Friday, March 2, 2018

Councilman Peter Cunningham: Completing our waterfront & maintaining public safety

Official release:

Dear neighbors and friends, 

I wrote to some of you the other day expressing my serious concern over Mayor Bhalla's strategic and poorly timed announcement that he has indeed taken on another job. It's more than breaking a campaign promise, and it's buried in his announcement below.

We are certainly on the same page as it's relates to Union Dry Dock, but in other issues I am concerned.  It is unfortunate for him to say, "put politics aside" while he kicks two of the City's most talented members off the Rent Control Board because they supported another Mayoral candidate.  This is hypocritical to say the least. The new members that he just appointed are also dismayed by his action, because the two members have a great deal of expertise and knowledge that is difficult to replace in this very sensitive area.  

I also share similar concerns with Mayor Bhalla on LepreCon day. However, the Mayor had committed to forming a task force with the hospitality association to solve the problem collaboratively.  He has instead taken a far different approach akin to swinging a sledge hammer, which in my opinion is disingenuous.

At our next council meeting, I look forward to supporting Councilwoman Giattino's amendment to our flood ordinance that helps to protect the character and scale of Hoboken's neighborhoods severely under attack by the consequences of our current ordinance.   For example, under the current law, we are treating non-flood zones as flood zones.  This amendment removes the "X and shaded X zones from the enforcement area.”

Lastly Mayor Bhalla’s  job is to be a full time mayor.  However, his new law firm job draws a salary, and he has upside potential of making over a million dollars a year!  This has many potential conflicts of interest and appears more about leveraging his Mayoral seat for political and economic gain than doing what is right for the citizens of Hoboken.  My concerns are not political.  They are about doing what's right and this is not.  

As always, I appreciate hearing your thoughts.