Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Ravi Resolution: More 'face punching' for good government councilwomen

Hoboken enters year two of the Bhalla Administration and with six of nine City Council seats up for election in November, absolute power is job 1.

Or as the Hudson County View so eloquently wrote about the trio of almost $300,000 in taxpayer-paid political mayoral aides with a race-baiting political operation directed at council meetings: their "passion" for "face punching."

                            
Et tu John Allen? 

The people Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his campaign  mayoral staff want to deliver face punching crushing cheekbone shots against most are the councilwomen from the now defunct Reform Movement: Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher.

Both of the councilwomen spend inordinate amounts of time working outside of the council meetings poking under the covers of policy, seeking constituent feedback and interfacing with City Hall staffers on everything from cell phone towers to Hoboken Housing Authority residents' safety concerns.

For Ravi Bhalla, the two-timing, no-show second job mayor looking to pump Hoboken for everything it's worth to move up the political ladder, that's a problem. This makes their second and sixth ward council seats high-value targets and a prime focus for the endless Bhalla campaign face punchers.  Ravi Terror Flyer no. 2 anyone?

For Ravi Bhalla operatives, paid and unpaid with the sole mission of enhancing cult of personality worship for their boss, this simply won't do. The spit sputtering deranged foaming at the mouth is in full force even after the recent race-baiting political operation exposed and council ward elections 10 months away. It's unclear among the current Reform remnant incumbents who will vie for re-election and who Ravi Bhalla will tap as his rubber-stampers to crush any council dissent in the way of his favorite policy: backroom deals. Rumors abound.

Giattino and Fisher along with Councilman Peter Cunningham are a potential bulwark against looming big development plans with Ravi Bhalla's under the table petting NJ Transit. This aligns them with former ally Councilman Jim Doyle who faced a TV attack ad by Ravi Bhalla's construction union allies for a lone dissenting vote on the big Hilton Hotel. That's one vote shy of a majority alliance on the City Council protecting Hoboken people against further Hoboken overdevelopment.

Big development money is the mother's milk of politics, especially for low-level Soprano State and HudCo mayors and their political climbing ambitions. Last year, Bhalla showed developers he was game as a revolving door of big developers came in and out of the mayor's office never seen under former mayor Dawn Zimmer. He's pledged undying fealty to the big construction unions and those jobs demand big development projects. There's only so much room in a town a mere mile square so let the stacks go higher!

Mayor Ravi Bhalla has big plans for his developer/construction allies in Hoboken.

Talking Ed Note: Speaking of big development, what happened to Councilman Jim Doyle's resolution opposing the proposed North Bergen Power Plant for New York City?

It vanished as with the silence from Hudson County View's favorite shadow mayor, Stan Grossbard, the Linda Lou/Numbers Cruncher commenter who thought the resolution the greatest idea ever. What backroom HudCo contract smoothed over its disappearance? Talk amongst your hypocritical selves Ravibots.

A City Council ordinance passed last month to limit the political operations of Ravi Bhalla to two mayoral aides should one depart saw him issue another veto. As reported exclusively on Hobokenhorse.com, the approaching $300,000 in annual salaries is almost 10 times more than former mayor Dawn Zimmer spent on one solitary aide she brought on in her first year for 35K.

Happy New Year!

Related: The Ravi-Russo Clan Alliance: http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2018/07/ravi-russo-alliance-looking-to-bring.html

Full council agenda for tonight's meeting: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3urccf53n7zmotm/1.2.19.agenda.packet.pdf?dl=0

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "Saying goodbye to 2018 and looking ahead..."

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors:
What a year 2018 has been… when I reflect on the year the word that most comes to mind is “intense”.  In the biggest small town in America, our Hoboken, there was so much going on all the time that required so much energy from so many.  And although we accomplished a lot, we still have more as we look ahead to 2019.  
Looking back at the many updates I sent to you (all 81 listed with links below in case you missed any!), I am reminded how strongly I feel that you be informed on issues that are important to you.  It was an imperfect effort that could have included even more.  And as we bring this year to a close I wanted you to know of some of my other efforts that haven’t made the updates but I believe are important to our community: 
  • Through the Finance and Infrastructure subcommittee that I chair, I have been leading our efforts with the administration to restructure our water contracts so that Hoboken can better invest in our water infrastructure; soon we hope to announce a new partnership that will be a material improvement to both our current contracts and what was recently proposed in 2017.
  • Recognizing our need for better managed large scale projects with less disruption to our quality of life, I pushed hard this year for the administration to hire an experienced city engineer and project manager (who were hired last spring) to help us navigate the completion of the Washington St. project and to establish a process to ensure all large-scale projects – public and private - will be managed in the best way possible going forward.
  • Since I was elected, I have all but begged that Hoboken stop being the underdog in real estate negotiations.  This year I co-sponsored legislation and approved contracts for experienced real estate professionals to advise the city to ensure that Hoboken gets a fair deal on all real estate plans and projects; this allowed the mayor and the City Council to secure significant community givebacks on the recently approved Hilton Hotel.
  • Sharing our common view that we want to see our biggest small town of Hoboken thrive, I have repeatedly proposed economic development initiatives to help support local businesses that have been devastated by the Washington St. Project including the recent seasonal actions of discounted and validated parking and the Saturday Shop Hop and establishing a Special Improvement District; the latter for which I am the City Council representative on a steering committee with local business and commercial property owners.
  • With the goal of keeping taxes flat, I actively collaborated with the entire City Council and the administration to reallocate funding to ensure sufficient amounts for previously underfunded areas important to our community such as pedestrian safety, street repairs, infrastructure investment, and Historic Preservation.
  • Finally, although an area I have been least impactful so far, I have repeatedly requested that the City improve its communications on important issues –I recently voted against the various parking rate increases primarily because there was no communications nor roll out plan for something that arguably impacts all residents of and visitors to Hoboken.  
As we look ahead, the priorities that we set together in 2018 still apply and although we made some progress, will continue in 2019 including, among others:  completing the Washington St. project, making our intersections safer, fixing our infrastructure, minimizing the displacement of long-term residents, making sure development works for Hoboken, finishing Rebuild By Design to make Hoboken resilient to flooding, ensuring fiscal responsibility, fighting to protect our waterfront and our quality of life, and improving public transportation.