Thursday, December 3, 2009

5000 flu vaccine distributed

Reports of the slow introduction of the flu shot for the H1N1 virus are widely known but the  follow up locally isn't.  Here's an update from City Hall on the almost 5,000 vaccine disbursement:

City of Hoboken Distributes Nearly 5000 H1N1 Vaccines
       and Plans Public Clinics
City of Hoboken, December 3, 2009 - As part of its ongoing efforts to help protect residents against the spread of the H1N1 Swine Flu virus, Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced today that the City of Hoboken has distributed nearly 5,000 vaccines to health care providers in the community. Health & Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini, who co-chairs Hoboken’s H1N1 Swine Flu Task Force, also announced that the City is finalizing plans to hold free public clinics for residents at the Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC).  Director Pellegrini indicated that as soon as the Federal Government delivers the necessary syringes to administer the vaccine, the clinics will begin to take place.
 “We want to thank the participating health care providers in our community for partnering with us to help ensure that the people of Hoboken have the opportunity to get vaccinated against the H1N1 Swine Flu virus,” said Mayor Zimmer. “Those pediatricians and other healthcare providers that requested the vaccine have received nearly 5,000 doses to administer to their patients and that distribution project, along with our public clinics, will go a long way in protecting the target populations from the virus.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) target groups for the H1N1 vaccination are pregnant women, healthcare workers, people six months to 24 years of age, caregivers to anyone under six months of age, and those 25 to 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions.

Almost a dozen health care providers, including pediatricians and clinics have received vaccines to administer to their patients. “The partnership the City of Hoboken has created with local healthcare providers has been extremely helpful in protecting our community from the spread of the H1N1 virus,” said Dr. Angelo Caprio of the HUMC. “This program has worked remarkably well.”

Guest of the stable: Rami Pinchevsky

Here's a first hand account of this past Tuesday's meeting of the 4th Ward residents with the Hoboken Police Department offered by resident Rami Pinchevsky:

This past Tuesday night, the Hoboken Police Department hosted a meet and greet for residents of Hoboken living south of 6th Street, and west of Madison.

Chief Falco spoke on his visions for the City.  4th Ward Councilman Michael Lenz also made a brief statement how he was eager to work with the department and thanked them for putting together the event.

Multiple members of the police department spoke on various topics, including: 
Light Rail Problems:  Officer Jason Falco mentioned that between December 2008 and January 2009, there were 7 aggravated assaults at the Light Rail station.  As a result, the have installed better lighting and increased police patrol resulting in zero violent crimes since.

Adding it all up

Here's a chart on the top line showing the contributions of less than $300 for all candidates in the last mayoral election and total expenditures this year for both elections.  This is always a good breakdown as it shows core support for candidates in the community.  If you look at this, Dawn Zimmer's small contributions far exceed all others combined. 

This information is brought to you by the Wile E. CoyoteEric Kurta.  Thank you again Eric!

The second line shows what the candidates have spent in total based on filings shown on the last filing date.  

Talking Ed Note: The total for Beth Mason shown above is inclusive of the May and November mayoral elections.  Mayor Zimmer's expenditures are inclusive of the May, June runoff  and November elections.  

All other candidates in the chart are totals for the November election.

3 Year Budget Analysis

This is the top line projection for three years. (Click on the photo to enlarge.) The budget reduction is 8% down from previous year and by keeping the overall cost flat will decrease over 20% the following year.  Since there are items coming in and going out it's hard to know how this all shapes up but the backup to this will be available soon no doubt.  

The City Council clearly recognizes the importance of their role in the process.  And this is the beginning not the end of that process.  Although people will suggest it is the State Fiscal Monitor's role to be more aggressive, politically it doesn't make much sense to expect her to push that with all the cleaning up of the mess left behind (we've heard only limited stories of how badly our records have been kept) and drive a new spending philosophy in town.  This isn't a bad starting point.  It could have been better by a few million sure, but it's the employee cost in town driving this and the status of the union negotiations were held in closed session.  That will be problematic but that's a statewide issue due to the arbitration process favoring the unions.  The gravy train has been going on quite a while in New Jersey.  "What's in it for me" being normal in the culture of corruption.  No one walks away from the dinner table when it's always free, especially in New Jersey.  Those folks show up in mass every election making sure they have the "free spenders" in office disbursing your money.  

It came up last night that Mayor Zimmer sought reductions from each of her department heads.  And the City Council is clearly looking to play a lead role as it should based on the governing rules of the Faulkner Act.  We don't know the details of the budget negotiations for police and fire and it's been a pointed concern as we know the key people in City Hall don't all agree, (from the rumors we've heard) but the starting point is here.  And now there's people who are actually serious about dealing with this.  Really serious.

As we all know it's the big albatross hanging over our heads that looms.  The hospital is the virus that can put a big hurt on the efforts of a lot of folks.  It would radically change everything including this three year budget projection should the worst occur.