Friday, March 16, 2018

City Council votes unanimously to acquire Union Dry Dock

The second and concluding vote to use eminent domain to acquire the Union Dry Dock for $11.6 million went off without a hitch yesterday.

That is until the chairman of NY Waterway Armand Pohan plead otherwise and concluded by saying the matter may need to be managed by "higher powers" among NJ officials.

The Chairman rejected the idea of the NY Waterway business operations being stationed in remote locations such as Staten Island and Bayonne. Ron Hine claimed them reasonable options.
Councilman Michael Russo is sitting on a sixth vote on the Rent Level Board appointment changes passed by the City Council last night. He voted yes but Councilwoman Vanessa Falco flipped her vote voting no. A pending veto by Mayor Bhalla means the entire vote would have to be repeated two more times. Which way does he go?

Talking Ed Note: This story is nowhere near over. On a separate note, Councilwoman Vanessa Falco flipped her vote on changing the appointing powers of the Rent Leveling Board. The second reading passed with six votes but a veto anticipated by Mayor Ravi Bhalla would place the overriding sixth vote into the hands of Councilman Michael Russo. The City Council would have to redo the ordinance again.
Russo and Bhalla are believed working out a BRAND NEW PILOT FOR CHURCH TOWERS. Last night, Michael Russo voted yes while setting himself up as the peacemaker between the administration and the council. After a veto, is Michael Russo going to follow Vanessa Falco and flip too?
The council vote currently means the mayor would retain four seats for nomination and the council would have three plus two alternates. 
As MSV wrote earlier, the ability of the City Council to alter the appointment authority of the Rent Leveling Board is similar to another historical action on the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment. In 2009, the City Council led by former councilwoman Dawn Zimmer pushed to take all of those appointments from the mayor. When she became acting mayor after the arrest and resignation of Peter Cammarano, the changes were passed by the council.
The advice from the Hoboken Law Department in a memo to the City Council saying they could not act as they are was a ruse. Mayor Ravi Bhalla's similar claims about the appointment authority to all boards being unalterable are equally false. Sad.
Stay tuned.