Thursday, July 19, 2018

As Washington St. stalls, where's Ravi?

It's only six months into a four year term as mayor but Ravi Bhalla is exhibiting lackadasical execution on a number of fronts creating confusion and concern among Hoboken residents. Hopes shared he would perform as mayor for all Hoboken with only 32% of the vote last year are fading and being replaced by a continuing hyperpartisan agenda to move up the political ladder and get out of the Mile Square City asap.

Further hopes he would marshall sufficient attention on two major issues: completing the stalled and out of control vastly overspent Washington Street renovation and identifying an alternative home for NY Waterway operations at the former Union Dry Dock are souring.

Washington St.'s renovation continues at a stalled pace far behind the promised
August completion date by Mayor Ravi Bhalla. His recent prediction lauding
himself it would be paved to Ninth St. by mid-July has fallen far short too.
Only weeks back, Bhalla had hailed his 'accomplishment' of seeing Washington St. paved up to Ninth St. by mid-July. The congratulations to himself in the future has turned out to be a fiasco as the main street renovations are paved well short.

The latest fiasco with gender neutral bathrooms whereby Mayor Ravi Bhalla made a big production seeking maximum publicity for himself but doing nothing is illustrative.

On the upside, inheriting a strong financial rating and budget fundamentals has seen this year's municipal taxes flat (although next year will be far more challenging). Council meetings show no sign of returning to the rancor earlier this decade even with Bhalla's declaration of war in March on all members who are not agreeable to rubber stamping his every wish.

However, at the last council meeting, two planted Ravibots believed by some councilmembers closely connected to the mayor's political aide Jason Freeman made appearances, firebreathing ugly Ravi Bhalla talking points attacking its members. According to some on the receiving end, they were obviously repeating Ravi Bhalla's private remarks and threats sans curses. Lacking the substance of veracity, it foreshadows the dirty campaigning last year is ready to be unleashed far in advance of the fall council ward races set for 2019.

Hoboken would like to see Washington St. on the way toward completion although it won't be until well into 2019 and many millions over budget. The Mile Square City would also like to see Hoboken work with county and state governemnt to find an alternative home for NY Waterway ferry operations at the former Union Dry Dock. Of course most would appreciate a break from dirty campaigning but can Ravi and his political aides refrain? None of it reflects well on Jason Freeman or Ravi Bhalla to this point if the last council meeting is an example of what's coming.

Ravi is developing quite a reputation for an inability to get along and "play nice" with others. Recently, there's whispers he's gotten into a less than cordial exchange with County Executive Tom DeGise about adhering to US law working with federal law enforcement on criminal illegal aliens detained. DeGise declined to change the county policy during the Obama Administration on cooperation with federal authorities when alleged criminals are placed under arrest and risk $8 million in federal funding.

Once again, Bhalla thinks taking hyperpartisan radical leftist positions will vault him into higher political office. He's not showing any sign of changing that strategy to fast track himself out of town. As his indifference to substance became more readily apparent, residents are beginning to wonder where's Ravi when it comes to Hoboken and its local issues.


Talking Ed Note. Ravi Bhalla did return from another out of town trip in Toronto in time to make an appearance at Stevens for the Army Corps of Engineers hearing on usage by NY Waterway at the former Union Dry Dock. Now what?

MSV hears suggestions about holding another annual online drive. Here's the chance to support good government watchdogs/watchhorses and continue to press for performance and results adhering to same.

MSV is entering its seventh year of fighting (and winning) frivolous litigation. It's but one of a handful of falsified civil and criminal attempts to end the almost nine years long efforts here to see Hoboken stop being used and abused at all levels. Stand and be counted for good government, well, anonymously.