Friday, June 23, 2017

Reform pow wow into the night


Two meetings among friends and potential campaign rivals for mayor go quietly into the night

Last night, a second evening meeting followed an earlier midday meeting between friends and potential mayoral rivals in Councilman Ravi Bhalla and Council President Jen Giattino.

The daytime meeting didn't resolve the friction where one campaign was launched in concert with Mayor Dawn Zimmer's simultaneous announced departure and endorsement for Bhalla and any opportunity to present an alternative negated for Giattino.

City Council President Jen Giattino: broadest and most
crossover appeal to Hoboken voters? That's one question.
With Jen Giattino's statement issued last night she is weighing a run for mayor, much is changed in the Hoboken mayoral landscape and much remains the same, at least for the time being.

Late yesterday, a second evening meeting saw a sit down with council members Tiffanie Fisher and Peter Cunningham joining Jen Giattino with Ravi Bhalla and former Mayor Zimmer chief of staff Dan Bryan according to sources close to the attending parties.

Efforts at resolving the issues between the two developing campaigns came up well short leading to the end of day statement Jen Giattino will continue to weigh options and hear out Hoboken supporters and residents this weekend.

The concept of a split between both the Old Guard and Reform camps is a misnomer. Each of the likely four major candidates for Hoboken mayor will not start or end with 25% of the vote. Some campaigns will rise, others will fall, some precipitously as the slings and arrows of campaigning begin to take shape and impacts the electorate.

A Giattino movement initially began this week with similar calls among some residents for the independent policy wonk and new Hoboken Democratic Chair Tiffanie Fisher. Those groups now appear coalescing in favor of Jen Giattino for numerous reasons: electability to the voter perception on who captures the broadest appeal to Hoboken voters.

There's another major question on who who holds the biggest crossover appeal for both new and Old Hoboken voters. The advantage there would appear to go to Jen Giattino. The advantage for Councilman Bhalla who has voted closer in the council to Mayor Zimmer means he will gain votes from those who are most likely to follow her lead.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla has the endorsement of Mayor
Dawn Zimmer seen here at a February fundraiser.
How much can it help in November is another question.
A united front of long time councilman Peter Cunningham in the fifth ward and councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher in the second ward however creates another formidable base of support. Mayor Dawn Zimmer's endorsement will give a kick to Ravi Bhalla but its staying power in November will be uncertain as her lame duck status diminishes some of its impact with the onset of Zimmer fatigue after eight years as mayor.

Anthony "Stick" Romano is anticipated to announce his mayoral candidacy next week as an unexpected delay with HudCo sees no dash into Hoboken for a photo-op. This is in fear of triggering a volcanic response from heavyweight State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack. Romano's grounded for the moment but will make his move next week.

If the November ballot does come down to a four way race of major mayoral campaigns: Mike DeFusco, Anthony Stick Romano, Ravi Bhalla and Jen Giattino the negativity and slurs won't be coming from any of the  core reform people or their respective campaigns. That's the hope although no one can control the rogue and often ugly anonymous vs. "anonymous battle between a handful online, mostly between DeFusco backers and hyper partisans.

In a four way race of major mayoral candidates: Romano, Councilman Mike DeFusco, Ravi Bhalla and Jen Giattino, much remains uncertain but Hoboken's summer campaign fun is already underway.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Chris Campos convicted for bank and wire fraud in $7 Million Dollar Car Loan Scheme

Former Hoboken, New Jersey, City Council President Found Guilty After Trial For His Participation In A $7 Million Dollar Car Loan Scheme 

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that a federal jury today found former Hoboken, New Jersey, City Council President and attorney CHRISTOPHER CAMPOS guilty of bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. CAMPOS and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained millions of dollars in car loans by using at least 20 straw buyers to acquire more than 200 new automobiles based on false representations that, among other things, the straw buyers would use the cars for their personal use when, in truth and in fact, CAMPOS and his co-conspirators obtained the vehicles in order to lease as livery cabs. The week-long trial took place before U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni, who is scheduled to sentence CAMPOS on September 20, 2017.

CAMPOS’s co-defendant, Julio Alvarez, pled guilty to bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud on June 9, 2017. Alvarez is scheduled to be sentenced on September 8, 2017, before Judge Caproni. 

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim stated: “As a unanimous jury found, Christopher Campos, an attorney and former Hoboken City Council President, defrauded lenders out of millions of dollars. He recruited straw buyers to obtain loans for cars supposedly for ‘personal use,’ when in fact they made up a fleet of over 200 vehicles Campos and his co-conspirators leased to livery drivers. Campos now awaits sentencing for this massive fraud.”

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, Indictment, and the evidence presented in Court during the trial:

Between approximately October 2012 and September 2013, CAMPOS and Alvarez, among others, orchestrated a scheme to fraudulently obtain new automobiles that they intended to lease to livery cab drivers. In order to secure financing in connection with the purchase of these new cars, CAMPOS and other co-conspirators enlisted and aided individuals with good credit histories (“straw buyers”) to submit fraudulent car loan applications to numerous lenders. In order to obtain the new vehicles, CAMPOS and other co-conspirators sent straw buyers to several car dealerships located throughout the New York City area, where dealership employees helped straw buyers submit fraudulent loan applications. 

The auto loan applications submitted by the straw buyers falsely represented that the vehicles would be used for the buyers’ personal use, rather than as part of the defendants’ leasing business. In addition, in many cases, the car loan applications misrepresented personal information about the straw buyers, including their incomes and assets. CAMPOS also caused financing applications to be sent to multiple financial institutions at the same time so that the lenders would not know that the straw buyers were incurring obligations to other lenders in connection with the purchase of multiple new automobiles.

In total, the scheme carried out by CAMPOS, Alvarez, and others involved at least approximately 20 straw buyers, the purchase of more than approximately 200 new vehicles, and more than $7 million in fraudulently obtained loans from a variety of financial institutions. Most of the loans ultimately went into default. 

* * *

CAMPOS, 40, of Palisades Park, New Jersey, was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, bank fraud, and wire fraud. The conspiracy and bank fraud charges each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and the wire fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI. Mr. Kim also thanked the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the New York Automobile Insurance Plan, and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for their substantial assistance in the investigation and trial.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Dina McLeod, Sagar K. Ravi, and Niketh Velamoor are in charge of the prosecution.

Chris Campos, former Hoboken City Councilman in better days
in this photo at the Elks Club

City Council President Jen Giattino on Hoboken's upcoming mayoral election

From the desk of City Council President Jen Giattino:

Like many, I was surprised with the series of events this week in Hoboken starting with our Mayor Dawn Zimmer opting not to run for a third term.  This week I have been humbled and honored by the outpouring of support from many friends, colleagues and people in our community who have expressed their support and encouraged me to run for Mayor.  I am passionate about the future of our town and giving this serious consideration.  

I plan to publicly respond soon.

Mike Russo: 'Get out of my way and behind ME for mayor!'

Third ward councilman Mike Russo, the formerly accepted de facto leader of the Old Guard is deciding the time to be de facto anything in the background is a time overdue.

According to a report on InsiderNJ, Russo is actively negotiating with the pending Anthony "Stick" Romano for mayor campaign his list of demands not to run for mayor.

Earlier, MSV described Russo the heir to the Russo Clan as nominally behind Councilman Mike DeFusco's bid for mayor.

Old Guard Russo magic however sees the fairy dust spreading out over the land and is thinking why wait four mayor years to rehabilitate his image on FBI surveillance tape.

Councilman Michael Russo strikes a pose during a City Council meeting in this vintage photo.
He's reportedly in negotiations with the pending Romano campaign whereby he either gets a big piece of pie
with council picks, director and municipal selections or he throws his own hat in for mayor.

Some aren't sure the negotiations will reach an acceptable conclusion for him as in 2009 when he told FBI informant Solomon Dwek on video he had selected all there of Beth Mason's council at-large slate in her doomed campaign for mayor and would hold a veto proof "super majority" as he called it.

If negotiations fail to produce what Michael Russo demands, i.e., council picks, director selections and municipal jobs, expect to see Mike Russo for Mayor signs to quickly spring up all over Church Towers.

From the report:

With Councilman Ravi Bhalla announcing he's running for mayor and receiving Mayor Dawn Zimmer's endorsement, most political observers including this one anticipated Stick Romano entering the race this week. Perhaps Romano will or he won't but Friday would seem to be a deadline for serious action. Lack of decisiveness is long past and Romano many believe must make his move with or without HudCo standing by his side.

Meanwhile, a blood feud erupted with a DeFusco fundraiser who once worked for Mayor Zimmer in a similar capacity and Romano earlier this week. The report says they were nose to nose at Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop's fundraiser in a war of words over who has bigger cohones or some such fighting words.

According to the report, the showdown materialized like this:

"Romano and DeFusco operative Ray Ferraioli found each other in the steakhouse crowd.
DeFusco wants the votes of those anti-Zimmer people.
So does Romano.
So Ferraioli and Romano had words.
Ferraioli buffaloed the former cop, and Romano got up in Ferraioli’s face, nose to nose, the hair going back on the neck of each and nostrils flaring, sources said.
Ferraioli told Romano that at least DeFusco ran against Zimmer.
The freeholder didn’t have the guts, he said – or words to that effect.
Romano hated that.
The allies of the Hoboken councilman say Stick, as he’s known, is not a serious candidate, and if he were serious the HCDO would have already issued one of its press releases embracing his candidacy.
The story doesn't end there. It also speaks about the Old Guard urging City Council President Jen Giattino to enter the race as she "sniffs out" the landscape, presumably as it's beneficial to one of more potential Old Guard candidacies.
Who's in, out getting in as discussed earlier is all in a state of flux. To date, those officially in the race are Councilman Mike DeFusco, Councilman Ravi Bhalla, local businesswoman Karen Nason and Hoboken activist Ronald Bautista.
The only sure thing other than death and taxes is that this lineup will change come September and definitely by November.

Ravi Bhalla for Hoboken mayor announces

Hi MSV readers,
As you may have heard, Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced that after 10 years of serving in public office, she will not be seeking re-election as Mayor.  During her time in office, Mayor Zimmer has made our amazing town an even better place. I am incredibly grateful for her tireless service to our community and thank her for all she has done for Hoboken. 
I want you to know that with Dawn’s encouragement and endorsement, I am running for Mayor of Hoboken. I intend to continue our reform movement, upholding the values of honesty and integrity, to keep our City moving in the right direction.  
When I first came to Hoboken seventeen years ago, I was a 26 year old bachelor starting my first job after completing law school. I eventually found the love of my life, my wife Bindya. Before long our family grew as well, as we were blessed with our daughter, Arza and our son, Shabegh and chose to raise them in Hoboken. Through it all, the one thing that has remained constant is our unconditional love for our City.
When I first came to Hoboken, I never expected to get involved in local government, much less run for office. But, as I saw our city government raise municipal taxes 70% and the state appoint a fiscal monitor in 2008, I had enough. Rather than run to the suburbs, I decided to make a difference and run for office. 
Working together with Mayor Zimmer and the Council, I am proud we have set the City in the right direction. We restored fiscal responsibility to City finances, kept our hospital in town when it was going under, created more open space, substantially addressed flooding, invested in our water mains, and more.
But we still have work to do. I pledge to work with my colleagues on the Council to put forward policies that are in the best interests of our residents, not the interests of developers or special interest groups.
I am humbled and honored that Mayor Zimmer has placed her trust in me and encouraged me to step forward and run for Mayor. With your support and our unity, Hoboken’s best days are yet to come. 
In the weeks ahead, I look forward to sharing with you my ideas for keeping Hoboken’s reform moving in the right direction.
Ravi Bhalla
PS - Please join me the evening of June 28 at the Turtle Club (7 pm) to thank Mayor Zimmer for her service to Hoboken. Click here for details.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sources: Reform Council members looking at Council President Jen Giattino mayoral bid


Movement to adopt City Council President Jen Giattino as a candidate for mayor lighting up Hoboken

Coming not a day after Councilman at-large Ravi Bhalla officially threw his hat in the ring for Hoboken mayor, a backlash in the City Council and the Reform Movement is weighing a bid seeking Council President Jen Giattino's entry into the Hoboken mayor's race.

Fears about the lack of enthusiasm to Bhalla's entry yesterday and his electability in November are tarnishing the luster of the endorsement he received from Mayor Zimmer only yesterday. Concerns by people on the City Council and others within the Reform Movement say the mayor's seat and the current council majority are both at risk further fueling desires to draft Jen Giattino atop a mayoral ticket.

City Council President
Jen Giattino
The up swell to back Council President Giattino for mayor began almost immediately in the wake of the late Monday night news Mayor Zimmer would be bowing out for a third term and Councilman Bhalla announcing in a story released  near midnight that he would be running for mayor. Reform council team members were not sought for consultations prior to the announcement. The friction and frustration quickly channeled into analysis by some to weigh options.

The upsurge is driven twofold. Council President Jen Giattino is the only elected official on par with Mayor Zimmer in popularity citywide with Reform and the community since she upset Nino Giacchi in 2011 for the sixth ward council seat. She's currently serving in her second one year term as Hoboken City Council President, attesting to the esteem she's held by her council colleagues.

The backlash is sandwiched by Reform core principles of transparency and fairness overlooked, something Mayor Zimmer admitted yesterday did not occur in her decision to endorse Bhalla for mayor. A number of sources pointed to the less than democratic process as presented in the clearly intended fait accompli of yesterday's hastily scheduled press conference outside City Hall on Tuesday morning.

A Reform surge in Hoboken is looking to draft City Council President
Jen Giattino a candidate for Hoboken mayor.

Sources close to Reform City Council members say loyalty to Mayor Zimmer's bid for a third term was sacrosanct and Jen Giattino was already working like others on the Reform team toward her re-election. Mayor Zimmer's shocking announcement to not seek a third term and her immediate decision to endorse Bhalla without seeking consultation of her allies forced others to rethink the Reform Movement's future.

One decades long Reformer stated the displeasure among many with yesterday's surprising double announcement in front of City Hall saying, "We didn't suffer all those years to bring reform to Hoboken to have a successor decided behind closed doors. That's hardly democratic and more emblematic of Hudson County machine politics."

Councilwoman Jen Giattino is serving in her second term as a Hoboken City Councilwoman. Her initial run and victory in 2011 flipped the council majority from the Russo-Mason axis to Reform, one open to moving forward and passing Mayor Zimmer's agenda.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla is serving in his second term and ran on the mayor's 2009 ticket with Dave Mello and Carol Marsh. In 2011, Bhalla made a bid to win a NJ Assembly seat but failed to catch fire against State Senator Brian Stack's candidate Ruben Ramos.

Hoboken's political backwaters are already aflame with word Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano is about to make official his entry into the mayoral race later this week.

Similarly, word spreading like wildfire in Reform and Old Guard circles of the surge to get behind Jen Giattino for mayor is underway.

Jen Giattino was not immediately available for comment. Mayor Zimmer and Councilman Ravi Bhalla did not respond to a request for comment but this story anticipates updates with responses.

A mayor, a burka and third term prognostication

Last April Fool's Day, MSV announced there would be no third term for Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Really, who saw that coming? Well no one, not even Mayor Zimmer who took the joke wrapped in an enigma of a forward looking time machine authored by a Horse with her fine sense of humor. In almost eight years at the helm of the City of Hoboken, the mayor took far worse.

Hoboken's indomitable mayor, Dawn Zimmer
If there's one thing learned over two terms, Mayor Zimmer took the slings and arrows of Hoboken's vicious Old Guard well. She delivered some well-placed blows herself, typically on Election Day. Or for she who will not be deservedly named, when Mayor Zimmer announced the sale saving the local hospital with a herculean effort led by Toni Tomarazzo and the late Steve Rofsky against the forces of evil who sought its demise.

It was one of the finest moments for Hoboken in her two terms.

There would be other major if quiet victories for Hoboken along the way. The culture of corruption, a long time feature of Hoboken's "On the Waterfront" past and present were most often chapters discovered, closed and filed away. About those four million missing quarters from the parking meters, "it's been cleared up."

So too, Mayor Zimmer discovered a penchant for taking on hurricanes. Win some, lose some but what the mayor most intangibly succeeded in achieving for Hoboken was the expectation that corruption would no longer be acceptable or tolerated. There would be bumps along the road, different visions and policy ideas but the black hole of a Hoboken Soprano tax would no longer be a factor. The former terror of the construction office, Al Arezzo, will not be back next week. 

Some didn't take it well and went kicking and screaming the entire way.  Moving Hoboken to 21st century governance where professional minimums of behavior were expected became the norm.

Like a tide rolling in, there's a time for the wave to roll out. The mayor decided she had to elect an opportunity before a window closes. No one will get further details until after the governor's race in November. Others locally will understand and act similarly.

In the end, Mayor Zimmer kept a promise not to use Hoboken to elevate herself to higher political office. While many may have forgotten it, one of the reasons she was elected mayor was explicitly for that one. In doing so, she would remain one of us, a Mile Square City resident first and foremost. For the Reform Movement, it meant sovereignty of its citizens would not be taken for granted. Of course HudCo takes plenty of Mile Square City taxpayers cash and will continue to do so. There's been no headway to stop that larceny.

What to make of this tidbit last April Fool's Day, this Horse leaves it to you the reader to decide.
From the last paragraph of the column:

Another option for Zimmer is as Green Czar in a NJ Governor administration under Phil Murphy. Her staff would go door-to-door seizing inefficient light bulbs decreed morally unsuitable and declare them environmental offenses against the State. Penalties for six or more inefficient light bulbs per household will trigger the seizure of property to house illegal aliens in what will be designated sanctuary safe houses for new voters.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mayor Zimmer: 'I made the decision on endorsing Councilman Ravi Bhalla'

This video courtesy of the Hudson County View:

Opening comments by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Councilman Ravi Bhalla this morning held on the steps of Hoboken City Hall.

To a question by John Heinis, HCV Editor as to the support of other Hoboken council members (outside of mayoral candidate Mike DeFusco) at 3:30 mark:

"...We've had a great team and I'm proud of what everyone has done together working together but ultimately I made the decision that Ravi is the right person for Hoboken right now to move our city ahead."
                - Dawn Zimmer

Horse Sense: Hoboken mayoral race will see more entries

The breathtaking some say shocking recusal of Mayor Dawn Zimmer from the election race this November absolutely, positively means there will be more surprises and more candidates coming to the fore.

So says this Hoboken Horse. For starters, word is you will see the formerly calculating mayoral candidate Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano jump into the race full throttle. Tomorrow.

Anthony "Stick" Romano seen here in this vintage 2010
photo is expected to jump in the mayoral race as soon as
tomorrow with the shocking announcement today of
Mayor Dawn Zimmer's departure.

That wasn't expected originally until more effort could be put into identifying a council slate. Now that activity will commence simultaneously as he tosses himself in and gathers support for a serious mayoral run.

He won't be alone. Additionally, Councilman Michael Russo is said to be rethinking his position. Why wait four years from now when the prize is wide open for the picking? Exit, the nominal support for Councilman Mike DeFusco and a dalliance with Stick Romano. Time to reclaim the crown and prize for the fallen Russo Clan.

Another previously failed candidate who may resurrect his earlier bids: Frank "Pupie" Raia. His health has improved and he's asking himself why be the kingmaker for the kid DeFusco when he can finally grasp the mantle of his lifetime dream: mayor of Hoboken.

Is that the end of it? Hardly. There's been no chance for the Reform Movement and its grass roots supporters and council leaders to decide what's what and if they will get on board with Mayor Zimmer's handoff of the baton. No one asked them apparently and it's not created consensus of heart, mind and action.

So this race remains fluid. Stay tuned.

This Horse Sense editorial is dedicated to everyone who made the Reform Movement a success since 2009. Hang on; it's going to be a rocky ride.

Mayor Zimmer 'Finishing my term and then pursue climate change' opportunities in NJ


Mayor Zimmer to finish term and endorse Councilman Ravi Bhalla for mayor

At a press conference late this morning Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer ended the speculation she was bowing out for a third term saying she was finishing her term and would pursue opportunities of personal interest in "climate change."

Translation: She's been offered a job to work in Trenton in a Phil Murphy administration for some leadership role involving the Department of Environmental Protection or similar and a deadline means she would need to be available to begin the job early next year.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla, who has served on the City Council with Mayor Zimmer since 2009 stood next to her and received the mayor's endorsement for the upcoming November election.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Councilman Ravi Bhalla outside City Hall late this morning with the big announcement.

Here is the official statement from Mayor Dawn Zimmer:

Mayor of Hoboken Dawn Zimmer Announces She is Not Running For Reelection
Endorses Councilman Ravi Bhalla for the Seat

Mayor Dawn Zimmer today announced that she will not run for a third term for Mayor, will focus her efforts following her term on the urgent fight against climate change, and endorses Councilman Ravi Bhalla in the race to replace her. 

"When I made the decision to run for City Council ten years ago and for mayor eight years ago, I wasn't looking to start a long career in politics - I wanted to help my community at a time when we were facing major challenges, and believe I have accomplished that task and am hopeful about Hoboken's future," said Mayor Zimmer. "We inherited a city government that had lost the people's trust and was under state fiscal supervision, where development decisions were made to benefit the big developers, and where infrastructure had been neglected for decades. We restored honest and open government where decisions are made in the best interests of our residents, reduced taxes and saved our hospital while securing a AA+ credit rating, and invested in a renovated Washington Street, built a second flood pump, created new parks, and for the first time in decades invested in our water main system. Hoboken is now on the right path and our future is bright.”

“This has been a very difficult decision," added Mayor Zimmer. "However, as many people know, I consider the issue of climate change and resiliency to be an extremely urgent challenge facing our city, our state and our nation. I am extremely proud that Hoboken is on track to be protected from the impacts of climate change with the Rebuild by Design project, our resiliency parks, a microgrid, and other initiatives. But while our city is on the right track, our country is not. With President Trump backing out of the Paris Accord, demonstrating the federal government's lack of commitment to addressing climate change, I have decided that it is the right time for me to take on a new role working more directly on this critical issue. Once I complete my mayoral term, I will decide on the best way I can devote my time and energy to the urgent fight against climate change.”

Mayor Zimmer cited some of her accomplishments, including securing 8 acres for new open space and upgrading existing parks, advancing Rebuild by Design, putting Hoboken on a sound long-term fiscal path with a greatly improved AA+ bond rating, holding the line on taxes, and saving the hospital, which avoided a fiscal disaster.

Mayor Zimmer endorsed Councilman Ravi Bhalla for Mayor, stating, “I know Ravi is ready to step up and lead our City forward. Councilman Bhalla and I have worked hand-in-hand to put our City back on the right track. Ravi’s leadership on the Council was essential to saving our hospital, to restoring fiscal responsibility, to moving Rebuild by Design forward to combat our flooding problem, and to securing new parks. He will get the job done for all of Hoboken."

Councilman Ravi Bhalla said, “Mayor Zimmer has raised the bar for what it means to be a great mayor and I am proud to have been with her every step of the way.”
Bhalla continued, “I pledge to build on our progress, holding the line on taxes, insisting on fiscal responsibility, ensuring the implementation of Rebuild by Design to solve our flooding problem, and repairing our aging infrastructure. I believe that with sound governance Hoboken’s best days are ahead.”

Bhalla noted that over the course of the campaign, he will be announcing specific plans and proposals-all designed to keep Hoboken moving forward.

Next steps for Hoboken

Mayor Dawn Zimmer announces:

Hi MSV readers,

I want to share with you the news that I have decided not to seek reelection this November. This has been a very difficult decision, but with a vacuum of leadership on the urgent issue of climate change from the federal government, I have decided it is the right time for me to take on a new role working more directly with the issue of climate change and resiliency - one of the most critical challenges facing our city, state and nation.

It has been an honor serving as your mayor and I am extremely proud of all that my team and I have accomplished with your help. When I made the decision to run for City Council 10 years ago and then for Mayor 8 years ago,  I wasn't looking to start a long career in politics - I wanted to help my community at a time when we were facing major challenges and making important decisions about our future.

I believe I have accomplished that task. After inheriting a city government in financial distress and under state fiscal supervision, we turned Hoboken around and fixed a broken City Hall. We’ve restored honest and open government, with our City now on the right path. We’ve built new parks and acquired 8 acres for more open space, kept municipal tax rates stable, established an AA+ bond rating, saved our bankrupt hospital, made major strides in addressing the longstanding flooding problem with a second flood pump, won a $230 million Rebuild by Design competition, invested in a renovated Washington Street, prioritized the interests of residents ahead of developer profits, and so much more.

Hoboken is now a model for resiliency and sustainability, and I will always be proud of the role I played in helping to set our great City on the path to a better and stronger future. I am more comfortable making this decision because Councilman Ravi Bhalla is stepping forward to run for mayor, giving me confidence that our City will continue on the positive course that our Reform team has set together.

Our accomplishments over the past eight years have truly been a team effort, and Ravi has been a vital part of our team. He understands how hard it was to achieve our successes and is committed to carrying this City forward to ensure we continue to improve the quality of life for Hoboken residents.

I love this City and have absolutely loved this very tough job. Thanks to each and every one of you who have placed your trust in me as your Mayor. I hope you will place that same trust in Councilman Bhalla, who I know will ensure Hoboken stays on a positive track.


Dawn Zimmer