Thursday, December 12, 2013

City: Hoboken credit rating jumps all the way up to AA+

Expected to Result in Immediate Additional Cost Savings

The credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has assigned a credit rating of AA+ to the City of Hoboken, a dramatic and unprecedented improvement from the City’s prior near junk bond rating. In assigning their second highest obtainable rating, S&P cited Hoboken’s “very strong economy,” “strong management,” “very strong budget flexibility,” “very strong liquidity,” “very strong debt and contingent liabilities profile,” and “good financial management practices.”

“In four years, we went from a city under State fiscal monitoring with near junk bond status to a thriving, financially strong urban center that is the envy of our state,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I’m proud that since becoming Mayor, we righted our fiscal ship so we can now stand on our own two feet and finance our infrastructure needs so our great City can continue to improve. I want to give a special thank you to Council President Peter Cunningham who has been fighting this fight with me since 2007.”

The most recent credit rating was in 2008, when Moody's issued a Baa3 rating (the S&P equivalent of BBB-), one notch above junk bond status, to hospital bonds guaranteed by the City of Hoboken. Moody's cited the City's “significant deferred charges, annual cash flow borrowing, and a history of financial mismanagement.”

As a result of this new bond rating, the City will save an estimated $1 million in interest over a 10 year period when it refinances existing Parking Utility debt during the next few weeks. The City will also be evaluating all other existing debt to determine if there are other potential cost savings.

Under Mayor Zimmer's Administration, the City has established and maintained a responsible surplus for the first time in years, maintained a low debt level, consolidated and restructured departmental operations, eliminated the use of one-time budget gimmicks, and privatized Hoboken University Medical Center in order to relieve the City of a $52 million hospital bond guarantee.

“Mayor Zimmer and I have prioritized the issue of fiscal responsibility since 2007,” said Council President Peter Cunningham. “It is and will continue to be a priority as it is fundamental to everything we do from infrastructure improvements to future development to ensuring Hoboken is financially protected from the unexpected.”

MSTA: 'Let's go back to court on Rent Control Ballot Question'

MSTA to challenge VBM and in-person ballots at county rejected

MSTA announces:


JERSEY CITY – The results of the Public Question on rent control in the November 5th Hoboken Election have been challenged and will be the subject of a trial on January 21st in Jersey City Superior Court, it was decided today. 
There are multiple causes of action, including the County Board of Elections excluding more than 280 mail-in ballots from being counted, depriving those voters from participating in the election. 
“The purpose of the petition is to have all legitimate votes counted,” says Charles Gormally. attorney for the group of 15 challengers.  “We are going to get to the bottom of why registered voters, some of whom delivered their own ballot to the County Board of Elections, were denied the opportunity to vote.” 

City: The "Hoboken Huddle" and 'thank you' Super Bowl Tickets

City of Hoboken announces:


The City of Hoboken will host the Hoboken Huddle at Pier A Park on the Hoboken waterfront the week of January 27 to February 2 leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII.

The centerpiece of the Hoboken Huddle, which will include activities, food, and entertainment, will be a large 16 foot tall illuminated sculpture of the Roman numerals “XLVIII” overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

“We invite visitors to Hoboken to complete their Super Bowl experience with an iconic photo only available on the New Jersey side of the river,” said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “With Hoboken’s restaurants, nightlife, easy access to Manhattan, and train access to the stadium, there is no better place to celebrate the big game.”

The Roman numerals will be visible from both sides, and up to 12 individuals or local businesses can own a piece of history for $5,000 or $7,500, respectively, and have their names engraved on a Roman numeral. Those wishing to “adopt” a letter can contact Scott Katz at A “thank you” drawing among the twelve individuals and businesses will be held for a pair of Super Bowl tickets with prime location.

In partnership with the US Curling Association, the Hoboken Huddle will feature 3 lanes of curling which will be free and open to the public. Early in the week, an instructor from the US Curling Association will be on hand to provide tips to participants. The curling lanes will remain at Pier A the entire month of February to coincide with the Winter Olympics.

WestwoodOne Sports, the official national radio partner of the NFL, and NBC Sports Radio will have a broadcast presence within the Hoboken Huddle.

The City is seeking sponsorships for additional activities for the Hoboken Huddle, including an outdoor ice skating rink.

The Roman numeral concept is a vision born from the Hoboken Events Committee, led by Chairman Scott Katz. Local architect John Nastasi has volunteered to spearhead the design. Through the cooperation of Freeholder Anthony Romano and President of the Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council Patrick Kelleher, the Hudson County labor unions will be volunteering their time to build the sculpture.

Hoboken is a vibrant city and residential, cultural, commercial, educational and tourist destination. Ranked the country’s most walkable city, Hoboken’s charming, nationally-recognized main street features eclectic restaurants, night clubs, and diverse retail shopping. The award-winning waterfront offers uncompromising views of Manhattan and New York Harbor. Hoboken is home of the Redwings, the back-to-back state high school football champions.

What I saw at the Refomulution - part deux

As the clock approached eight and the polls closed, decision time lay ahead.  The sidewalk made for some clammy hooves and the trot back was achy making street duty less than pleasant.  Among the candidates, Joe Mindak and Eduardo Gonzalez extended pleasantries.   The brief passing with Timmy Occhipinti at 14th and Washington St. unsurprisingly less so.  A woman with Occhipinti's small crew bellowed out to passersby to "vote for my brother." She seemed too nice to be related.

The Ruben Ramos campaign conveyed late optimism Election eve and one member of the campaign said they thought Ramos had a shot of winning along with one council candidate.  (The council candidate wasn't named.)  An unofficial operative for the Ramos campaign began texting around 7:30 pm mocking the voter turnout and saying Zimmer and her team were doomed.  Horsey quickly responded letting him know turnout was similar, as that proved accurate when the private call of between 12,500 and 13,000 votes came in at 12,900, an increase over November 2009.  The Ramos operative was given time for prayers and Da Horsey texted back "Prepare for the SWEEP!At least he bought kleenex in advance.

After the polls closed, a quick retreat to the stable where an inner debate continued. Stay for results to post for the public or hoof it down to Zimmer HQ and hope nothing of importance occurs in the interim?  As reported on MSV exclusively, it wasn't long before the blockbuster of the night would roll in foretelling the Reform sweep across the board.  Marine View had suffered an earthquake, 9.0 plus on the Richter scale and First Ward Councilwoman Terry Castellano must have had a heart attack when she learned Team Zimmer had swept "her" towers and with it Kids First too!

Pen of losers: The HPD cordoned off most of the sidewalk outside Raia-Mason HQ on Washington Street as Frank "Pupie" Raia (l) speaks on the phone.  Councilwoman Beth Mason seeing Da Horsey slipped away into the office on this second photo of the scene but one of her long time consultants is seen middle rear, a solitary figure absorbing another Mason election disaster.  With expenditures perhaps more than the other two mayoral campaigns combined, it managed a measly 17% of the vote.  Beth Mason is now allying with a south NJ State Senator close to Gov. Chris Christie seeking... something to alter her string of Hoboken election failures.

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