Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fight back - Protect your property

Tony Soares had a good idea of giving citizens a way to put up their own signs.  We're going to kill a few trees but keep urine off our doorstep.  Or so we hope. Print and post at will!

Sign of the times: Hoboken is a winter wonderland...

But even with the weather, today was not a slow news day.... posted a great comprehensive story on Mayor Zimmer's and Council President Peter Cunningham's press release.  The Board of Education story on the new Hoboken Superintendent named last night in a 7-2 vote is still generating a lot of heat as well.

Mark Mauer at the Jersey Journal posted a piece on the battle lines at City Hall earlier and the Hudson Reporter posted a comment with the complete press release as well.

All this on a day when City Hall and most schools in the area were closed.  What will happen tomorrow when the dust, I mean snow settles?

Mayor Zimmer & Council President reply to Fiscal State Monitor Judy Tripodi's 'Unilateral' action

This statement just went out to the media from the Mayor and City Council President:


Mayor Zimmer & City Council President Respond to Fiscal Monitor’s Actions
City of Hoboken, February 10, 2010 - We have learned, by reading Mile Square View, that the State Fiscal Monitor, Judy Tripodi, has unilaterally reversed an action by the City Council at its last meeting that eliminated $1.5 million dollars in emergency appropriations.  Ms. Tripodi’s rationale in reversing this cost-saving measure by the City Council was the “potential” ratification of labor contracts with one of the police unions.
Ms. Tripodi’s action is extremely unfortunate.  It is incumbent upon all of us to conduct ourselves in a transparent and fiscally responsible manner.   At a minimum, the request for the appropriation was premature.  The Finance Director had already advised the City Council that without the $1.5 million appropriation, all projected expenses were covered through the end of March 2010.  Temporary emergency appropriations should only be used to cover actual expenses for a limited period of time until a final budget is adopted.  They are not intended to pre-fund costs of an unapproved labor contract that would in any event not be payable until after the period covered by the requested resolution.  
The collective bargaining negotiations are ongoing and we have made our concerns known to Ms. Tripodi.  As far as we are aware no agreements have been executed.   Any necessary temporary emergency appropriations could be made at a later date, after or contemporaneously with the approval of any agreements by the City Council. 
Yesterday, the State Legislature unveiled a series of proposed reforms aimed at public employee pension and health benefits at the local level.  One of the reforms – which is expected to pass both houses of the Legislature this month – would require all municipal employees in Hoboken to contribute 1.5% of their base salary towards health care costs.  This reform, if signed into law in the coming weeks, will result in substantial costs saving for Hoboken taxpayers, and must be incorporated into all current and future labor contracts with the City. 
In light of the State’s ongoing failure to release its public safety audit and the State Legislature’s pension and health benefits reform measures, it is imprudent and unnecessary to fund temporary appropriations related to labor contracts that have not yet been settled.  We pledge to continue to work in tandem with the Fiscal Monitor to reach a resolution to labor contracts that is fiscally prudent, takes into consideration the findings of the State’s audit, and incorporates any reforms that are adopted by our State Legislature.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer & City Council President Cunningham

Guest of the Stable: A "Hoboken Mom"

Hoboken Mom is back with a guest submission.  As usual, we print it in its entirety:

On Tuesday night, Dr. Frank Romano, was hired by the Hoboken Board of Education as the new Superintendent of the Hoboken Public School District. Hoboken currently has an Interim Superintendent, Mr. Carter, a retired Superintendent who came on temporarily until a permanent Superintendent was found. As a retired administrator, Mr. Carter is unable to remain and therefore not in the running for the permanent position.

Dr. Frank Romano is a veteran educator and administrator with over 18 years experience in public education. He began he career in Ramsey as a High School teacher and Staff Developer. He has worked in Tenafly, Millburn and currently is an Assistant Superintendent in Fort Lee.

Dr. Romano was chosen after a through search led by the New Jersey School Board Association. The NJSBA worked with the Board, Hoboken teachers, administrators and the public through various focus groups to devise criteria for the incoming superintendent. The posting for the position was sent to universities, professional associations and website's across the nation as well as printed in the Star Ledger (paper of record for education jobs in New Jersey).  The response was good as 35 applications were requested and 21 application packets were returned. An application packet included resumes, essays on a variety of topics, examples of work and administrative dealings and references.

Dr. Romano brings with him a strong background in Public School Administration, Curriculum and Technology.  He is known in his previous districts as an innovator, a collaborator, and for his commitment to excel lance in all he does. An “out of the box” thinker, he has a record of finding solutions to fit the needs of all the students in his District. For example, when one or two students wanted AP courses that were unavailable in Fort Lee due to their small size, he immediately arranged for the District to join The Virtual High School Program. In it’s first year, 37 students have already signed up to access the 200 courses offered by the online program.

Many who attended the recent Candidates Forum were stuck by his energy and passion for education and his positive vision for the District.

Dr. Romano will begin on July 1st.

Related: covered the story last night.  Some comments have come in and it's worth a very close look.  Maureen Sullivan, one of the two dissenting votes and a member of Kids First has logged in with a comment there.  (And so has Da Horsey.)

Move ye cars!

Mayor's Office announced:

Third Warning:  City Begins Towing at 11:00 am on Snow Routes

Starting on the west side of Willow Avenue to Observer Highway, the City will begin towing at 11:00 am this morning to ensure emergency vehicles can safely move through our City.  

Residents are asked to move your cars immediately from the following snow routes or risk being towed as a result of the storm: 

Name of Street Location
  • Washington Street Both Sides
  • Willow Avenue West Side- Observer Hwy to 11th Street
  • Third Street North Side- Jackson Street to River Street
  • Fourth Street South Side- River Street to Jackson Street
  • Fifth Street South Side- Clinton Street to Hudson Street
  • 13th Street North Side-Washington Street to Willow Avenue

Due to the snowstorm, street cleaning regulations for Wednesday, February 10th are cancelled. 

City garage parking today and tonight:  Garage D and midtown are nearly full.  Residents looking for parking should go to garage B, (2nd and Hudson). 

City Hall is closed today, except for emergency personnel including Environmental Services needed for snow removal. 

Along with permanent signage throughout the City on snow routes, additional signage was posted yesterday to warn residents to move their cars from the emergency areas.   Thank you to everyone that heeded our warnings and parked in garages!   We greatly appreciate that the snow routes are mostly clear, and hope to avoid having to tow anyone. 

Your cooperation helps protect all Hoboken residents.

Shoveling and snow removal:  As you shovel or plow your driveways, please DO NOT throw snow back into the streets.  We need everyone’s help to keep the streets clean.   Violators may be fined.

City Hall is closed today, except for emergency personnel including Environmental Services needed for snow removal. 

Thank you. 

Mayor Zimmer