The mayor's Administration delivered an ummistakeable message last night - it's deadly serious acquiring open lots for parks. In this instance, add to the open to do list the Pino's tow yard in the 3rd ward and the BASF owned site on west ninth street in the 5th ward.
Councilman Michael Russo led the fight against the ordinance putting the eminent domain tool on the table noting there's been no negotiations to this point. The council majority countered with Councilwoman Carol Marsh calling on the city attorney for the matter, Ed Buzak to explain how negotiations would fit into the process.
Mr. Buzak noted negotiations were a required feature of the process.
As would be the case on the Southwest rehabilitation, MORTe combined to all vote no but the ordinance passed. Just another of many 5-4 votes last night.
Another was the updated council rules. Notable for both Mason and Occhipinti complaining they can't grandstand on claims among other items. A telling remark contradicting accountability, Occhipinti and Mason both fear the public speaking early in the meeting.
They act like people care about their little gotcha games but don't want to hear from the public holding them accountable.
The update council rules passed 5-4 adding transparency to the City Council meetings and giving the public an opportunity to weigh in before midnight or later. Instead, the public portion for comment is early, just after the second reading on ordiances.
This is not to the liking of the Old Guard, not at all.
By the way, MSV forgot to note, former HHA commissione Marianne Camporeale has a lawyer. It's not clear who the intended target is but Tim Occhipinti says it should be the mayor (encouraging another lawsuit against the City he will later complain about.)
Who's paying for that?
Related: Grafix Avenge weighs in on Camporeale performance:
Talking Ed Note: Expect the negotiations with BASF to heat up. This open site is a large six acre location and is prime for turning into another sports field on the west side of town. There's two very large issues: first remediation is a major job on the site and the second is the formulation for its value.
It's unclear and may be illuminated when the process on the site for a Southwest Park is clarified. Both sites are classed as for industrial use so the potential cost is lower.
People can have disagreement on the application of the eminent domain tool for the public good.
The Old Guard however voted to keep the Kelo version of eminent domain on the table in the Southwest but can't support it for the public good.
It's a telling insight into the divide. Tim Occhipinti at one point began an unplanned speech in favor of pilots. No one told him arguing on behalf of developers is best left when one of their projects is on the table, not as an offshoot to general philosophy for an area, in this case the Southwest.
It's officially summer but election heat is already upon Hoboken. The Old Guard is making it clear nothing beneficial to Hoboken can occur on their watch. They can't stomach any more progress for Hoboken, least people attribute the effort to the mayor and the council majority.
It's less than a year before a mayoral election and three at-large council seats. The election is set for May 2013.
Hoboken is already getting hot.