Monday, September 18, 2017

Jen Giattino: 'Why I will be Hoboken's next mayor'

In an interview with the Hudson County View on Friday, City Council President Jen Giattino explains how her unexpected mayoral candidacy occurred, the Suez $8.35 million liability uncovered in recent days and why she will win in November and become Hoboken's next mayor.

Talking Ed Note: In this interview, Hoboken learns why Jen Giattino is surging among the main mayoral candidates. She's a straight shooter. There's no "political speak" or the usual hedging one sees in political candidates.

It's the same reason most Reform council allies are backing her mayoral candidacy and/or sought to be on her council at-large ticket.

Jen Giattino, as a mayoral candidate before her says she will not see to use Hoboken as a stepping-stone to move up the ladder. It's one of the clear differences between her and Councilman Ravi Bhalla. The model she's following? Dawn Zimmer.

The other universal trait shared by friends and rivals alike: trustability. Jen Giattino is liked and trusted by people who are and were both friend and foe.

Among the issues, it's the Suez water vendor front and center. Giattino says some questions were answered by the Zimmer administration but not others. She said it was August when some members of the council first learned of the unfunded $8.35 million liability. Efforts to obtain the information before the last council meeting didn't occur and the letter from the city auditor was oddly "very brief."

How is the $10 million liability being paid? It's a rhetorical question where Giattino points to payment being made in the future by Hoboken residents.

Giattino talks about the grass root community support she's seeing across Hoboken old and new pointing to that support as the reason she will win the November election for mayor.

Mayor supports improved proposed contract

In an interview with Mayor Zimmer the Hudson County View last Thursday, the Suez contract is discussed with the mayor citing the improvements from the previous terrible contact made in the 90s.

From the Hudson County View story:

Zimmer responded by saying that the auditor was on vacation during the subcommittee meeting he was summoned for, indicating she preferred to have that conversation occur during an open session of the city council.

The mayor also clarified that the $8.35 million figure is just an estimate since Suez has never billed the city for those services.

For the complete story please see the Hudson County View:

Hoboken Democratic Chair and Second Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher endorses Jen Giattino for mayor

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors

I am proud to endorse City Council President Jen Giattino to be our next Mayor of Hoboken and her council slate comprising of Zoning Board Chair Jim Aibel and long-time Hoboken residents Jason Ellis and Sal Starace. 

The day Mayor Zimmer announced her intentions, I awoke feeling unsettled and concerned about Hoboken’s future. To me the right message going forward for Hoboken is embracing what works, but fixing what doesn’t. And when Jen decided to run for mayor a week later, the unsettled feeling went away. 

Being the mayor of Hoboken is an executive role, not a legislative one, which is critical as you think about the candidate’s ability to execute on their vision. Our next mayor needs to have demonstrated:
  • Experience protecting the quality of life for Hoboken residents;
  • Ability to lead and navigate through many prioritizes – big and small - and get things done;
  • Willingness to challenge the status quo;
  • Financial focus to be a steward for taxpayers; and
  • Commitment to working with others to ensure the best outcome for Hoboken.

Jen is the only candidate who has all of these. Jen offers her hand and heart to anyone who needs it. She walks our streets daily and helps her constituents on everyday life issues like dirty streets and parks and unsafe intersections and helps those being displaced from their homes. Her neighbors tell me the following about her: “Jen is everyone’s neighbor”, “Accessible and acts”, “Mom who gets s--t done”, “Helped me when..,” “She is all about Hoboken.”

Jen has been my partner on the many issues that required a deeper understanding and financial review – like the 30 year PILOT given to the developer of the ginormous “7th and Jackson” project - Jen and I were the only two dissenting votes. She shares my view that improper development is the biggest threat to our community. That getting development right for Hoboken requires better financial review to level the playing field in negotiations with developers. And that prioritizing commercial development is critical to curb overcrowding impacts residential development has on traffic, parking and schools and bring much needed commerce and tax revenue to our community. 

In this election, we cannot go backward to the corrupt practices of our past that sent two of our prior three mayors to jail. Jen and her entire team are simply on the right side of wrong. I cannot stress enough the importance of supporting a candidate like Jen who is not beholden to any special interests (like developers) and who is not supported by votes that will be paid for. 

Jen is what Hoboken deserves. Someone who is all about Hoboken and not using this as a stepping stone to higher office. Someone who puts our residents first, solves the little things that seem big to individuals and can also tackle the big things that will have everyday impact to everyone in Hoboken. Please join me in voting for Jen and Team Giattino on November 7th.

Tiffanie Fisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward