Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Important Update from Mayor Bhalla on NJ Transit Plans to Aquire Union Dry Dock For Ferry Maintenance Facility

From the Mayor's Office via interim communication person Juan Melli on behalf of Ravi Bhalla...

Important Update from Mayor Bhalla on NJ Transit Plans to
Aquire Union Dry Dock For Ferry Maintenance Facility

Hoboken Union Dry Dock Site
Today the NJ Transit Board of Directors was scheduled to vote on purchasing the Union Dry Dock property and leasing the property back to NY Waterway for use as a ferry maintenance and refueling facility. The meeting was abruptly cancelled due to a lack of quorum. Following the cancelled meeting, NJ Transit issued a notice for a rescheduled board meeting at 10am on Friday, January 12, 2018.

 “Today was a tremendous victory for Hoboken, and more importantly, for good government,” said Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla. “Hitting the pause button on this rushed and ill-conceived plan provides NJ Transit the opportunity, under the leadership of the incoming Murphy Administration, to begin a deliberative and transparent planning process that considers input from all stakeholders, including the public. Any further attempts to subvert this process will be met with fierce resistance from me, and I pledge to use every resource at my disposal to protect Hoboken’s interests.

Thank you to Governor-elect Murphy, who understood the need for local voices to be heard on this matter. Thank you to Senator Menendez and Senator Booker for their advocacy. And a big thank you to Senator Stack, Assemblywoman Chaparro, Assemblyman Mukherji, the Hoboken City Council Members, and all of the advocates and residents who have been united on this issue.”

My Editorial Comment:

I have four basic points on this issue in response to this press release and here they are....

1) If it is affordable to do so Hoboken should  try to buy the property and continue the idea of completing the contiguous waterfront. Mayor Zimmer had 8 years to do so but it was never a high priority for her. Ahead of it on her priority list was HUMC, SW Park, NW Park, Washington Street and many other projects. You can't do them all as they say. On this I see eye to eye along with Tiffanie Fisher, Jen Giattino, Peter Cunningham and now new Mayor Ravi Bhalla to at least give this approach to take a shot and see if we can block NY Waterway's proposal.

2) Is the Union Dry Dock affordable with NJ Transit threatening to use eminent domain and relocation costs? It might be that the City of Hoboken can't afford the potential steep price tag. In that case I would support some sort of right of way compromise and limitation of bus parking.

3) How is a delay in a meeting only pushed back a major victory? Let us not count our chickens before they are hatched. Only the end result is what matters.

Old adage: Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

4) 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher should have at least been mentioned by name. She has been out front on this issue and even went to Trenton last week with Ravi to advocate on behalf of Hoboken residents. Same goes for Councilwoman Jen Giattino who did not attend but has been very active in her advocacy as well. Why they were left out by name is bad form if you want to be considered a uniter.