Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ravi Bhalla lauds Ravi-Russo Alliance with Twilight Zone Big Lie to the public

In an official Nixle release late this afternoon, the Ravi Bhalla Administration issued another fabricated political release abusing the public.

In just over a year, the Hoboken mayor is becoming a legendary liar!

This latest lie, however, breaks new ground letting the cat out of the bag on two fronts. First, the Ravi-Russo Alliance denied officially but obvious to observers last night is followed with Twilight Zone congratulations for an event that never occurred!

Then today, Mayor Ravi Bhalla thanked the City Council for passing Councilman Michael Russo's ordinance retreating on dynamic price gouging on the Hoboken parking meters.

There's one big problem. It never happened.

As reported earlier, Michael Russo's ordinance on parking meters was vigorously debated and then summarily tabled by the City Council. A rollback of the hated dynamic pricing on parking meters introduced by Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher was narrowly passed in a 5-3-1 vote.

City Council President Jen Giattino and others admonished Russo for being irresponsible in his proposed ordinance calling for 4 hours of free parking for residents on Washington St. and the Hoboken business district. She pointed to the dozens of closed storefronts saying business had suffered enough.

Back to the latest out of the hyper-politically driven mayor's office. Note the Big Lie in this official Nixle release right out of the gate!

Agency Logo
March 21, 2019, 4:26 PM

City of Hoboken, NJ

Community: Statement from Mayor Bhalla on parking, 2019 budget

Dear "We hate informed Hobokenhorse informed readers,"

I thank the City Council for adopting the proposal by chair of the Council transportation sub-committee, Michael Russo, and my office to roll back the dynamic parking policies in Hoboken.  The feedback from the public has been valuable as we pause to identify the best ways to help improve parking for residents, visitors and business employees alike.  We look forward to working with the community as we develop parking policies that are fair and increase turnover.  I ask the Council to finalize the adoption of this proposal at the next Council meeting on second reading.

At the next Council meeting, I also urge the Council to officially accept introduction of the 2019 fiscal year budget presented by my office.  I look forward to working with the Council as we finalize a responsible budget that once again holds the line on taxes and funds valuable City services.


Now the FacePunchers in the mayor's office are facepunching the Hoboken public!
Someone has to put a stop to this.


Talking Ed Note: The mayor's office was contacted earlier asking who decided to elevate the Ravi-Russo Alliance above the truth and use Nixle to lie to the Hoboken public that Michael Russo's ordinance was passed by the City Council last night.

Clearly, there's too much money being wasted in the mayor's office. Now the FacePunchers are facepunching the public! 

There's some good news in this abuse of public resources. At least it's not another Ravi Terror Flyer.


Councilman Mike DeFusco: "Reign in the budget" & the bloated salaries in the mayor's office

Official release:

Councilman DeFusco Calls for Honest Budgeting, End of Backdoor Taxes After Council Sizes Back Mayor Bhalla’s Parking Rate Increases
Last night the Hoboken City Council pulled Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s proposed municipal budget off the agenda following the Mayor backing away from his controversial parking rate increases. The proposed budget includes $1.2 million in anticipated revenues from the rate increases, and now that the plan has been scuttled that loss of revenue adds to an existing $1.7 million potential budget hole for a total shortfall of $2.9 million. At a time when the city is experiencing significant ratable growth that should make any increase in taxes unnecessary, the Bhalla administration's mismanagement and overspending is now threatening Hoboken taxpayers with a significant increase.
Councilman DeFusco stated:
“Mayor Bhalla’s proposed budget relies heavily on backdoor taxes and gimmicks to cover for rampant overspending, and now that this has been exposed Hoboken taxpayers are on the verge of a totally unnecessary tax increase. Residents shouldn’t be forced to pay for this administration’s spending spree and I am calling on the Mayor to work collaboratively with the Council to identify responsible cuts. I suggest we start with the bloated staff salaries in the Mayor’s office, the lavish spending on luxury vehicles, cutting contracts given to politically connected law firms and professional services and the massive overspending on legal fees. All of these expenses are threatening to crush middle-class Hoboken residents with a tax increase unless we act to reign in the municipal budget.”

Councilwoman Fisher to Bhalla Administration: 'Help us to help you' on budget & parking

Official release:

Response to Mayor Bhalla’s 2019 budget and anti-business parking proposal – try again.


On Monday, Mayor Bhalla delivered his 2019 Municipal Budget to the Hoboken City Council.  The budget included a 2.5% increase in appropriations and relied heavily on future parking revenue increases from his recently proposed Dynamic Pricing parking meter plan.  But then, just a day later on Tuesday, Mayor Bhalla publicly announced his support for undoing the same parking meter increases that helped fund his 2019 budget.  Creating uncertainties about underfunding and lack of confidence in the draft budget, this led the Hoboken City Council to choose not to introduce the budget at its council meeting last night, but rather asking the administration to take another stab at their proposed budget.

“Given the radical changes they proposed that would impact parking revenue, the Administration clearly needs more time to reconcile their policy views with their budget and we want to help give them that time.  We want to see the Mayor sharpen his pencil in terms of cost-cutting and provide more transparency about how he plans to replenish the city’s rainy day fund (surplus) that has been depleted by almost $5 million.”  Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Chair of the Revenue, Finance and Infrastructure subcommittee.

The Mayor’s reversal on the dynamic pricing came in response to significant pushback from residents.  However, his and Councilman Russo’s response was a proposed ordinance repealing the rate increases that also came with a concerning anti-business provision: allowing Hoboken residents to take up critical parking spaces in Hoboken’s central business district for free, for four hours.   When Councilman Russo refused to remove this anti-business provision when asked by his council colleagues, Councilwoman Fisher introduced, and the City Council approved, a parallel ordinance which also repealed the prior parking rate increases leaving unchanged the free parking for residents citywide except at meters in certain business areas.   

“We need to find the right balance that promotes our businesses that we all want to see succeed, that contributes to the growing financial and parking related needs of our city and does not penalize our own residents.  No matter what, parking meter rates on Washington St. need to go up from $1/hr.  This level disincentives turnover which is critical for our local businesses to survive.  I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on a new plan, and with the Mayor and his Administration on finalizing a 2019 budget we can all support.”

City Council begins rolling back Dynamic Parking Meter Hikes in narrow 5-4 vote

Last night, the best-laid plans of mice and men were upended. The Hoboken public wins with their united opposition to the drastic parking meter hikes.

In the end, the process to undo the recent Bhalla Administration hikes on parking meters with dynamic pricing passed narrowly as the City Council begins to roll back that recent action.

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher introduced an ordinance to roll back the Bhalla Administration dynamic parking meter hikes. 

Her ordinance passed narrowly 5-3-1 after a competing version from Councilman Michael Russo was tabled amid heated debate. It's the first step in the process to find a better balance in costs and availability the council will revisit.

The Ravi-Russo Alliance took it on the chin and found itself fully exposed in the process. There's a lot more to all this with a toxic mixture of policy and politics.

Councilman Jim Doyle, a former Reform backer under Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced he would support a rollback to dynamic parking meter pricing. Until he didn't and voted no to Fisher's rollback.

Voting yes: Councilmembers Peter Cunningham, Tiffanie Fisher, Ruben Ramos, Mike DeFusco and City Council President Jen Giattino.

Voting no: Jim Doyle, Michael Russo, Vanessa Falco. It appears the fourth vote is another abstention from Councilwoman Emily Jabbour.

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher released a statement about the ongoing efforts to correct the dynamic parking meter failure:

“We need to find the right balance that promotes our businesses that we all want to see succeed, that contributes to the growing financial and parking related needs of our city and does not penalize our own residents.  No matter what, parking meter rates on Washington St. need to go up from $1/hr.  This level disincentives turnover which is critical for our local businesses to survive.  I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on a new plan, and with the Mayor and his Administration on finalizing a 2019 budget we can all support.”

The complete statement is here: http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2019/03/councilwoman-fisher-to-bhalla.html

There's video and more to come.