Monday, December 15, 2014

Hudson Reporter: Mayor Dawn Zimmer to resign Reason: No reason

Hudson Reporter political column speculates on hearsay Mayor Dawn Zimmer to resign; offers no reason for it.

Analysis on the bizarre Hudson Reporter column last weekend 

The Hudson Reporter's political column, penned by Al Sullivan took Hoboken for a ride over the weekend. For those who read such tales, this one was a doozy. Speculating on a "rumor" of Mayor Dawn's Zimmer unannounced but upcoming resignation, Sully journeyed on an odyssey at length who would follow her.

Lots of sellers in that rumor market and Sully indulged them - all of them.

Al Sullivan in some downtime performing a reading in Jersey City.
His political column last weekend took Hoboken for a ride last weekend.

The short answer to the question posed by the Hudson Reporter comes with Betteridge's law of headlines in an adage that states, "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word NO."

A bemused mayor, used to hearing such tall tales about herself is said to have responded to the wild speculation inquiring what would be the reason this time for her resignation. None is offered in the column but at least one wannabe Old Guard mayoral candidate is said to be telling anyone who'll listen the mayor will be indicted before year's end.

Stop laughing. The Old Guard has sounded that alarm to anyone in Old Hoboken who'll listen more than once since the popular reform mayor took office. It's a rumor used only slightly less than the one about a former construction official which said on a bi-weekly basis, "Al's coming back next Monday."

The Sully column goes on to splash many more column inches with a "theory" to what follows in a hoped for mayor's resignation. The candidates benefitting being named under that wild scenario are Freeholder Anthony Romano and the current sitting Assemblyman Carmelo "Dead Man Walking" Garcia.

Romano just came off an unopposed re-election victory for Freeholder last month but he's been seen photobombing at light speed at every local event possible in recent months. His hunger to run for mayor may be stronger than the calendar's four year election cycle. Mayor Zimmer was re-elected easily in a three way race in 2013.

The other Old Guard named candidate is someone who fits convicted felon Peter Cammarano's roadmap to victory. The ex-mayor and disbarred attorney recorded on FBI surveillance tape at the Malibu with a campaign mantra starting with, "I could be indicted..." and win an election to be Hoboken mayor may have appeal for this Hudson Reporter named candidate-in-waiting who is fond of using recording devices himself.

 The divisive and controversial Carmelo Garcia, he of multiple civil lawsuits and "ethnic cleansing" fame who left the Hoboken Housing Authority a train wreck is the other favorite Old Guard son mentioned. Garcia however, is more likely to face really being indicted before elected in any imagined special election next November. (The federal investigation at the HHA is speeding along and not a word breathed about it by what many residents call the Hudson Distorter.)

Lots more column inches expended on a wild scenario on "behalf" of reform and who would replace the mayor. Some see all this noise as part of what's been described as "Team Jabberwock," a small insider group of disgruntled former reform supporters who have Sully's and likely Augie Torres' ear.

Before any retaking of the mayor's seat, their immediate requirement is to overthrow the existing working five seat reform majority on the City Council. A poison pill scenario could be hatched seizing one pivotal seat in the second ward while sabotaging reform's chances of anti-corruption champion Peter Cunningham in the fifth ward.

Anti-corruption champion Peter Cunningham may find himself
the target of a plan to upend the mayor's working five member majority.

Behind the scenes, a further step toward an Old Guard alliance in the fourth ward replacing Timmy Occhipinti with Ruben Ramos would make that swing seat influence instrumental and Councilman Michael Russo a very relevant voice again.

As MSV said recently, the election for the six City Council ward seats has begun. The recent Augie Torres and Al Sullivan columns shows you how much.

Happy Holidays!

Correction: The Hudson Reporter did finally get a mention in with a feature on the federal investigation at the HHA in this last issue. So hat tip to Carlo Davis for getting that in!

The story broke more than a month ago with a video report at the Hudson County View and featured on MSV.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla: NJ Transit redevelopment, reval legislation, pump no. 2

Councilman Ravi Bhalla announces:

Dear friends and neighbors,

I hope this you are enjoying the holiday season with family, friends and loved ones. I write to provide you with an update on several important items the City Council will be considering at our next and final meeting of 2014, this Tuesday, December 16th.

New Jersey Transit Railyards Redevelopment Plan

The City Council will be voting to adopt a Redevelopment Plan for the New Jersey Transit Railyards site, which extends west from the Hoboken Train Terminal along the southern border of Hoboken. The City Council's subcommittee on community development-south, working together with the Administration, residents and all stakeholders, has presented a mixed use plan incorporating commercial, retail and residential development. This project has the potential to transform the southern border of Hoboken in a positive way for generations, so I urge everyone to attend the Council meeting and make your voice and opinions known about the plan.

In my role as a Commissioner on the Planning Board, we thoroughly vetted the plan and offered 13 recommendations for the City Council to consider. The City Council held a special meeting of the whole on December 10th and heard from many members of the public regarding various issues, opinions and concerns about the plan. We have also heard from various stakeholders and many members of the public who have written or called us to offer their thoughts and opinions about the plan. So far, the most prominent concerns about the plans have been the height of certain buildings near the train terminal, traffic circulation and flow, and making sure the development does not erode the unique charm and character of Hoboken.

I share all of those concerns and more. The adoption of this plan is part of a larger process where residents will continue to play a role in what is ultimately developed at this site through a redevelopment agreement. The input from residents thus far has and will continue to be helpful in helping us fine tune the details of this development in the future, so I urge you to make your voice heard as we continue with the process in the days, months and weeks to come. Finally, I want you to know that I am considering this plan in the larger context of the prospective Neumann Leathers rehabilitation plan, the plan for a Southwest Park, and the Rebuild By Design Plan for protecting Hoboken from flooding and severe weather events.

The Hoboken Railyards Redevelopment Plan and additional documents can be downloaded at the following links.

Wet Weather Flood Pump in northern Hoboken

Another critical item on Tuesday's City Council agenda is the consideration of a bond ordinance for the construction of a wet weather flood pump on the eastern edge of 11th Street in Hoboken. The Administration has been working closely with the North Hudson Sewerage Authority for the installation of this flood pump. This bond ordinance, if adopted, will allow for the construction of a flood pump which will have a substantial impact on reducing flooding in the western area of Hoboken. A PSE&G electricity substation also resides in this area of Hoboken and provides energy to other areas of Hoboken, so it is critical to ensure flood mitigation measures are put in place in this area for the benefit of other areas of Hoboken as well. To this end, it is encouraging to see that the residents of the Maxwell Place residential community have been engaged in this process and will continue to in the future. I am very hopeful we have the support from the community and City Council to adopt this ordinance.

Six Year Property Tax Revaluation Ordinance

Finally, we will be considering an ordinance that mandates the City of Hoboken to conduct a revaluation of property taxes every six years. Previously, the City Council and Administration had unanimously agreed to a yearly rolling reassessment of 25% of the property in Hoboken. As a result of concerns from residents about the impact and possible instability of this program, we are now considering mandating a revaluation every 6 years at a minimum. In the larger context, it is important for property taxpayers to know that there is equity in the process - that they are not being over assessed or under assessed relative to the market value of their properties. For this reason, mandating a revaluation at a minimum of every six years is a preventative measure from the shock many taxpayers felt from the first revaluation we conducted in 25 years in 2013. I hope this measure is supported by the public and adopted by the Council.

Thank you for your time in reading this update! If you have any questions, concerns or need assistance with anything, feel free to call me at 201-647-6090 or email me at 

Best wishes to you and your family for a happy holiday season and a happy new year!

Ravinder S. Bhalla

Hoboken Police Chief Ferrante addresses several policing issues with media allegation of racial profiling

Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante wasted little time addressing several policing issues after being sworn-in to the new role earlier this month.

In an interview with the Hudson County View, Police Chief addresses several policing areas with racial profiling one raised in an earlier media report. He dismisses the claim Hoboken fits the list explaining the data is limited.

As one might say, garbage in, garbage out. The interview comes courtesy of Hudson County View's John Heinis.