Mayor Zimmer to finish term and endorse Councilman Ravi Bhalla for mayor
At a press conference late this morning Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer ended the speculation she was bowing out for a third term saying she was finishing her term and would pursue opportunities of personal interest in "climate change."
Translation: She's been offered a job to work in Trenton in a Phil Murphy administration for some leadership role involving the Department of Environmental Protection or similar and a deadline means she would need to be available to begin the job early next year.
Councilman Ravi Bhalla, who has served on the City Council with Mayor Zimmer since 2009 stood next to her and received the mayor's endorsement for the upcoming November election.
|Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Councilman Ravi Bhalla outside City Hall late this morning with the big announcement.|
Here is the official statement from Mayor Dawn Zimmer:
Mayor of Hoboken Dawn Zimmer Announces She is Not Running For Reelection
Endorses Councilman Ravi Bhalla for the Seat
Mayor Dawn Zimmer today announced that she will not run for a third term for Mayor, will focus her efforts following her term on the urgent fight against climate change, and endorses Councilman Ravi Bhalla in the race to replace her.
"When I made the decision to run for City Council ten years ago and for mayor eight years ago, I wasn't looking to start a long career in politics - I wanted to help my community at a time when we were facing major challenges, and believe I have accomplished that task and am hopeful about Hoboken's future," said Mayor Zimmer. "We inherited a city government that had lost the people's trust and was under state fiscal supervision, where development decisions were made to benefit the big developers, and where infrastructure had been neglected for decades. We restored honest and open government where decisions are made in the best interests of our residents, reduced taxes and saved our hospital while securing a AA+ credit rating, and invested in a renovated Washington Street, built a second flood pump, created new parks, and for the first time in decades invested in our water main system. Hoboken is now on the right path and our future is bright.”
“This has been a very difficult decision," added Mayor Zimmer. "However, as many people know, I consider the issue of climate change and resiliency to be an extremely urgent challenge facing our city, our state and our nation. I am extremely proud that Hoboken is on track to be protected from the impacts of climate change with the Rebuild by Design project, our resiliency parks, a microgrid, and other initiatives. But while our city is on the right track, our country is not. With President Trump backing out of the Paris Accord, demonstrating the federal government's lack of commitment to addressing climate change, I have decided that it is the right time for me to take on a new role working more directly on this critical issue. Once I complete my mayoral term, I will decide on the best way I can devote my time and energy to the urgent fight against climate change.”
Mayor Zimmer cited some of her accomplishments, including securing 8 acres for new open space and upgrading existing parks, advancing Rebuild by Design, putting Hoboken on a sound long-term fiscal path with a greatly improved AA+ bond rating, holding the line on taxes, and saving the hospital, which avoided a fiscal disaster.
Mayor Zimmer endorsed Councilman Ravi Bhalla for Mayor, stating, “I know Ravi is ready to step up and lead our City forward. Councilman Bhalla and I have worked hand-in-hand to put our City back on the right track. Ravi’s leadership on the Council was essential to saving our hospital, to restoring fiscal responsibility, to moving Rebuild by Design forward to combat our flooding problem, and to securing new parks. He will get the job done for all of Hoboken."
Councilman Ravi Bhalla said, “Mayor Zimmer has raised the bar for what it means to be a great mayor and I am proud to have been with her every step of the way.”
Bhalla continued, “I pledge to build on our progress, holding the line on taxes, insisting on fiscal responsibility, ensuring the implementation of Rebuild by Design to solve our flooding problem, and repairing our aging infrastructure. I believe that with sound governance Hoboken’s best days are ahead.”
Bhalla noted that over the course of the campaign, he will be announcing specific plans and proposals-all designed to keep Hoboken moving forward.