Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grist for the Mill - Municipal Garage Edition

Lots of blowback from unusual places and sources.  Can the city possibly undo the deal former mayor Roberts made on the Hoboken Municipal Garage?  If true, there's real hope the city may be in fact stringing together a way to undo years of damage of his administration by possibly buying back the garage with the existing buyer stepping aside.

Timothy J Carroll broke the story at the Hudson Reporter earlier and MSV has an inkling of horse sense this in fact may be possible.

Here's why:

The original deal was concocted with a quasi government entity, the Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) back in 2005 and extended almost $8 million to the city in a "leaseback transaction."  The city has been paying about $100,000 in a monthly lease since.

On the agenda tonight is a much higher bonding proposal than the original two million or so pulled from the agenda earlier.  Although the city would advance this as part of an overall contingency, couple this with the potential buyer S. Hekemian stepping aside would allow the city to pay back the HCIA and then continue business as usual!

In 2008 S. Hekemian paid $25.5 million with the plan of converting the building into residential condos.  With Hoboken's market already overdeveloped, the initial appetite for such may be gone leaving the city with an opportunity to execute a simpler plan and reverse the mistakes made under the Roberts Administration.  The Hudson Reporter says that group may be fine with stepping away from the deal - but that's not on the record from the business itself.

Here's the respac for tonight's City Council meeting.  Take a close look at Mayor Zimmer's communication to the City Council.  It's foreshadowing all of this potential in some abbreviated sweet strokes.

The haters will be left with an empty gas tank tonight.  They will have to hang their shingle on Councilwoman Mason's ethics "efforts" that have been torpedoed by existing State law, something Mayor Zimmer is looking to affirm locally as well.  Such a move on that front would remove the past, present and future grandstanding efforts on "ethics" we've seen in great doses locally in Hoboken.  Complaints would go to the State where local politics is less likely to find its way into legitimate concerns.

That's gotta sting the bottom feeders on the Beth Mason payroll.  She should get a refund.
Can Da Horsey get a petition going?!

Update: 5:00 - This is not a done deal with the business S. Hekemian by any stretch.  A source from outside of government says there may be interest in moving this to some end game but the city is nowhere near that point.  Cross your fingers we get there.  Unless of course you live near and don't like the existing garage.  Then of course you may have fished your wish and karma is a, well you get the idea.

City Council - Live Blogging with the Hoboken Journal

Tonight's City Council meeting has a full plate and the Hoboken Journal is back once again with all the bells and whistles to make it as painless as possible.

Tune in at 7:00 this evening for a full dish of the Jolly Green Giant.  He promises to serve up some tasty treats.

Ho, ho, ho - Green Giant!

The Cake Boss "corner"

Office of the Mayor announces:



The corner of Washington and Newark streets is getting a little sweeter.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said the City Council will vote tonight on designating the busy downtown street corner “Carlo’s Bakery Way” in honor of the 100th anniversary of Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop, a local favorite made internationally famous by TLC’s hit reality show, “Cake Boss.”

“Carlo’s Bake Shop is a Hoboken institution which has both satisfied the sweet tooth of residents and visitors and served as a catalyst to bolster our community’s image and local economy,” said Mayor Zimmer. “It is only fitting that we dedicate the corner of Washington and Newark streets in their honor to mark Carlo’s 100th anniversary.”

The dedication also coincides with the launch of the third season of “Cake Boss,” a widely acclaimed and highly rated show which follows the lives and good-natured eccentricities of owner Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro, his family and colleagues and customers.

“The show has helped reinforce Hoboken’s image as a world class destination, attracting visitors from across the United StatesCanada and beyond,” Mayor Zimmer added.

Last month, Valastro was awarded a proclamation co-sponsored by the City Council and the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce for serving as a “good will ambassador” by promoting Hoboken to a global audience.

Carlo’s Bake Shop was founded on Adams Street in 1910 and moved to its current site following its acquisition by Buddy’s father, Buddy “Bartolo” Valastro, in the 1990s. Buddy, Jr. took over management at age 17 following the sudden death of his father. Today, the family-owned business has grown in popularity for its creation of outrageous cakes and homemade pastries and cookies.


Tim Occhipinti takes another shot for City Council seat

The Hudson Reporter states Tim Occhipinti will throw his hat in the ring for the 4th Ward seat currently held by Councilman Michael Lenz later this month.  Occhipinti has been a frequent attendee of City Council meeting over recent months, and is expected to make the formal announcement June 17th.  Attendance and speaking at City Council meetings is often an indicator of interest for potential candidates seeking elected office in Hoboken.

Tim Occhipinti (l) joins HHA commissioner Jake Stuiver and Public Safety Director Angel Alicia (r) to listen in at a City Council meeting earlier this year.  

In addition to throwing his hat in the ring again for elected office in Hoboken, Tim Occhipinti established a website last year called Hoboken Volunteers, a gathering point where people can view and offer their time for a variety of local groups and organizations.  He previously ran for City Council last spring as an independent.

At the most recent City Council meeting, Occhipinti joined a parade of local residents complaining about the Municipal Garage being moved to the current Pino's tow yard angrily concluding, "This is our home."  No decision has been made on a location by the city which has reissued the RFP process for potential sites.

Occhipinti also spoke at the previous City Council meeting where he had a brief innocuous exchange with Councilman Michael Lenz.  A more notable appearance before the City Council took place during ex-mayor Peter Cammarano's brief term where he spoke in defense of the mayor's centralized powers on the zoning board.  He earlier endorsed Peter Cammarano in the runoff election against then Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer last spring.

Tim Occhipinti (r) joined other independent candidates who failed in their respective runs last spring endorsing Peter Cammarano for mayor in the runoff election.  Picture courtesy Hoboken Now.

Last week Occhipinti submitted a letter printed in the Hudson Reporter criticizing Mayor Dawn Zimmer for giving Gov. Christie "a forum to promote his agenda" and said Hoboken has a "proud Democratic tradition."  He mentioned other issues stating "Cuts in state aid, increased regulation, and looming increases in local taxes have become the norm" under the Governor adding, "we should only expect the like from Mayor Zimmer."

Talking Ed Note:  It's unclear if other candidates will emerge in the November race.  The 4th ward November election comes as direct result of the mayor's appointment last year of Michael Lenz to hold the 4th ward seat.  Mayor Zimmer earlier held the 4th ward seat  before winning the mayoral election leading to the opening.

Any winner's victory this November will be short lived with another election for the seat's full term to follow in May 2011.  MSV has heard of at least one other potential candidate who may be considering a bid for the seat but it's unclear if anyone will throw their hat in the ring for the November race with another election for a full term next May to follow.

Hoboken runs non-partisan elections although there has been party affiliated appeals to voters in the mayoral election last November and most recently in the BoE election.