Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Skyline's Call to Arms - City Council Zoning Board Appeal

Here's a memo circulating among the Skyline residents leading into tomorrow's meeting on Zoning Board appeals.

The public hearing for the Rey Foods property (509 Newark Street) is scheduled for 7pm Wednesday, March 24th at Hoboken City Hall

This one-time, final appeal to the City Council is because we want them to rule against the Zoning Board's approval of the 12-story building proposed by the property owner. The legal height limit for this property is only 2 stories.
We believe the owner did not demonstrate hardship or economic need for 10 additional stories on this property. Our concern is that the development (extending from the Skyline parking lot to the car wash) will block all Manhattan and Hudson River views from the south side of the building and thereby lower Skyline property values.

We want the City Council to strike this approval down. Furthermore, we want the new City Council to approve the 2004 Hoboken Master Plan (already paid for with our tax dollars) so that there is a professionally-prepared plan to guide development in the city.  

Skyline Board of Directors

Janet DeGennaro - Thanks Officer Bret Globke

This letter is from Mo DeGennaro's wife Janet.  Mo is scheduled to come off intensive care this evening.  His family appreciates everyone who has prayed on his behalf.

Thanks for life saving service

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the family of Maurice 'Mo’ DeGennaro, please accept this as my sincere thanks for the live saving procedures performed by Hoboken Police Officer Bret Globke and the Amcor Ambulance personnel who attended to my husband ‘Mo’ in a most professional manner while he was unconscious and had already turned a purple color.

Without their timely intervention, the staff at Hoboken University Hospital would not have had a chance to follow up with their excellent intensive care for ‘Mo’ who was in a critical state.

Now after more than a week in very serious condition, his condition has been stabilized and he appears to be on the road to recovery. Again, thanks for this great team effort and the leadership displayed by P.O. Bret Globke.

Janet DeGennaro

Kids First - "meet the candidates" series Saturday

Kids First will be hosted by a Hoboken resident for their second in a series of outdoor events in a "meet the candidates" series.  The event will take place on Saturday from 2:00 -5:00 at 923 Castle Point Terrace and is hosted by Scott Siegel.  

Questions: Please email Scott Siegel: scottsiegel@hotmail.com.

'bout Uncle George

A guest poster commented earlier today posing a direct question to Kids First on the matter of George DeStefano.  In reply, an email was sent by Kids First BoE member Theresa Minutillo:

FACTS;  This was decided in litigation.... Destefano sued the board b/c by stature he has first right of refusal for this position...
The Court decision was in his favor.... not ours...

 salary is $10,000 prorated from 3/15-6/30...
the back pay owed will be paid by the board's insurance company NOT the board....

Happy now?  You know it's election season when stuff like this doesn't even make it a day without being well ground into powder.  Okay on to bigger and more important matters.

Now 'bout that budget, helleva job!

Breaking: BoE budget introduced: $4 million reduction, down 7% with a tax decrease!

MSV received this breaking information:

Last night Mr. Carter and the Business Administrator, Bob Davis introduced the BOE's 2010-2011 budget.  It passed by a vote of 8-0 (Mr. Carmelo Garcia was not present)

Budget FY 2010-11 $57,882,147
Budget FY 2009-10 $62,013,193
Budget decrease $4,131,046
Budget decrease in percentage terms: 7%

Tax Levy FY 2010-11 $36,764,796
Tax Levy FY 2009-2010 $36,761,743
 Tax Levy decrease $3,053
 Tax Levy decrease 1%

-The board's budget goal of keeping the tax levy flat without impacting the educational programs remains in effect.
-The budget includes 14 staff cuts including 2 principals, 1 vice principal, 1 director and 10 teachers. Staff reductions will be achieved through attrition due to 18 retirements, 12 filed and 6 in process. No RIF's (reduction in force) will be necessary, which means no lay offs.

Talking Ed Note:  This introduced budget reflects a significant achievement in very challenging times coming after the reductions in State aid with the financial crisis faced in Trenton.

The key players in this: Superintendent Carter and the Business Administrator Bob Davis represent the advances of being put in place with the changes in the BoE since last year.  Kids First elected last year played a key role in these hires and the impact is evident:

  • a real honest budget presented to the Board of Eduction
  • a first time ever open to the public budget workshop
  • a thorough transparent discussion of the entire budget including reductions and revenues
  • a tax DECREASE while State aid has been reduced $2.3 million.
Bottom Line: Some people need to take a bow.  Superintendent Carter and BA Bob Davis, please approach the podium to receive your awards for service to Hoboken. 

This is nothing short of impressive.  Btw, who was the BoE majority again responsible for these hires?  
A strong rumor says it's these folks.
More to come...

Update:  The tax decrease of 1% is due to State and Funding being allocated to certain categories, re: teacher's salaries, special education, etc. and when the various categories are impacted based on how the various groupings are managed by regulation.

Yet another update: Business Administrator Bob Davis is quoted in a story at Hoboken.patch.com:

"I would think that if you present a budget that spends $4 million less than the previous year—7% less—if, despite losing almost two-and-a-half million dollars in state aid, you present a budget which lowers the tax levy," Davis said, "one would reasonably anticipate that should be viewed favorably by the public."


Citizens Campaign - Thursday MakeUp Date

The Citizens Campaign will present its Path to Political Party
Service seminar on Thursday, March 25 at 7:00. at St. Matthews Parish
Hall. This course will teach the basics of how local political party
committees work and prepare interested citizens for the June 8
committee elections. The 30 minute course will will be taught by an
educator from the nonpartisan Citizens Campaign.

St. Matthews Parish Hall is located at 8th and Hudson Street.

What Do the Local Political Party Committee People Do?

Every district of every ward in Hoboken elects both a Democratic and
Republican committeewoman and committeeman. The party committees exist
to represent the interests of local voters to the party, and to raise
funds and rally support for party candidates.The responsibility taken
on by each committee person depends completely on the level of
involvement they choose. Many run for committee to promote change in
local government or to help build a political platform. Others see it
as an introduction to the political process or a chance to socialize
with politically like minded neighbors. The local committee people also
represent Hoboken at the county level by helping to choose the county
party leaders.

The June election is a great chance to dip your toe in the political
waters. Only a few signatures are needed to get on the ballot and,
depending on your district and party affiliation, getting just a half
dozen votes may get you elected .

The goal of the Citizens Campaign in sponsoring this event is to
inspire citizens to participate in the leadership of their communities
and reverse the tide of government waste and corruption.

For more information please contact JohnBranciforte@aol.com