Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunday the big bond ordinance - for potentially keeping the Municipal Garage in its current location

Office of the Mayor announces:


MAYOR ZIMMER URGES COUNCIL TO PASS BOND ORDINANCE

In a memorandum to the City Council based on findings from legal counsel, Mayor Dawn Zimmer outlined contingency options regarding the municipal garage and stressed the urgency of passing the bond ordinance being considered at the June 13th Special City Council meeting. The bond can only be used for refinancing existing debt already borrowed against the municipal garage on Observer Highway. It cannot be used for financing the relocation of the garage.

“Failure to pass the bond could mean that our City risks losing all ownership interests in the garage,” wrote Mayor Zimmer.

Additionally, the garage could then be sold by the bank to Hekemian or other developers, “costing the taxpayers of Hoboken millions of dollars in lost revenue.”

Further, failure to pass the bond ordinance will “potentially cost the taxpayers of Hoboken an estimated $600,000, when all transactions costs and higher interest rates are calculated….Our auditor and financial advisor agree that voting no on this bond ordinance could severely impact our bond rating for years to come, costing the City untold amounts of money and/or lost opportunities.”

“I call on Council members to support this contingency plan and protect the interests of Hoboken residents,” said Mayor Zimmer.

Concerned residents are invited to attend the meeting on Sunday, June 13th at 7:00 pm in City Hall.

The memo from Mayor Zimmer to the Council, memo from legal counsel, and additional supporting documentation are available on theHoboken website at: http://hobokennj.org/docs/mayor/Zimmer-Memo-6-10-10.pdf


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Talking Ed Note: As a matter of policy MSV posts releases from the city in their entirety along with any newsworthy release(s) from elected officials without comment.  In this case Da Horsey is making an exception to note the emphasis in this release that the bond on the table for approval in the City Council on Sunday is strictly planned for any potential problem in the sale of the Municipal Garage.  Note the reference that the funds can not be used for relocating the garage.  This is clearly a refutation of Councilwoman Beth Mason's assertion that a city spokesman said otherwise.  She stated earlier two locations were under consideration as stated by an unnamed city spokesman Councilman Peter Cunningham.  MSV posted his response earlier today.


It's critical to note, the bank, Capitol One holds the existing loan on the current Municipal Garage and is in the drivers seat.  If the city doesn't take action to potentially put into play its right to repurchase the property, should the developer not follow through on the purchase, the property could be sold by the bank for whatever amount they desire and to any buyer as well.


In short, should the City Council fail to act on this contingency, Capital One could take back the property similar to a home foreclosure.  The city would get nothing.  The city would also potentially be on the hook for any difference in the bank's sale to a third party.


This is a direly important issue and one that reaches a head on Sunday.  Any Council member who would vote no on this will have a lot of explaining to do.


Jeopardizing the existing property the Municipal Garage sits on and precluding it possibly remaining in this location is going way past playing politics.  They would deserve to be run out of town.

Please see the mayor's communication to the City Council and Corporation Counsel Michael Kates explanation.  





Brother can you spare an approval?

City of Hoboken announces:



ZONING OFFICE INSTITUTES EVENING HOURS

In order to better serve the public, the Zoning Office at Hoboken City Hall has instituted extended evening hours on the second Tuesday of each month.

"We know people have busy lives, so hopefully this gives residents an opportunity to sit down and get their questions answered without having to take off work," said Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman. "The initial public reaction so far has been very positive."

The Zoning Office is responsible for administering the zoning laws of the City of HobokenHudson County and the State of New Jersey.  Zoning is the delineation of districts and the regulation of use, placement, spacing, and size of land and buildings. The office is located on the ground floor of City Hall and is open Monday through Friday between 9 am and 4 pm and additionally on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Residents may also contact Ms. Holtzman at 201-420-2063 or aholtzman@hobokennj.org.


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Update: Ann Holtzman, Zoning Officer is out of the office Friday.  Two months into her position, she's also attending classes with the Rutgers Government Service School to keep up on all of the legal changes and current topics affecting Zoning & Planning in NJ municipalities.  

Talking Ed Note: Excellent!


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Getting in and out south of the city: Open House called

Office of the Mayor announces:

MAYOR DAWN ZIMMER ANNOUNCES PUBLIC KICK-OFF OF MAJOR TRAFFIC STUDY FOR SOUTHWEST HOBOKEN

Traffic and congestion in Southwest Hoboken have been growing and unaddressed problems for many years, but now something is being done about it. A Sub-Regional Transportation Study was commissioned by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) to provide recommendations for resolving long-standing traffic concerns.  Funding for this major study – over $200,000 - was acquired through the efforts of Mayor Dawn Zimmer while she was a 4th Ward councilwoman, in collaboration with Jersey City and Hudson County

“I’m glad that we are making real progress towards resolving the traffic and congestion issues in Southwest Hoboken,” said Mayor Zimmer. “I urge the community to come out and be a part of this process.”

On Wednesday, June 23 between 4 and 8pm at the Multi-Service CenterHoboken will be hosting a very important “Open House” public meeting to solicit community input regarding congestion and transportation issues in Southwest Hoboken. The community -- residents and business owners alike -- are encouraged to attend any time between 4 pm and 8 pm to share their ideas and concerns regarding traffic, congestion, pedestrian safety, and transit access in this critical corner of the city.

Event details:
Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 4pm-8pmHoboken Multi-Service Center
124 Grand Street
HobokenNJ 07030-2510


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Peter Cunningham's one word answer to Beth Mason

Councilwoman Beth Mason's charge two sites near her home are under consideration for the Municipal Garage as stated by a city spokesman and City Council President Peter Cunninham is meeting some resistance.  And it's not just coming from some of the commenters here on MSV.


To the charge the City Council President has spoken out to consider the two sites mentioned in Councilwoman Mason's email communication earlier today, Peter Cunningham sent a terse one word reply:

"WRONG!!"

Earlier this year, Councilwoman Beth Mason attacked the Council President for a "blatant" conflict of interest when he voted along with the entire City Council in a 9-0 vote to have an attorney continue ongoing work on the Lt. Andriani case.  Peter Cunningham was not present at the time of the Councilwoman's attack as he was attending a family funeral.

A review sought by some City Council members including Councilwoman Mason was later released by the Corporation Counsel Michael Kates clearing the City Council President of any wrong doing.

The RFP process for potential Municipal Garage locations was reissued. No decision has been made on any potential location to this point. 


Timmmmbearrrrrr! Residents report another tree destroyed

Although the city announced a tree was removed and would be replaced, residents say it wasn't the only casualty.  It appears another healthy one took a hit.  Workers for the tree company aggravated residents stating they didn't need city approval to remove the trees.

Whaaaaat?


Hey man, you sure you got the right tree?

This tree doesn't look ill or dangerous.  What's up with that?


Two trees down, how many will this firm decide have to go?

Photos: Courtesy of concerned Hoboken residents.  All rights reserved.


Update: 12:05  MSV was contacted by a source familiar with the work in the park and told this second tree had some issues and it's not coming down but being extensively pruned in order to attempt to save it.  Confirmation is being sought to verify that is in fact the case.  

Injured tree removed, to be replaced in Church Square Park

City of Hoboken announces:

CHURCH SQUARE PARK TREE TO BE REPLACED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS

On Wednesday, June 9th, a tree was removed from Church Square Park due to safety concerns. An analysis found that the tree had multiple major cracks down the trunk and was at risk of falling (see attached photos).

The City will soon be removing the entire trunk and replacing it with a new tree.

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Beth Mason gets NIMBY with it

This email blast went out from Councilwoman Beth Mason today:


Beth Mason Opposes Public Works Garage in Residential Neighborhoods


Dear Friend,

I am writing to you today with an important message. I need your help to protect our neighborhoods.  This Sunday, June 13th at 7 pm, the City Council is having a special meeting where the Mayor will ask the Council for the authority to borrow $15 million to relocate the Hoboken Department of Public Works Garage (commonly referred to as the Municipal Garage).  As you may be aware, this garage houses garbage trucks, plows, maintenance equipment, and dangerous chemicals, such as oil, antifreeze, and cleaning products.  

 Both the City Council President and the Mayors Spokesman have stated that strong consideration is being given to relocating the garage on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology.  If this relocation takes place it will:

Recklessly waste tax dollars
Decrease the property value of your home
Create a public safety hazard
Increase traffic in our neighborhood
Reduce parking for residents and students 
Destroy our recently revitalized roads 

It is widely believed that City Administration and Stevens intend to place this garage on either the corner of 8th and Hudson Streets or on valuable waterfront property directly across from Frank Sinatra Park that would be better used to provide more open space for our residents.  

My husband, Ricky, and I have lived in Hoboken longer than any other place in our lives.  Our daughters Shipley and Virginia were born here and are being raised in Hoboken, which is very much our familys hometown.  In fact, we became civically involved over a decade ago when a former Mayor and Stevens Institute of Technology threatened to build a garage on 8th and Hudson Street, which would have permanently ruined the unique small town feel of our neighborhood.  

No matter what our race, age, religion, political party, or income we have always worked together to protect our neighborhoods and to make Hoboken a better place to live and raise a family.  Many of us are very busy working, raising families, and even caring for elderly relatives.  As someone who serves on the City Council, is raising two daughters, and helps care for my elderly father-in-law who recently moved to Hoboken to be closer to us, I absolutely understand the value of your time.  However, I ask that you please set aside a few moments to contact me at (201)-916-8244 or Beth@MasonCityCouncil.org so we can stop the relocation of this garage from changing the face of our neighborhood as we know it.

 Thank you for allowing me the time to speak to you about this important issue.  I will continue to provide you with updates as they develop.  In the meantime rest assured that I will stand up for your family and mine as I make your voice heard on the City Council and continue to be a fighter for all of us.

Beth


Talking Ed Note: Councilwoman Beth Mason is expressing concern about the Municipal Garage location.  In this case she's amped up to say "not in my back yard."  First it was the Russo clan led operation to create panic among third ward residents, now its Beth Mason's turn, gone solo from the "Council of No" to get NIMBY with it.

She charges the City Council President and a mayoral spokesman announced this.  Has anyone else heard of this? It's news to MSV.  

Is Beth Mason envious of her ally Councilman Mike Russo's municipal garage ginned up circus and hoping to rile up similar panic to score political points?  There's no election in sight but she may have her eye on her 2nd ward election next May already.

Councilwoman Beth Mason lives up the block from this new "site" she charges is now the designated location.  

Last week MSV interviewed Mayor Zimmer.  Here's that story on the Municipal Garage.