Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Ram-it-Through Ravi Bhalla backs down on his Big Construction Union PAC friends redevelopment in face of community blowback

Ravi Bhalla's attempt to ram through
his construction union's PAC plans
for Hoboken are stalled, for now.
In an oddly timed announcement the night before a City Council meeting set to vote again on Mayor Ravi Bhalla's Special Interest big union construction redevelopment plan, the mayor blinked.

Late last night, Ravi Bhalla put out an email announcing a retreat on the vote for the Railyards Redevelopment Plan he put up previously. As they say in politics, everyone claims to parent a winner but a loser is an orphan.

The Ravi Bhalla retreat came with a canard planted blaming the City Council for an "amendment" that is no amendment; it's an enormous redevelopment plan totaling almost three million square feet full bore.

The blowback from the community comes with activists angered by Ravi Bhalla's previous attempt to ram through the redevelopment with no community announcement, nor any public meeting to discuss his proposed open-ended three million square foot redevelopment featuring a 28-story residential building at the lower end of town for starters.

An endorsement of Bhalla's entire council slate late last month by Stronger Foundations, the operating engineers union PAC was kept secret until discovered by community activists and publicized here and elsewhere, leading into the previous council meeting and further angering the public. It put his entire council slate in jeopardy heading into the November election.

The retreat by the mayor's office is temporary and means the political pressure to strongarm an approval right before the council ward elections are staved off, for now.

 The imminent threat of Dark Money efforts from special interests inside and outside Hoboken aligned with Ravi Bhalla and his ambitions for higher political office is greatly heightened.

The next wave of political assaults on Hoboken can be expected shortly. Stronger Foundations pumped over $70,000 backing Ravi Bhalla for mayor in 2017 officially and its union members stuffed into the Multi-Service Center in a show of force last night to no avail.

They'll be back. They'll all be back. Brace for impact Hoboken.