those more positive and inclusive campaign tactics cost less than polarizing negative radio and television elections, helping to explain why candidates seem able to win ranked choice voting elections even when outspent.

Saves Money When Replacing Primaries or Runoffs Many local offices are elected in two rounds of elections; either a primary winnowing the field to two followed by a general election, or a general election followed by a runoff if no candidate has a majority. In either case, the election that takes place outside of the context of the general Election Day often suffers from very weak and unrepresentative turnout, while raising issues of vote splitting in the first round and the possibility of disenfranchising overseas and military voters. Ranked choice voting can accomplish the benefits of a primary/runoff election structure with only one election, avoiding these issues while saving the jurisdiction the costs of running two elections. That's why ranked choice voting is often called "instant runoff voting" when used to elect mayors, governors, and other single-winner offices.

Promotes Reflective Representation Compared to winner-take-all elections, ranked choice voting in multi-winner contests allows more diverse groups of voters to elect candidates of choice. This promotes diversity of political viewpoint as well as diversity of candidate background and demographics. Even in single-winner races, ranked choice voting can promote the representation of historically under-represented groups like racial and ethnic minorities and women.

Update on Open Space Projects and Monday City Council Meeting 11/13/2017

Update on Open Space Projects and Monday City Council Meeting

This message from the City of Hoboken provides updates on three open space projects – the expansion of the Southwest Park, acquisition of the Union Dry Dock site for public purposes, and design of the Northwest Park. Two of the projects involve matters that will be considered at the upcoming Council meeting. Please note next week’s City Council meeting will take place on Monday, November 13th at 7:00pm.

Union Dry Dock
The City Council will consider an ordinance on second reading to authorize the use of eminent domain if necessary for the acquisition of the Union Dry Dock site. The City was just advised by NY Waterway that a subsidiary of NY Waterway had acquired Union Dry Dock for $11.5 million with the intention of using the property as a repair facility for its ferry fleet. NJ Transit advised the City today that it will be entering into an agreement with NY Waterway for the option to purchase the property. The authorization of eminent domain provides the City with the tools necessary to facilitate negotiations and does not mean that eminent domain will be implemented.

“Now more than ever, the City needs all the tools available to be in the strongest position to negotiate in the best interest of our residents,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Southwest Park
The City of Hoboken is seeking to acquire Block 10, Lots 1-7 and 30-36 for the expansion of the Southwest Resiliency Park for open space and stormwater management. The City’s first appraisal determined a value of $3.975 million, which the City Council previously approved as an offer price to the property owner. A second appraisal determined a value of $5.3 million. An ordinance to accept the second appraisal and authorize a new offer amount was approved on first reading by the City Council and will be considered for second reading at Monday’s Council meeting.

“This appraisal will enable the City to move forward with acquiring the property to create a larger Southwest Park separate from the redevelopment process,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Northwest Resiliency Park
Residents are invited to complete the online survey for the Northwest Resiliency Park at

The project team will also host a public design charrette to work together with the community on design concepts for the park. The public charrette will be held on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 from 7pm to 9pm at the Wallace School Cafeteria, located at 1100 Willow Avenue.

Hoboken’s largest park will provide recreation and public space for our community. It will also be a fundamental part of Hoboken’s resiliency strategy by integrating green infrastructure and innovative stormwater management measures to mitigate flooding from rainfall events. In 2017, the City of Hoboken opened a temporary pop-up park at the site which will remain in place during the design process for the permanent park. The park is located between Adams Street, Madison Street, 12th Street, and 13th Street.