At Stevens Institute Mayor Zimmer gave her 3rd annual State of the City address. Because of impending snow I had to miss the event for the 1st time, but thanks to UStream I got to catch it live. As she stated much progress has occurred during her tenure.
She covered 3 main areas. First and foremost was the impact of Hurricane Sandy and the destruction left in its wake. She also thanked Rebuild Hoboken Relief fund for their efforts in raising almost $1 million. Of course with her good relationship with Gov. Christie she will lobby hard for our share of federal relief aid. There were also thanks for our neighboring communities who also pitched in. I received many updates from her office via Nixel. If you have not signed up already, please go to:
On the left hand side you will find a link for email and text updates.
More important was her testifying before Congress that Federal Flood Insurance and rebuilding guidelines are not appropriate for an urban community like Hoboken, where it is impracticable for building's to be raised on stilts. Work on repairing Sinatra Park has resumed She also correctly stated that parks, green roofs, rain barrels and catch basins can all aid Hoboken’s flooding issue.
Even with new parks like 1600 Park coming online, I concur that additional pump(s) are needed. She also spoke of innovative ideas like retractable flood walls for southern and northern Hoboken. Ideas like this while having merit will have costs far beyond what Hoboken taxpayers can afford. This is why I hope that county, state and federal funding can be obtained. Other parks like Legion, Jackson. Jefferson, Mama Johnson, Church Sq. and Madison St have been renovated.
Of greater importance was her message to Theresa Castellano, Beth Mason, Michael Russo and Tim Occhipinti on the fiscal prudence of maintaining a cash surplus. These 4 fiscal incompetents had voted to zero out surplus. Had this held Hoboken would have had no money for overtime and emergency repairs. If they had their way a massive tax rise would be necessary. Because of this “rainy day fund” Hoboken can and will weather the storm. After cutting the tax levy for 3 straight years, I do not anticipate more cuts this year because of Sandy’s impact.
In 2013 we can expect Elysian Park to be renovated, batting cages and new turf for out little league, new restrooms at Church Sq. and have Sinatra and Castle Pt parks completed.
If not blocked by the minority hopefully work can begin on changing Observer Hwy. to Observer Blvd, making it a “complete street”.
In 3 short years the progress in Hoboken is breathtaking, tax cuts, modernizing City Hall, refurbished parks, no reform perp walks, bike lanes, high level concerts on Pier A (Cultural events like the NJ Symphony Orchestra and Mumford and Sons concerts were held last year this no doubt helping our merchants during this slow recovery) and next year Hoboken will be a host city for the Super Bowl. The Corner Car (now Hertz Connect) program is growing strong. Multi Meters continue to provide 30% more revenue and the two have created nearly 1,000 additional parking spaces. This is probably why the Hoboken Parking Utility no longer has a waiting list for their garages.
Hopefully Jim Doyle will soon be on the dais so this type of progress can continue.
The most major accomplishment is the privatization of HUMC. The debt with interest totaled almost $60 million and to environmentally decommission the facility, would cost another $20-25 million. A 130% tax rise almost happened as the minority scuttled and belittled the sale until the last moment.
Once again we have witnessed another year of progress in many areas. I hope that this can continue with November's elections.