Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SOUTHWEST PARK VICTORY: Landmark City purchase passes 5-1-1


In a major victory for long time Southwest Park advocates, the check prepared to purchase the one acre piece of land approved by Hudson County Superior Court passed in a 5-1-1 vote.

Tim Occhipinti who was for the Southwest Park before he voted against it previously asked if a resolution was needed seeking to delay the payout but it was explained to him by Steven Marks, Asst. Business Administrator the court action meant the City could proceed with the purchase.

A Southwest Park has been a signature goal of Mayor Dawn Zimmer who entered the political arena seeking a way to make the idea a reality.  Councilman Dave Mello has also been a long time advocate for a Southwest Park, even prior to being elected to the council.

Occhipinti complained he did not agree with the process or eminent domain but indicated he would change his earlier no vote to approve the purchase of the surface parking lot by the mayor's administration.

Mello noted other council members had voted not to allow for the offer from the City earlier but in the end the political tactic to block obtaining the Southwest Park ended as Councilwoman Terry Castellano was not in attendance.  She had previously voted against the City's offer the court approved. and predicted years long court battles and excessive cost. That prediction ended with her being absent.

Beth Mason abstained and Michael Russo voted no.

Voting yes: Council President Peter Cunningham and members Ravi Bhalla, Jen Giattino, Dave Mello and the reversed Tim Occhipinti who is for the moment an unannounced candidate for mayor.

Tim Occhipinti reversed his earlier no vote on the Southwest Park.  While it would have passed since the Old Guard lacked a vote in Councilwoman Castellano for a typical block, Occhipinti is running for mayor and so his no went to a yes!  
You have to love election season!

Talking Ed Note:   Earlier Tim Occhipinti approved generators joining reform council members which public safety delineated was badly needed and in addition the high water vehicle voted down by the Old Guard council in the budget.

Fire Chief Blohm, Police Chief Falco and OEM Director Ken Ferrante all strongly advocated approval.

You have to love election season!

No other way to put it:


City Council @ 7:00 - Does Hoboken get the long hoped for Southwest Park?

Part 1:

Video streaming by Ustream

Part 2
Video streaming by Ustream

Tonight is the first City Council meeting for September moved from Wednesday due to the Jewish holiday.

No small irony on the same day 1600 Park sees its official ribbon cutting ceremony opening, the Hoboken City Council will have up for approval the court approved purchase of the one acre piece of land, re: Block 12 in the claims tonight.

The price is below $3 million, the amount the county allocated and was reprogrammed for the Southwest for just this opportunity.  The council has been split along usual lines and it's unclear if a fifth vote will be available to join the reform oriented group who will likely provide four votes in favor.

As it turns out with election season upon the Mile Square, Tim Occhipinti is faced with a major issue as he looks to run for mayor.  He's advocated for a Southwest Park as a council candidate and the location is the same one he's even shot a video pushing for a fourth ward park.  He's not supported eminent domain in the process to obtain the surface parking lot but the Hudson County Superior Court has ruled in favor of the City.

To this point Terry Castellano, Michael Russo, Tim Occhipinti and Beth Mason have all voted no on the Southwest Park.  Those votes are all in the past but tonight's will be the most important as the City has cut the check and is ready to finalize for many a long held dream.

This evening the City Council will face its first fall test on whether the land purchase for a Southwest Park comes to fruition.

The full agenda for tonight's meeting: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda13/ccm_09-03-13.pdf

Talking Ed Note: For those with an iPhone or iPad, Ustream has an app you can watch the meetings at your leisure and the bonus is no commercial interruptions.  For those with an iPhone 5 and LTE access, you can stream the meeting right over the air even if you are walking down Washington St or Sinatra Drive.

Ads in the council video are not MSV's but are by Ustream.

Hoboken: We have a Third Slate!


Breaking: The rumors of a full third slate in the Hoboken November race are confirmed as a new slate headed by Councilman Tim Occhipinti submitted far larger than the required number of signatures to the City Clerk's office.

Expected to be named to the third slate: Tim Occhipinti for mayor, Peter Biancamano, Frank Raia and newcomer Britney Montgomery for council-at-large.

The slate is anticipated to easily meet the required 400 signatures for each office, doubling the amount submitted for council and more than doubling that amount with approximately 1,000 mayoral petitions.

The Ramos campaign has submitted an unknown number of petitions earlier today for its earlier announced slate.  It includes Assemblyman Ruben Ramos for mayor, Eduardo Gonzalez, Joe Mindak and Laura Miani for council-at-large.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer will take on the slates and any independents with her council-at-large slate of incumbent council members Ravi Bhalla and Dave Mello with long time open space good government advocate Jim Doyle.

Earlier today council candidate Patricia Waiters' campaign said it submitted 458 petitions.  

It's unknown if any other independent candidates will file.  The City Clerk's office will take several days to verify the count of all submitted petitions.

BoE trustee Peter Biancamano an unannounced council candidate speaks to a Hoboken resident Saturday
as a final petition push was underway.  

Talking Ed Note: It's on!

Sign of the Times: Day of Reckoning for candidates

The City Clerk's office will be accepting petitions today for candidates who are looking to run for the at-large council seats and mayor.

Domenick Amato's sign above invited patrons of Mr. Wraps to sign his petition for one of the at-large council seats.

All weekend workers were on the streets around town collecting petition signatures for Tim Occhipinti who wishes to join Assemblyman Ruben Ramos and Mayor Zimmer in the mayoral sweepstakes this November.

One commenter notes the uptown ferry had folks out collecting signatures for Occhipinti.

Who files and makes the cut?  Stay tuned.