Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Councilman Mike DeFusco: Hoboken City Hall Restrooms Still Not Gender Neutral Three Months After Mayor's Exec Order

Official release


Three Months After Mayor’s Executive Order, Hoboken City Hall, Park Restrooms Still Not Gender Neutral



DeFusco: Bhalla More Interested in ‘Splashy Headlines’ than Governing 

Nearly three months after Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced an Executive Order mandating that single use bathrooms in Hoboken be labeled as “Gender Neutral,” the order has not been implemented at restrooms in City Hall and at city parks. The order stated that it went into effect immediately after being signed on April 25, and it was later followed by an ordinance passed on May 16 that took the same action at city businesses. Hoboken Councilman Mike DeFusco, the city’s only openly gay elected official, is speaking out on the Bhalla administration’s failure to follow through on these policies:

“Three months ago I stood with Mayor Ravi Bhalla when he announced an executive order mandating single use bathrooms on City property be made gender neutral. Unfortunately, the order has not been implemented in either City Hall or within our park system, where signage still indicates the gender exclusive approach the Mayor's executive order said would end. Further, my ordinance to mandate single use bathrooms be gender neutral in businesses city-wide formally went into effect this past Sunday and here too, nothing has changed. Frustratingly, there has been no effort from the Mayor to inform business owners about the change or work with them to abide by it, and there has certainly not been any effort to enforce the law.

I would think somebody like Ravi Bhalla, who has been praised as a progressive leader and who knows what it’s like to feel like an outsider, would stand by his words on this important social issue. Sadly, that’s not the case and he’s proven yet again that he will say whatever he needs to advance his career while important work goes undone.

All of this fits an increasingly clear pattern of Mayor Bhalla being more interested in splashy headlines than in doing the real follow-through work of governing. It’s the same story on Washington Street. While businesses are suffering, the Bhalla Administration is lauding itself on progress all the while quietly requesting another $500,000 in additional contractor cost overruns and pushing the project's completion well into 2019. These aren’t the only examples of important city goals being unmet by this administration.

Mayor Bhalla says that his second job at a politically-connected law firm isn't a distraction from city business, but the results say otherwise. The City Council must exercise continued oversight to ensure that important projects and initiatives get done.”

Attached: Pictures of Hoboken City Hall, Pier C Restrooms taken today





Hudson County Alert: Flash Flood Watch

Official release:

Agency Logo
Tuesday July 17, 2018

Hudson County Office of Emergency Management

Advisory: FLASH FLOOD WATCH FROM NOON THROUGH THIS EVENING RAINFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR. URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE

Dear Horsey & MSV readers,

Flash Flood Watch for Hudson County, New Jersey
From 12:00pm EDT, Tue Jul 17 until 10:00pm EDT, Tue Jul 17

Action Recommended: Avoid the subject event as per the instructions
Issued by: New York City - NY, US, National Weather Service,

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM NOON EDT TODAY THROUGH THIS EVENING... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT, NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY, AND SOUTHEAST NEW YORK, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS, IN SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT, NORTHERN FAIRFIELD, NORTHERN MIDDLESEX, NORTHERN NEW HAVEN, SOUTHERN FAIRFIELD, AND SOUTHERN NEW HAVEN. IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY, EASTERN BERGEN, EASTERN ESSEX, EASTERN PASSAIC, EASTERN UNION, HUDSON, WESTERN BERGEN, WESTERN ESSEX, WESTERN PASSAIC, AND WESTERN UNION. IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK, BRONX, KINGS (BROOKLYN), NEW YORK (MANHATTAN), NORTHERN NASSAU, NORTHERN QUEENS, NORTHERN WESTCHESTER, RICHMOND (STATEN ISLAND), ROC KLAND, SOUTHERN NASSAU, SOUTHERN QUEENS, AND SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER. * FROM NOON EDT TODAY THROUGH THIS EVENING * A SLOW MOVING FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL BRING NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TO THE REGION THIS AFTERNOON INTO THIS EVENING. * ANY THUNDERSTORMS WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BRING TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS WITH RAINFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR. THESE TYPES OF RAINFALL RATES WILL CAUSE URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE FLOODING, WITH POTENTIAL FOR FLASH FLOODING IN AREAS AFFECTED BY MULTIPLE SUCCESSIVE THUNDERSTORMS. Additionally, RAPID WATER LEVEL RISES CAN OCCUR ON FLASHY SMALL RIVERS AND STREAMS IN BASINS AFFECTED BY THIS ACTIVITY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "Time Is Now to Act - Union Dry Dock (former site)!"

Official release:

 
Dear friends and neighbors:  THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!
  • 7/18 (Wednesday)– UNION DRY DOCK (former) / NYWW SITE    
  • Army Corps of Engineers – Public Hearing
  • 6-9pm
  • Debaun Auditorium (5th and Hudson)
Come for all or part - come early if you can.  The Auditorium seats a few hundred and we need to fill all seats. RSVP TO ME THAT YOU ARE COMING or RSVP HERE TO THE EVENT ON FB.  WE NEED A BIG CROWD. 
This is our chance to be heard and explain to the Army Corps of Engineers why having NYWW’s Diesel Depot in the center of our waterfront is bad for our environment and our community.   If this is important to you, please plan to attend.  You DO NOT NEED TO STAY THE ENTIRE TIME.  But we would like to have as many people as possible there at the beginning/during the first hour.  
We will circulate some talking points between now and then, but for not, just make sure you are clearing your schedule and plan to join.  Feel free to reach out to Fund for Better Waterfront, Residents for a Public Waterfront, Mayor Bhalla or me to discuss or learn more.
And as always, if you have any questions or want to discuss this or anything else, please feel free to call me at 201/208-1674.  Have an amazing week and see you on Wednesday!
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
 
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”
 
PS - Attached to this email is an electronic version of the flier.  Please forward to anyone and everyone you know.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: New Engineer, Construction Manager to be engaged on Washington St., calendar of events

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors:

This is a quick update (for me anyway…) as I am about to leave for a pedestrian safety workshop at the NJTPA in Newark.  This Friday the 13th update includes important upcoming events, and some quick words on Stevens, Washington St. and the new Hobokennj.gov website!
7/18 (Wednesday)– UNION DRY DOCK (former) / NYWW SITE - CALL TO ACTION! 
Army Corps of Engineers Public Hearing from 6-9pm in Hoboken at DeBaun Auditorium.  Come for all or part.  The Auditorium seats a few hundred and we need to fill all seats.  PUT ON YOUR CALENDAR.  ITS HERE.  WALK THE WALK.  DON’T SIT HOME.  ENGAGE. ADVOCATE. ENGAGE. ADVOCATE. RSVP TO ME THAT YOU ARE COMING or RSVP HERE TO THE EVENT ON FB.  WE NEED A BIG CROWD.  DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?!?!?!?!
7/14 (Saturday) - CITY OF WATER DAY 
It is going to be a gorgeous day so come to Maxwell Park/Hoboken Cove for a FREE family waterfront festival from 10-4.  From Fund For Better Waterfront’s site:
Free Kayaking.  BioBlitz/Trash Free Seas/Water Quality Testing Workshops beginning every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (sign up HERE).  And the following lineup of speakers and music: 
  • 10 a.m. Noelle Thurlow, Hoboken neighbor: Stewardship of the Hudson River & the Hoboken Cove
  • 11 a.m. Laura from Little City Books: Storytime for eco-minded young readers
  • 12 p.m Michael Sardinas of the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association
  • 1 p.m. Zach Schwitzky: Commuting to NYC via kayak
  • 1:30 & 2:30 The Fuzzy Lemons: write a song about the Hudson River and dance along with Hoboken’s favorite family-friendly rock’n’rollers
Also under the Main Tent, boost your local environmental stewardship: visit the Fund for a Better Waterfront, the Hoboken Green Team, Rebuild by Design, Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront and Climate Mobilization Hoboken to learn how you can protect the Hudson River and our very own Hoboken Cove.  Hosted by FBW, Waterfront Alliance and Hoboken Residents for a Better Waterfront.  
7/23 (Monday) – PUBLIC HEARING FOR A TEMPORARY DOG PARK IN HARBORSIDE PARK 
Will be 7pm at the park located at the northeast corner of 15th and Park Ave.  Whether you are for, against, or somewhere in the middle, this is the time to come and share your views.  More voices matter.
7/25 (Wednesday) – STEVENS REZONING, CONTINUATION OF PUBLIC HEARING  
The Council carried the vote on the Steven’s rezoning Wednesday night, but opened the public hearing which will remain open through the 25th.  Councilwoman Giattino reached out to Stevens and made this recommendation to them so that we can allow more members of the public to learn about the rezoning, Steven’s growth plans, and provide feedback.  Please come that night – it will be at City Hall in Council Chambers – where Stevens will provide their presentation.  If you cannot join in person, then please watch online.  I have seen it and like Councilman Russo said during our meeting, agree that it is quite impressive.  The City Council can take a vote that night, and although we discussed it potentially happening at the regular meeting on 8/1, I expect it probably will. So please come and be a part of it.
At the meeting there were a number of speakers who came, mostly sharing their views on the great asset that Stevens is to our community, which I wholly agree.  I have received 75 responses to my Tuesday email and the feedback is as follows (about half are from 2nd ward residents, and the other half are dispersed around the city with the biggest concentration around the Steven’s campus as you can imagine).  Summary – 17 absolute yes’s with the remainder wanting to see the plan changed in some way, with the main theme’s being:
  • Almost unanimous support for Stevens
  • Think having Stevens as a partner is a huge asset and drives local economic growth
  • Want to support some growth
  • Don’t like precedent nature of tall buildings on the rest of Hoboken
  • Don’t like tall buildings
  • Don’t feel the public was engaged in this process 
  • Question whether Stevens is giving enough concessions to get this signficant upzoning  
  • Concerned Steven’s is not paying their fair share for municipal services (roads, fire, police off campus) like other non-taxpaying private universities often do (Seton Hall, Princeton, etc..)
Washington St. Update 
In the simplest terms, with no change in path, we are looking at a probably late winter / early spring completion of the Washington St. project per T&M (our consultant).  They provided this estimate on page 10 of their change order recommendation letter that was in our agenda pack, but I missed until was pointed out by a member of the public.  Their phrase "additional 147 more days may be needed beyond the time approved in this change order."
But we are changing the path.  On Monday I sent the following to Mayor Bhalla, his Chief of Staff and his Deputy Chief of Staff:
"What is keeping our new City Engineer and Construction Manager from being fully engaged in our Washington Street project?  My understanding is they are only to be consulted if needed.  They both bring in-house, project management and commercial expertise that has been sorely lacking and is so necessary for the success of the project." 
I received no response.  But on Tuesday, at my Finance and Infrastructure Council Subcommittee meeting, we were joined by our new engineer, Kimberli Craft, for the first time and were told she would now be fully engaged in the project.  And in the closed session of the City Council on Wednesday where we were introduced to our construction attorney for the first time, the entire council was assured that Ms. Craft would be fully engaged and lead contact with T&M on the project going forward.  At the Council meeting, although we did approve the change orders and the contractual extension request of 29 days, the City Council demanded from T&M that they identify a more expeditious path to completion.  I have set up a now standing weekly subcommittee meeting (includes Council Vice President Giattino and Councilwoman Jabbour) to keep closer review of the project.  
Throughout all of these meetings and communications we have implored the Administration to keep the focus on the completion of the project, and consider not only all alternatives to do so, but also consider what we – the City – can do in parallel to make the disruption and devastation to our business community as minimal as possible.  Some possible ideas be considered include:  offering some amount of validated/low cost parking in our garages throughout the remainder of the project, taking a work holiday between Thanksgiving and the New Year even if it means adding time at the end, prior to then adding a 2” topcoat to all portions of Washington St. not yet paved (assuming we complete through 9th in the next few weeks) to provide a smoother surface while completing the project.  Any ideas from you are welcome.  As someone on twitter said to me yesterday “don’t hesitate to reach out if taxpayer input can help protect the city’s interests.”  My response was taxpayer (and any resident for that matter) input can ALWAYS help protect the city’s interests.   You know what I always say... (more voices...)
New City Website!  
If you haven’t yet checked it out, please do!  So much more user friendly!  And be sure to stop by my page to read my new bio and learn a little more about me! (City still working on formatting...)
And as always, if you have any questions or want to discuss this or anything else, please feel free to call me at 201/208-1674.  Have an amazing weekend and I hope you can get outside and enjoy some of this spectacular weather!

TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Horse Sense: Stevens Institute Redevelopment Towers & Plan tabled

Last night in the City Council, an organized plan to have a series of public speakers advocate for an upzoned massive Stevens Institute redevelopment plan with new towers did not see a final vote.

The vote on the matter was tabled putting off a final decision.

Is it becoming a pattern in the Mile Sqaure City to see massive redevelopment plans approved after the July 4th holiday at the sole council meeting in July when Hoboken residents are least paying attention?

More towers like this at Stevens?
That's what was being hurtled
through the council last night.
The last massive redevelopment plan approved at 7th and Jackson went down similarly but this effort on behalf of Stevens Institute is especially suspect as there's hardly any public awareness whatsoever on the massive towers and upzoning redevelopment proposed.

A list of residents obviously organized by Stevens appeared in an effort to see the massive redevelopment quickly (and quietly) passed. A string of public speakers, many with direct connections to the school appeared and argued it was all positive. Many spoke of the lack of impact on Hoboken's environment and sightlines. Almost all of them are low rise living residents on the eastern side of town such as Hudson Street. They have no views as it is.

Many taxpayers in Hoboken however would see their views impacted by massive new towers atop the tallest location in the Mile Square. The impact of the plan was questioned by others and the lack of awareness in the public makes this summer redevelopment push all the more suspect.

It's obvious that the support from the Bhalla Administration is not enough to see the plan approved. It coordinated people to go to the microphone and push for a final vote but the council opted to table the vote. That's the difference between a City Council evaluating a massive redevelopment plan from where it sits and the Bhalla Administration that actively seeks to decimate it with a rubber stamp put in its place.

In order for a City Council vote to have any meaning, the public needs time to evaluate and discuss the impact to the wider community. That discussion hasn't even taken place and the massive redevelopment plan was being crammed downt their throats.

Dial it back and see what the public actually thinks and may have to offer by way of feedback before holding any final vote.

Some people ought to be ashamed of themselves.



Talking Ed Note: Lots of piss and vinegar about the stalled Washington St. project exhaled last night. None of it changes anything nor the project ownership by Mayor Ravi Bhalla who has failed to meet his promises to make Hoboken a priority in his neverending political ambition tour.

MSV will have more on the backtracking, promise-breaking and failed expectations on Washington St. to come. There's a lot of shady things going leading to this cluster. Whistleblowers, vendors, failed shadow mayors, etc. send your tale of woe to smartyjones@me.com.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher requests feedback on Stevens re-zoning

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors:
This is one of those times where not only do I want your input, but I need it.  This year is the beginning of a big, long-awaited effort to make zoning updates and upgrades in Hoboken.  I will send out a more detailed description of what this means and how it works at a later date.  
But first up:  re-zoning of the Steven’s campus. 
There are a number of changes being proposed that I have summarized below, but they mainly involve bringing more of their students onto campus and allowing for future growth in their enrollment.  Both of which are great causes, but also require increased density on campus (and collateral effect in town), and moreover increased height which is always a sensitive topic in our town.  
Tomorrow night I will be potentially voting on the second reading (so final vote) for the ordinance that will codify (make legal) all of the proposed changes.  This ordinance already reflects the input and approval of Mayor Bhalla.  My choices in voting will be:
  • Yes
  • No
  • Suggest modifications and re-introduce as 1st reading with 2nd reading at the 8/1 meeting
The reason Stevens is up first is that the City (Mayor, Administration and Council) are trying to work closely together with Stevens on its 10-year operating plan which kicks off this fall with construction of a new, two-tower student center and housing complex.  But Stevens can only move forward with this plan if this ordinance gets approved in time.  If Stevens cannot start this fall, their plan gets pushed an entire school year.  It is slightly dated, but you can read an earlier version of their 10 yr plan HERE (most of the assumptions still apply) which gives some good information about Stevens and their vision. 
So I would like your thoughts on whether you support the proposed changes, or not.   
High-level summary of the proposed zoning changes (boundary, bulk and uses):
Current zoning (I am focusing only on major items).
  • R-1(E) – Residential Higher Education (click here to read detail).  
  • The area encompasses the entire campus excluding their waterfront property, and then both sides of Castle Point between 8th and 9th, and the east side only of Castle Point between 9th and 10th.  
  • Effectively, the campus currently has two sub-areas that are delineated by proximity to surrounding neighborhoods with the only difference being allowable height in those areas:
    • 200ft from Hudson, 5th and 8th Sts. – 40’ or 4 stories can be built with 50% lot coverage
    • All other areas – 100’ or 10 stories can be built with 50% lot coverage
  • Most traditional education uses are permitted, others are conditional (requiring board approval) 
Proposed zoning (reflecting changes in red)
  • The area would be reduced to exclude all of Castle Point (so existing zoning for those areas remains until changed).
  • The campus would now have three zones – 
    • TRANSITION
      • Includes most of the prior area that was 200ft from Hudson, 8th and 5th streets.  
      • Any building in this area must blend in with the surrounding residential areas.
      • Lot coverage increases to 70% from 50%. 
      • No change in bldg. height
    • CORE
      • Everything else but the Edge zone (listed next).  
      • Buildings here can have a broader design.  
      • Lot coverage can go as high as 70% (from 50%), with green infrastructure.
      • Bldg height – no change in stories, 20 ft increase to 120 ft.
    • EDGE
      • New, area along the eastern edge of the campus facing the water (think Howe Center and Babbio, going south to 5th St.)
      • Buildings here need to be oriented to the water and provide view corridors.
        • Lot coverage can go as high as 70% (from 50%), with green infrastructure.
        • Bldg height 
          • 1st proposed building can have 2 towers that are 225 foot from grade (ground).  This is approximate 285 feet higher than Sinatra Drive.  And about 20ish feet lower than the W.  NOTE: This height has already been reduced after discussions between Stevens and Mayor Bhalla.  And, the Administration claims that they have agreed with Stevens that the two towers will differ in height, with one being about 2 stories lower, but that is not reflected in the ordinance.
          • All other buildings can be 200 feet high from grade – a 100ft increase.  Nothing currently planned but can probably accommodate at least two more buildings. 
The ordinance also has considerable, additional requirements pertaining to use and approvals necessary for any material changes in existing footprint – effectively giving the city a seat at the table in many future development discussions.  
Thoughts on what this achieves for Hoboken:
Consolidates Students on Campus
  • Pros for Hoboken: less students in the rest of Hoboken taking less shuttles to campus.  
  • Cons for Hoboken: less students as neighbors off campus/less diversity.  Increases density in Hoboken because housing taking up currently by students who may not have cars, will now be marketed to individuals more apt to have cars.  Takes students out of the city where they spend money at many of our restaurants and stores.
Allows Stevens to Grow
  • Pros for Hoboken:  More students, more professors and administrators, more people supporting our local businesses.  Stevens has been a great partner to Hoboken and is part of our history.  They provide considerable STEM programming for our local schools and give annual scholarships and we hope and expect this to continue and expand.  
  • Cons for Hoboken:  Providing for increased density without a full understanding of the traffic, circulation and parking impact to Hoboken.
Taller Buildings 
  • Pros for Hoboken:  Potential for architecturally interesting buildings for our skyline.  The height sets a good precedent for other developments (if you are supportive of height).
  • Cons for Hoboken: The height sets a bad precedent for other developments (if you are height sensitive).  
Waterfront Plans Not Included
  • Pros for Hoboken:  Can have robust conversations with Stevens at a later date to best protect/use our waterfront.
  • Cons for Hoboken:  Once zoning is approved for the rest of the campus, not much left to trade. 
For what it is worth, I am a HUGE fan of Stevens.  Under the leadership of their current President, Nariman Farvardin Stevens has achieved many recent successes including a significantly improved relationship with the City of Hoboken.  You can read in their 10 yr. plan beginning on page 14 the myriad connections they have with Hoboken and I just hope we will see these expand.  They are recognized as a top institution within the Academic world and in March of this year, the American Council on Education gave Stevens its “Award for Institutional Transformation,” which recognizes institutions that have responded to higher education challenges in innovative and creative ways and achieved dramatic changes in a relatively brief period.  These successes have translated into increased applications, high post college placement north of 95%, and some of the highest starting salaries for graduates in the country.  
That being said, I am an even bigger fan of Hoboken.   I personally fall into the height-sensitive camp.  I am concerned about the height of the buildings in the Edge Zone, the additional density this will bring to Hoboken and whether or not Hoboken is getting enough back for these accommodations to Stevens.  But I represent the residents of the 2nd Ward and Hoboken when I vote, and sometimes my views are not consistent with yours.  
So on this one, I would like your help to make sure I am representing our community best.  
Thank you in advance for your feedback.
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”

Bhalla boondoggle: Washington St. Project won't be completed this summer

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE

Hoboken residents who hoped to see the Washington St. project finally completed this summer will be disappointed to learn it isn't happening. Again.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla who only weeks back touted his "commitment" in Hoboken noting as an accomplishment repaving Washington St. to 9th Street by mid-July has run into bigger troubles.

The predicted "accomplishment" in the future struck some as odd in a recent Bhalla release where he said work in Hoboken as mayor was the reason he didn't "generate commissions" in his second job with a Republican land use & zoning law firm.

About a month ago Mayor Ravi Bhalla predicted the Washington St. project would be repaved to 9th St. by weeks end but that projection and the stated completion of the project this summer is a failure.

The Washington St. project's completion set for the end of summer is officially kaput.

According to a vendor memo by T&M buried deep in the City Council meeting documents set for tomorrow, "additional time captured within Change Order No. 20" will push the completion date set for August 21, 2018 to September 21, 2018. 

After further review, however, the vendor adds the Washington St. project may call for an "additional 147 days..." even as repaving to 9th Street is being planned for late July.

That latest delay would mean the Washington St. project won't be completed until 2019.

The additional delays mean millions in added costs to the original $12 million budget under former mayor Dawn Zimmer. The project is already heading past a $20 million price tag and shows no sign of completion this summer.

The single City Council meeting in July is scheduled for tomorrow and the topic of the latest delays in completing the Washington St. project is anticipated.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla will see the Washington St. project
conclude at some point but it won't be by end of summer.
See you in 2019!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "What is happening with Washington St. ?!?!?!"

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors:
The #1 question I get from members of our community and visitors is something along the lines of “When is Washington St. going to be done????.”  
On June 22nd, I was cautiously optimistic when Mayor Bhalla stated in a release as his top accomplishment:  “(1) paving and rehabilitating Washington Street from Observer Highway to 9th Street by mid-July...”  But that optimism has waned considerably as we look at the current state of the project.   
On Friday I asked the Administration to provide a full update on the project, including a plan on what is necessary to get the project completed quickly and with the least disruption so that our community and businesses can finally move forward.  As I think you all agree, this project has been devastating to the potential successes of our community, in particular to our local businesses – many of whom have shuttered their doors permanently.  I want all options to be considered.  
The Infrastructure Subcommittee which I Chair is meeting tomorrow morning where we will be discussing this.  Additionally, although originally posited by the City as a closed session to discuss with the entire City Council, I asked that the project update be held during the public portion of Wednesday's City Council meeting to provide transparency to our entire community.  T&M, our engineering consultant, will be there as well to answer questions so please tune in to hopefully find out what our path to completion will be.  
  • Click HERE to watch it live (starts at 7pm Wednesday and is the first thing on the agenda).  It will also be streamed live on Facebook (details to follow).
At the meeting, the City Council will vote on whether to approve extending the contractual timeframe for the project by 29 days and two change orders totaling over $.5 million – this brings the total costs to approximately $21 million (contractor and consultant).  
A reminder of some of the salient aspects concerning the project:
  • City Council approved the project in February 2016.
  • The extensive $19.6 million project included below grade water and electrical improvements, full milling and repaving, and many safety features including new traffic lights, class II bike lanes and curb bump-outs.
  • Construction began in January 2017 and was contractually planned to be completed by August 2018.  We are only completed to 4th street currently.
  • Some safety concerns and unanticipated obstacles relating to underground findings have added delays.
  • Underground Utilities, the contractor performing the work, is working typically one shift only – 730am -330pm (approx.) although the City Council approved and encouraged extended hours to expedite timing.
As I have mentioned in a previous update, the City recently hired an Engineer and Construction Manager for the first time, resources added specifically to bring necessary in-house technical and project management experience that the City has sorely lacked and in particular on the Washington St. Redesign Project.  I had advocated continuously for these hires since I was elected.  I learned last week that these two new hires have not yet been engaged in the Washington St. project which is the single largest public works project Hoboken has ever faced and is significantly behind and over budget already.  I have an email into Mayor Bhalla and his staff questioning why this is the case, but as of this writing, I have not yet heard.  I am hopeful that these important team members will soon be an active part of getting this project done.
So I hope you will either attend in person or watch online the City Council meeting on Wednesday .  I am separately working on other updates that will be sent out shortly covering such topics as Union Dry Dock, Steven’s Zoning Changes, and Weehawken Cove boats, among others.  So be on the lookout!
As always, if you have any questions or want to discuss this or anything else, please feel free to call me at 201/208-1674. 
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”

Sybil's Cave loves the Russo Clan: corruption, wot corruption?

When your political boss is seen as a promise-breaking, second job employment contract conflict-loving, employee paying avoider and full-time self-promoter, what's Sybil's Cave to do?

How about throw in the towel and become a full-fledged Russo Clan lover.

If you can't beat'em join'em. That's where Sybil's Cave apparently opting for targeting Councilman Mike DeFusco as the greatest evil known in Hoboken history leaving no recourse but to get in bed with Mikie and his new pony tail locks forever? Hey, bosses orders, xx oo, smooches Mikie.



We know that political paid operatives will make for odd bedfellows for the political boss but isn't this a corruption bridge too far?

"I love the Russo Clan. Kiss me Terry and can you give me a lift?" 

How many hospitals in Hoboken did Mike DeFusco try to bankrupt and how many millions in quarters did he try to cover up that disappeared? OK, questions arose last year about ELEC reports (and has been reported here on MSV per usual) but do we have to go PAC crazy every day of the year?

Well, let's at least try to catch up and get current. After all, when did Ravi Bhalla ever suggest he'd follow former mayor Dawn Zimmer and avoid all association and (related expenditures in his favor) support from PACs?

PAC man, yumm-yumm.


And what was the final PAC pricetag for this "terror flyer?"
Hey, we're Stronger Together when we scam the Hoboken voters together.



Talking Ed Note: There's the sole City Council meeting for July this week on Wednesday so more fun is no doubt in the offing. If you want to talk corruption, Super PACs and the like, be careful what you wish for and by the way, you may want to avoid the PAC and corruption hypocrisy or worse at Sybil's Cave.

This internet warning is appearing based on recent reader reports about Sybil's Cave:



Be careful out there Hoboken. 


Friday, July 6, 2018

World Cup Quarterfinals begin today

Some are on holiday schedules and many here and abroad (a reference acknowledging the reality of nations with certified internationally recognized borders) will be making time to catch the World Cup Quarterfinals. Futbol.



Today, a resurgent and potent France will be facing off against a top-flight team from Uruguay, the nation that hosted and won the first ever World Cup held in 1930. The small South American nation (sorry that word again) with a population of less than 3.5 million is rich in soccer tradition.

France vs. Uruguay 10 am (Fox Sports Channel)

With a world-class central defense, Uruguay will hang in using sophisticated schemes but lacking their top offensive threat due to injury, this could be the end of the road for them and their fans.

In the second quarterfinal this afternoon, two of the top teams in the world will be facing off in what could be one of the best matches of the knockout stage. It's the futbol loving nation of Brazil taking on a very talented and potent team from Belgium.

Brazil vs. Belgium 2 pm (Fox Sports Channel)

For Horsey, the 1994 epic quarterfinal in Dallas where Holland slugged it out with Brazil may see a repeat in that high scoring match. (Horsey had tickets to that game but had to opt to use the same-day tickets in Boston for the showdown between Italy and Spain. Baggio! Baggio!)

National pride is on the line (with apologies to the uber PC brainwashed globalist loving masses offended by the concept of nations).

Horsey will now go take a run down the wing with his friend T-Rex. Replays available on FSC.
Mulligans in Hoboken is a popular destination for World Cup viewers.

                                         

Thursday, July 5, 2018

hMAG: "Hoboken Posts Signs Dissuading 4th of July Fireworks Spectators"

A story appearing on local lifestyle magazine hMAG pointed to inaccurate information displayed on local signage about the visibility of the 4th of July fireworks.

The story has already led to social media conversation, some heated about safety preparation, planning and correct signage.

Some residents view the Macy's fireworks and the smaller Jersey City version from local rooftops or near the river with partial views of the East River display.

Included in the story are photos with signs stationed in the street stating "Fireworks Not Visible."


From the story:

"This year, the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks display is on the East River yet again, rather than the Hudson. Nevertheless, hMAG's intrepid team of investigative reporters (our publisher and his kid) have debunked this theory time and time again by actually going down to the Waterfront and enjoying the fireworks for the past three years."

For the complete story see:

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Yeah America - Happy Birthday!




This Nation
This Republic
This Constitution
Sovereign

What happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence:
http://nhccs.org/Destiny.html


http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 2 - The Right to Bear Arms
well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.