Monday, August 28, 2017

How Jen Giattino saved the Southwest Park

There's misinformation going around in Hoboken's political universe and that's nothing new. The depths however taken by some have delved to new lows in the mayoral race.

One of the recent whoppers attempts to dismiss the pivotal fifth vote by City Council President Jen Giattino leading to passage of the Southwest Park back in September 2013. Without Jen Giattino's vote, there's no Southwest Park, end of story.

Now her "leadership" is being questioned by the concerted efforts of those on the Bhalla campaign and close to the mayor's office as part of a smear campaign.

Except the claim is not true.

In May of 2012, the initial vote passed easily with Jen Giattino in support 7-1. But the binding narrow 5-4 vote in June of 2012 preceded the final critical September vote the following year and decided the matter once and for all. Once again, Jen Giattino lent her vote in support of Mayor Zimmer's effort seeking a Southwest Park.

Site of the Southwest Park in Hoboken where before it's open, an effort at historical
revisionism seeks to undermine Jen Giattino's critical vote approving it.

Talking Ed Note: Mayor Zimmer urged the City Council to support the effort and use eminent domain to purchase nearly one acre of a surface parking lot. Jen Giattino, initially voted against eminent domain but may have preferred the City of Hoboken purchase five acres uptown later approved (at the BASF site) as a priority serving more residents. It didn't stop her from casting the decisive vote backing the Southwest Park's approval in the Hoboken City Council.

So there's the conclusive record on the Southwest Park's legislative approval and how City Council President Jen Giattino played a pivotal role in saving it.

Reform sources intimate to the years long SW Park efforts stating Dawn Zimmer would later offer her support to the idea and adopted it as an issue in her 2007 council race.

The Southwest Park is set this fall for completion.

Correction: The narrow 5-4 vote to keep the SW Park alive in June 2012 is available here:

"For the record" is a new MSV investigative column adding sunlight to the darkness on Hoboken politics.

Councilman Bhalla seeks upgrades to mass transit and infrastructure

Official release:

Councilman Bhalla Calls for Upgrading and Increasing Hoboken’s Mass Transit Options and Infrastructure
                              Says “Improvements are Needed to Keep up with Demand”
 Councilman Ravi Bhalla, candidate for Mayor of Hoboken, today called for upgrading the City’s public transportation infrastructure and increasing service on bus, rail and ferry lines in order to meet the growing demand.  Hoboken has the highest percentage of residents using public transportation to get to work in the entire United States.

Ravi Bhalla said, “Our residents deserve to have reliable, reasonably priced transportation options that can also help to reduce traffic and improve our quality of life.  As  Mayor, I will work tirelessly to advocate for the necessary investments in our mass transportation infrastructure.”
Bhalla called on New Jersey Transit to add additional north/south 126 bus routes west of Clinton Street, and add buses on the current 126 routes exclusively for uptown Hoboken.  He also urged New Jersey Transit to modernize their bus stops in Hoboken with digitally signalized arrival times, similar to what is standard in other parts of the country and world.

Free for All

A free for all is emerging among the four major mayoral campaigns as Labor Day approaches and campaign season enters full bore.

Among the indicators, a recent low key poll thought to be taken by a special interest group of developers hit an unknown amount of Hoboken homes' landlines. The margin of error and many residents only available via their mobile phones means no one is on top or out of the City Hall sweepstakes.

The Hoboken mayoral race is up for grabs as Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano, Councilman Ravi Bhalla, City Council President Jen Giattino and Councilman Mike DeFusco are all in the mix bunched up together.

It's a toss up! Hoboken voters are seeing a mayoral race swing into the fall
with all four major mayoral campaigns in position to claim the top prize.
This local business at 9th and Garden sports three campaign signs, one for Ravi
Bhalla and count'em, two for Jen Giattino. 

Romano's campaign HQ never closed from the spring freeholder campaign merely replacing the signs for office of mayor. The Bhalla campaign was aided by a head start with Mayor Zimmer's sudden withdrawal and backing but remains in the pack. The Jen Giattino campaign was last to enter but in short order has caught the leaders entering the clubhouse turn. Mike DeFusco's campaign finds itself in the mix with him campaigning almost non-stop since his February "council" fundraiser.

It's a long way to the backstretch but the acrimony is well ahead of Mile Square residents winding down summer. More than four dozen comments on last week's resignation of Mayor Zimmer's Chief of Staff who departed oddly midweek to be named campaign manager for Ravi Bhalla reference the unleashed torrent of attacks over on Sybil's Cave or as some are viewing its declarations of a burgeoning enemies lists, Hoboken Antifa.

The gutter attacks are short of the parent organization's weekend mob spree in California, heroes of the party battling "bigotry" and fascists who are hiding in plain sight. No one claims it's completely directed by the Bhalla for mayor campaign but that's where a band of City Hall insiders are launching their attacks on Jen Giattino's "leadership" and Hoboken residents who dare to publicly stray from the party line. (They want you to know they are monitoring you on social media. Yes, all of you.)

Even the death of a parent is fair game in their mob-like attacks.

The rest of this story is MSV Premium content and was released to members today. Others will see a feature "How Jen Giattino saved the Southwest Park" with her pivotal fifth vote on the City Council back in September 2013.