Thursday, July 2, 2015

5th ward Councilman Peter Cunningham on big county tax increases, new stops and Southwest Redevelopment Plan

From the desk of Hoboken 5th ward City Councilman Peter Cunningham:


This second edition of Councilman Peter Cunningham’s e-newsletter focuses on county taxes, provides information about changes at nearby intersections and urges residents to weigh in on Southwest Redevelopment. Future editions will continue to focus on issues of importance to the 5th Ward and Hoboken as a whole.

Cunningham Blasts Big County Tax Increase
Peter Cunningham blasted Hudson County government for socking Hoboken with another big county tax increase. The county tax levy as a whole is increasing by an unacceptably high 4.49%, but the increase for Hoboken is nearly 12% due to the county formula that is based on property values. More than 1-out-of-5 tax dollars to pay for county government now come from Hoboken taxpayers, despite the fact that less than 1-out-of-ten county residents live in the City. That is simply unfair.

Councilman Cunningham said, "We tightened our belts in Hoboken and held the line on taxes. It is long past time for Hudson County government to do the same. In a more than $500 million county budget there is plenty of room to find cost-efficiencies and to root out waste." Cunningham was one of the leaders in passing a recent measure to keep the city tax levy completely flat.

Nearby Intersections Now All Way Stops
As part of a citywide effort to make Hoboken a safer place to walk, bike and drive, two nearby intersections now require all way stops: the corners of 9th Street and Willow Avenue as well as 15th Street and Bloomfield Street.

Other improvements underway include widening bike lanes and adding curb bump-outs at intersections. Improvements are being made to the intersection of 14th and Garden, and all intersections on Clinton Street north of 10th Street. To ensure our children are safe walking to school, a traffic assessment is being conducted for our elementary schools, which includes a review of school crossing guard placement, and increased deployment of traffic control officers during rush hours. This systematic approach to pedestrian safety is informed by the success achieved in reducing accidents and injuries by putting in place targeted traffic control and calming measures at the Hoboken Path Station.

The City is also working with New Jersey Transit to implement changes to reduce the long lines at bus stops heading out of the north end of Hoboken on Clinton Street through skip stops and other proven techniques. Peter Cunningham said, "Ensuring Hoboken is a safe and inviting place to walk and bike is essential to our quality of life. This requires constantly making improvements. That is exactly what I am working hard on to make sure we continue to do."

Cunningham Urges Residents to Provide Feedback on Southwest Redevelopment Plan
Peter Cunningham is urging interested 5th Ward residents to complete an online survey about the Southwest Redevelopment Plan at www.hobokennj.org/swplan. "While this redevelopment effort is not taking place in our neighborhood," said Cunningham, "how it proceeds will have a substantial impact on the whole city. I urge 5th Ward residents to take this opportunity, for our voices to be heard."

Cunningham noted the feedback provided by residents made a big difference in improving the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan taking place in the City's northwest, ensuring the decisions made about that area factored in the interests and needs of all Hoboken.

The Southwest Redevelopment Plan Area consists of nearly 18 acres, bounded, roughly, by Paterson Avenue and Observer Highway on the north and the Jersey City boundary on the west and south. According to the City, "The redevelopment plan will address the various land uses, appropriate density and height of buildings and opportunities to encourage neighborhood goods and services. Finally, the plan will also strive to increase public parks and open spaces."