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Zimmer: 2012 Will Be The Year of Parks

Mayor Dawn Zimmer focused on quality of life issues during her second annual state of the city address.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer reflected on 2011 and focused on quality of life improvements for 2012 in her second annual state of the city address on Wednesday night at the DeBaun Auditorium on the Stevens campus. 

In front of a crowd of about 200 people, Zimmer delivered the roughly 30 minute speech. Zimmer was introduced by Stevens Institute of Technology President Nariman Farvardin, who celebrated his one-year anniversary as a Hoboken resident.

"I believe in Hoboken, 2012 will be known as the year of parks," Zimmer said, promising that as well as Frank Sinatra Park will be opened this year. "We finally have the approvals we need, and Frank Sinatra Park and Castle Point will be reopened in 2012. We will be bidding out Frank Sinatra Cafe to transform it and make it a go-to destination for our residents and visitors."

Zimmer also announced upcoming renovations to Jackson Street Park, Jefferson Park, and Legion Park on Willow Avenue.  

While last year, Zimmer promised her audience a tax cut, this year she said she wanted to focus on improving quality of life and did not mention reducing taxes. One of such topics on Wednesday night, was the potential of extending  

"A north Hoboken stop would be more cost effective and better for Hoboken," Zimmer said. "It could be combined with a proposed light rail stop to make it an even stronger transportation connection." 

Besides the city's infrastructure, Zimmer said she also wants to improve City Hall's infrastructure, improving the city's website and creating an online service request system. Starting this year, residents will be able to get their parking permits online. After the re-wiring in City Hall is complete, Zimmer said, there will also be a 311 system in place.

The mayor looked back at a tumultuous year that included and the sale of the Hoboken University Medical Center. 

"I must say," the mayor said, "2011 was one heck of a year."

And no Hoboken speech is complete without looking at the city's parking problem. While the mayor discussed the , the city will be creating a "parking master plan" in 2012.

Present in the auditorium were city directors, the mayor's staffers, political junkies as well as elected officials. Former Mayor David Roberts was in attendance, as well as Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr. and Councilmembers Jennifer Giattino, David Mello, Carol Marsh and Beth Mason. 

Mason, the only one of the mayor's opponents to attend the address, said she would have liked to hear more statistics and facts. 

"I disagree with the budget," Mason said, adding that a was created because "we spent the surplus." 

While Mason said she agrees with the mayor on parks and development, she said she has concerns about the public safety in town. Zimmer on Wednesday night said that more Class II officers would be hired, to ensure the safety of the city. 

"Jobs and budget are my biggest concerns," Mason said. 

Zimmer mentioned the recent and said that the city will be announcing the arrival of another large company to Hoboken soon. 

"Very soon we will be announcing that a world-class company will be coming to Hoboken," Zimmer said.

On the topic of development, Zimmer said that the city will be appealing the Department of Environmental Protection'sto the proposed Monarch at Shipyard development—two eleven-story towers built on one of the city's uptown piers. 

"My administration will always do everything it can to ensure that new development is done in a way that does not put unacceptable additional strain on our infrastructure or transform our City from the one we love into somebody else’s development dream," Zimmer said. 

Jabberwock January 29, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Hobbs, thanks for your comments - I appreciate that you and GA realize that I'm not some operative, just your neighbor and fellow townie. But, I am a bit disappointed, I'm those 101 Marshall (later sky club) alarm bells (i.e. notices around town) were yours. The concerns about that project came true with added flooding in the SW. Areas that were zoned low and industrial were done that way FOR A REASON. It isn't relevant that someone could make more money on that land if the infrastructure or character of the town can't support growth. In the north or anywhere, I'm all for more mass transit - but I've got a keen eye to any spin. I'll support zimmer to the nines on any fight she wants to have with developers. Are we going to turn our backs on the uptown folks that are, for example, opposing Monarch, so the rest of us can either a) have a park or b) have another subway stop in town? That's not 'reform,' that's 'hey, my needs/wants are more important than your quality of life/condo value...whatever. Special shout out to ThisMeansWar: was beginning to wonder if s/he could type anything other then bajardi isn't on mason's elect report. Would be nice if that was a tentative way to start joining in the dialog with the rest of us not in either camp.
Hi January 29, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Sorry cassandra, but there will be additional development in Hoboken and that has always been a certainty no matter who is in office. The question has always been is the development of the three remaining areas (NW-SW- NJT) is how to best make it a positive as possible for all of Hoboken. One of the reasons I am most certainly pro administration is that Mayor Zimmer has always said and followed thru on her goal that any development in Hoboken has to be a net positive for Hoboken. No City Administration has been more open and tried to incorporate as many points of view from the public as the Zimmer Administration. I would suggest you and anyone else join in and make your point of view known. I do not and have never spoken for the Zimmer administration, but I have been vocal in agreeing with them when I think they are correct. I think they have been correct much of the time and see them as agents of positive change in Hoboken. Enjoy the rest of the day. :-)
Hi January 29, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Jab, You are correct that after my ummm "discussion" with the now infamous Al Arrezo, I was the first I think to sound the alarm bells on 101 Marshall Street, which thankfully was picked up by many in Hoboken. Unfortunately, the Roberts Administration was not willing to do much more than make excuses for the massive up-zoning his appointed Zoning Board gave away to the developers. I am happy that the debate the project caused did some good. Small changes to 101 Marshall Street ceptic systems etc... and it helped energize many more people to step up and be heard. The make up of Hoboken's Zoning Board has also changed in my opinion for the better. I do not think that a rational case can be made to keep large parts of Hoboken zoned industrial. Real estate realities agree. Office space would be good and from what I have heard this Administrations has been working on that as well. Making the NW and SW suitable for redvelopment will take massive amounts of new infrastructure and that can only be done in two ways a redevelopment plan or the taxpayers pick up the tab. I am in favor of having the developers pay. The Monarch project is not being ignored the Zimmer Administration in fact it has been very vocal for being against it and hopefully will be stopped. Hopefully everyone will keep an eye on all development plans both large and small and add their opinions to the mix and Hoboken can grow and evolve into an even better place to live.
Jabberwock January 29, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Thanks Hobbs, yes, I know the Zimmer Administration is fighting Monarch - I support that fight wholeheartedly. I've also been told that she recently joined forces with Mile Square Taxpayers (developers in disguise,) so forgive me if I just hold my breath on this and hope for the best.
Redrider765 January 29, 2012 at 09:27 PM
And in the history of Hoboken, most of the people running this town either were former city employees or had family & lots of friends on the payroll so they didn't keep an eye on spending or really care about taxes. If you spending under control, the last person you vote for is someone connected to where all the tax dollars go.

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