Governments in general, and the current occupants of Hoboken City Hall in particular, often go with solutions in search of problems. From the ongoing Washington Street Destruction Plan, to the Benches for Beggars (which replaced parking by the downtown CVS with red chairs and tables), to repeated back and forth efforts to “fix” traffic in the south and southwest of town, the majority of our current crop of political “leaders” are victim to their own groupthink and hubris. An attitude of doing something because they can and of confusing their preferences with the priorities of our urban community have sadly become pervasive.
Naturally, these “leaders” have consulted with handpicked “experts.” They have undoubtedly conducted a “study” (or two) with an engineering firm that clearly has no interest in having repeat business, has an 100% immunity to confirmation bias, and in no way, shape, or form, would ever return the results it was asked to sign off on to secure said future continued business. The reality is that it doesn’t take the people of Hoboken an expensive study to know that traffic has gotten worse on Observer Highway and that the Washington St Destruction Plan includes dangerous curb extensions and kills parking spots on the Avenue. The people know Court St isn’t a project to be taken up for the County Board of Freeholders because it’s not one of the handful of county roads our taxes pay so much (and get so little in return) for.
From barely used bike lanes on main streets to tax dodging schemes called PILOTs (Payment in Lieu of Taxes), our city leaders have done things based on their conception of their public image not for the betterment of Hoboken, the bottom line of the taxpayer, or to help ease the schlep in and out of town for the car driving commuter. This pattern of negative behavior is worse than the benign neglect many of my fellow council candidates have engaged in with their silence on the issues.
When elected to city council I will not be silent, I will see if proposed solutions actually address a real substantive problem facing our city or are more of them same attempts by many to “make their mark”. Hoboken has real issues, perennial flooding, a high cost of living, an anti-small business climate, a shortage of housing stock, and an extreme deficient of parking. When elected, I will ensure our city council doesn’t ignore these problems by inventing others.
Joshua Einstein is a member of the New Jersey Republican State Committee and the Hudson County Regional Jewish Council. He co-founded a Democrat-Republican Dialogue group which alternates meetings between Hoboken and Jersey City. He writes a regular column for a north Jersey community newspaper and has been published in over 14 sites and newspapers. He walks dogs in town and is an Executive Board member of the New Jersey State Young Republican Federation.