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A Hoboken Blog about politics and events.

Archive for April 2009

Prehistoric Sidewalk Chalk Drawings Discovered in Hoboken

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Prehistoric Sidewalk Chalk Drawings Discovered in Hoboken

Hoboken, NJ – Ancient chalk drawings recently uncovered on sidewalks in Hoboken appear to have anticipated the current mayoral race.”TOMVINCENTFORMAYOR.ORG” and “VOTE TOM VINCENT” are among the messages apparently left by a mysterious and ancient civilization.

“It’s remarkable that these prehistoric people were able to anticipate the correct format for modern URLs.” said one archeologist who chose to remain anonymous, “This changes our entire picture of early indigenous peoples in the area. They were far more attuned to future local politics than we had originally thought.”

The chalk drawings were found along well-travelled pedestrian routes to Hoboken’s PATH train station which only adds to the mystery.Now that they’ve been exposed to the elements, experts disagree on how long they might remain visible. The drawings can be found on sidewalks along Hudson and River Streets below Newark Street.


Ancient and mysterious chalk drawings on Hoboken sidewalks.

My comment: As you might have alreaady guessed, this is a press release from Tom Vincent. More and more he is begining to resemble the candidacy of Thomas Vezzetti , former Mayor of Hoboken.

Tom Vincent’s Campaign website: http://tomvincentformayor.org/

Written by reformerusg

April 30, 2009 at 9:15 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Discussion Thread – PILOTS

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Just a little fun- Are there good reasons for some PILOTS?

I want to start a discussion thread about PILOTS to get the focus of this blog back onto topics that really matter to our city. One of those topics is the ever controversial use of PILOTS or payments in lieu of taxes. Basically a developer will make an arrangement with the City to make certain payments directly for a development project to the municipality and bypass county and school tax obligations. Some say that in theory the City should get more revenue but the reality to date has been something far less than that promise. Here are a series of questions to get the discussion going…..
– Are current PILOTS as implemented by both the Roberts and Russo Administrations fair to other taxpayers footing the bill?
– Was the extension of the Church Square Towers PILOT for another 10 years in the best interests of the fiscal health of the City or does the need to keep the status-quo more important for social and community reasons?
– Should PILOTS ever be used for new development in the City?
– If so, what should they be used for?
– Should PILOTS ever be used for residential or only commercial development?
– Should PILOTS be used for Senior or lower income housing?
– Do PILOTS hurt the City’s financial present and future?
– What is the ideal length for PILOT if it must be done? 5 Years? 10 Years? 30 Years? 99 years?
Editors Rules: Keep this on topic and no mention of personalities other than those who are running for office or have held office and voted on this topic.

Written by reformerusg

April 30, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Beth Mason Letter on HUMC Earlier this Week

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Here is a statement from Beth Mason published earlier this week (4/25) regarding the HUMC and its importance to the community:

Dear Editor:
I wanted to take this opportunity to share my view on the importance of the Hoboken University Medical Center to the people of Hoboken. Healthcare is one the most significant issues facing our society. Spiraling costs and the absence of care for so many of our fellow citizens has created a severe crisis across the United States. This crisis has also affected our own area, leaving many of our neighbors vulnerable and frightened. Hospitals have not been immune to the crisis with closings and deep cuts. And, yet, many continue to provide remarkable care day in and day out.

And our hospital (formerly known as St. Mary Hospital) has been one of them, providing care for our neighbors, friends and visitors for generations. Each day I meet someone on the campaign trail who tells me that they have a relative who was born or whose life was saved by a doctor or nurse at the hospital. Clearly, HUMC is a vital part of the fabric of Hoboken. And that is why we must make sure it remains viable and economically solvent.

For years, I have remained steadfast in demanding that the hospital adhere to the highest level of openness and professionalism. That is the kind of commitment the doctors, nurses and other staff members provide to patients. It is incumbent on the administrative professionals to do the same thing. The people of Hoboken are the stewards of the Hoboken University Medical Center. And the stakes are high. Complete transparency regarding the financial well-being of the hospital is essential.

As a parent of two children and resident for almost 25 years in Hoboken, I understand and greatly value our hospital. And that is why I remain vigilant in demanding the highest degree of integrity from those running our hospital. That is what the people of Hoboken deserve.

Sincerely,
Councilwoman Beth Mason

Candidate for Mayor

Written by reformerusg

April 30, 2009 at 4:15 PM

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Beth Mason Event – Moms for Mason

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Update 4/30/2009: One more Moms For Mason Event remains, coming up this Friday May 1, 2009 from 9:30-11am. If any one has photos from this morning that you would like to share please submit to kurt.gardiner@gmail.com.


Here are come upcoming meet and greets at Mayoral candidate Beth Mason’s HQ on 315 Washington Street:

MOMS FOR MASON
Friday, May 1
9:30 – 11:00am
315 Washington Street

Stroll on over to campaign headquarters to meet The Mason Team for One Hoboken and free coffee and donuts.

Written by reformerusg

April 30, 2009 at 2:30 PM

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Meet the Independents – Tonight at Texas Arizona – 6:30PM

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The independent candidates for City Council and Mayor are getting together tonight at Texas Arizona for an informal meet and greet:


Meet the Independents:

Some of the independent mayoral and councilperson candidates invite you to an informal meet and greet tonight, Thursday April 30th. The gathering starts at 6:30 PM at Texas Arizona at 76 River St. This event is pay as you go and all are welcome. Drop by for a drink and get to know your candidates in a more informal setting.

Confirmed Candidates Attending:

Ryn Melberg Mayor Candidate
Frank Orsini Mayor Candidate
Tom Vincent Mayor Candidate
Chris Carbine Council Candidate
Timothy Occhipinti Council Candidate

My Question: Does anybody know what happened to Patricia Waiters, the other City Council Candidate not on a slate? She was scheduled to show for the Hoboken Candidates Forum but never showed up. Comment below if you know. Thanks.

Written by reformerusg

April 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Photo of the Day – Little League Parade

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Here is a photo from the Hoboken Little League parade several weekends ago:

Written by reformerusg

April 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM

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Reader Mail – Jonathon Metsch Endorses Zimmer for Mayor

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Here is an email I received from Jonathan Metsch that endorses the candidacy of Dawn Zimmer for Mayor. He is writing this on behalf of himself and not any tax advocacy organization that he happens to be a part of.

Editors Note: If anyone else wants to submitt a letter to the editor endorsing ANY candidate to this site email me at kurt.gardiner@gmail.com.

A Case For Mayor Zimmer – by Jonathan Metsch

As we prepare to vote for Mayor, it is important to be clear on the differences between the three major candidates.

Mr. Cammarano’s oft repeated position is that if every Council member voted for the ’09 budget as he did, Hoboken would be OK because the State would not have taken over. Of course he ignores and offers no plan to address Hoboken’s $15 million structural deficit, that he is obviously ready to keep buried like Mayor Roberts.

Mr. Cammarano talks about SMART PILOTs but offers no specifics. He objects to the State Fiscal Monitor starting a Property Revaluation, saying this should be left to elected officials (who have not done it in 20 years). He sees the Board of Education as an elected body, not accountable to City Hall.

Mr. Cammarano thinks that the City taking over the hospital was an incredible value to Hoboken but he cannot calculate the City’s exposure on the $53 million bond guarantee. Instead he advocates, if necessary, that zoning changes to upgrade the approved use would provide sufficient funds to pay off the bonds in full (while, of course, dramatically changing the character of the neighborhood).

Ms. Mason thinks that she already has the answers to Hoboken’s problems through her investigations, OPRA requests, committee meetings and litigation. And she seems to think her solutions can simply be parachuted into City Hall and all will be fixed.

Ms. Mason wills “right-size” not “down-size” all agencies. She will retrain and re-deploy city employees. She will get unions to sacrifice (“give-backs”).

Ms. Mason says PILOTs should be used to reshape and rehabilitate underutilized parts of town, then voted for renewal, without changes, of the expired Church Towers PILOT. And before voting for Dawn Zimmer’s recent PILOT Transparency resolution, she tried to table it as unnecessary saying a similar State statute already existed (then was corrected by Corporation Counsel). And she celebrated the W Hotel opening which received the most unnecessary PILOT ever where million dollar condo owners pay $4,000 city taxes, and no county or Board of Education taxes.

Ms. Mason says she was against the Robert’s plan to take over the hospital but has not mustered the City Council around a plan to get the City off the bond guarantee. While she is for an equitable distribution of taxes she proposes that the REVAL be deferred until 2011 which would not put it in effect until at least 2014.

Ms. Mason said it important to keep City politics out of the Board of Education thus inappropriate to endorse any candidates, but after the election put a gratuitous advertisement in the paper congratulating KIDS FIRST.

Dawn Zimmer thinks we need to reach a consensus on core values for community development and then make sure that the master plan, redevelopment proposals and individual projects address these core values. Dawn will implement a process where together residents (residential and commercial) will discuss, develop and formalize core values for Hoboken.

Here are few of the core values I believe Dawn has in mind. Fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability. A renewed commitment to open spaces where we can enjoy the outdoors, have fields for our kids, and see the river. Maintaining Hoboken as a small town with unique neighborhoods. The City should not own a hospital; it needs to be re-privatized and merged with a regional center as quickly as possible. The Mayor must work with the Board of Education to develop a three year plan to get Hoboken’s schools in the top tier in New Jersey.

Dawn’s many substantive accomplishments include: exposed 16 years of fiscal management and that Mayor Roberts 2008 budget was underfunded by over $11 million; sponsored a resolution that requires disclosure of the true costs of PILOT tax abatements granted to developers as compared to regular taxation; rejected a ten year extension of the Church Towers PILOT that continued taxpayer subsidies to people making over $100,000 per year without legally protecting those who really need affordable housing; worked with Jersey City and Hudson County to reopen the stalled process of rerouting Patterson Plank Road; and sponsored resolutions establishing an Open Space Trust Fund, creating Hoboken’s first bike lanes, and enabling Hoboken to obtain a grant funded energy audit,

Electing Mr. Cammarano would be a continuation of the Russo/ Roberts “status quo”, “pay-to-play”, ” friends first” style of government.

Electing Ms. Mason would bring Hoboken a “top-down” elitist style of exclusive leadership based on absolute certainties like “Hoboken must build or die.”

Electing Dawn Zimmer as Hoboken’s next Mayor would mean “slow government” characterized by financial and tax austerity, inclusiveness and consultation, and a “green” prism for all public policy decisions.

Dawn brings back thoughts of Robert Kennedy who said: “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Written by reformerusg

April 30, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Posted in Uncategorized