Post meeting - Link to recorded meeting is also available here.
The Southwest Park idea, a dream for residents of the fourth ward comes to a final ultimate vote for all the marbles tonight. About a year ago, the concept of eminent domain was put forward by the mayor, a generic request asking for a tool to make negotiations serious. Tim Occhipinti in a rare occasion learned he was going to held accountable for supporting a park in the Southwest the mayor was urging support for and became the fifth vote.
Tonight Tim Occhipinti finds himself in a similar predicament. But since his vote in favor of eminent domain last year, it's been learned he's taken money from a local developer of an establishment that ignored Hoboken Zoning laws and is looking to retain that structure as it eyes the parking lot across the street as a parking place for customers.
Occhipinti's MORTe colleagues are not likely to vote for the Southwest Park. Beth Mason wouldn't even vote to approve building a traffic light to support safety moving forward 1600 Park. The Russo's don't care about parks, they care about power and money. Councilwoman Terry Castellano opposed Pier A park and years ago told the city there's was sufficient open space recounting it around town - by the square foot!
So in a potential repeat scenario to last year's vote, Tim Occhipinti may find himself faced with the dilemma of supporting developers who he's consistently sided with and the fourth ward residents who have mostly nothing but concrete building after concrete building to look at in their neighborhood.
No worries though. Be ready to hear "the developer position," - how Mayor Zimmer is acting hastily and unnecessarily, how the negotiations are being rushed while at the same time they were not done properly, how this power grab is unfair to the parking lot owners.
In short you should hear a continuation of the nonsense he was quoted saying recently. Tim Occhipinti has stood with NJ Transit, Academy Bus, spoken out for the Rockefeller Group who have tried to build a Freedom Tower type structure in west Hoboken and left a live City Council meeting to speak on behalf of a developer's illegal structure with numerous zoning violations at a Hoboken Zoning Board meeting.
On the other side he's tried to take credit for a pocket park on lower Jackson Street even walking away with the City's plans at a public meeting for who knows what reason.
But tonight, let's see what Occhipinti says and then what he does.
The full meeting agenda is here: