Monday, April 29, 2019

Four council members propose budget amendment reducing spending by over $1,000,000

Official release:

Hoboken City Council Members Propose Budget Amendment with Over $1 Million in Spending Cuts
Hoboken Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Chair of the Finance and Revenue Subcommittee, submitted an amendment to the proposed City budget that cuts spending by over $1 million, significantly reducing the burden on city taxpayers. These changes lower the city administration’s proposed tax increase from 2.8% to 1% without compromising funding for emergency services or investments in infrastructure and other community programs that impact the quality of life of Hoboken residents.  This amendment is being supported by Council President Jen Giattino, Councilman Mike DeFusco and Councilman Peter Cunningham.
Fisher, Giattino, DeFusco and Cunningham are releasing the following statement:
“As elected representatives for the City of Hoboken, it is our responsibility to ensure taxpayer money is being used efficiently to make investments in the services and programs that best provide for the needs of our community. The administration's proposed budget calls for an increase in taxes by nearly 3%.  This must be a belt tightening year for our government and it is irresponsible to ask taxpayers to open their wallets further than necessary. The amendments we are proposing preserve funding for necessary services and community programming that impact the quality of life for Hoboken residents while allowing us to provide an additional $100,000 to our overworked fire department, our seniors and for the City Clerk’s Office that works hard every day for our community. While we are asking some departments to do more with less, these are fair recommendations that protect the delivery of the most vital services to Hoboken residents.”
The vote on the proposed amendment will happen during Wednesday’s City Council meeting at 7 p.m. after the public hearing and action taken on the City administration budget with the proposed 2.8% tax increase.

Councilman Mike DeFusco offered this additional official release:

Councilman Mike DeFusco Calls on Council and Mayor To Cut Overspending in Proposed Budget
Councilman Mike DeFusco is urging the City Council and Mayor Ravi Bhalla to support amendments made to the budget submitted by Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher who Chairs the budget revenue and finance subcommittee.  These changes would save the city $1 million and size back a 2.8% tax increase to 1%. 

Councilman DeFusco is issuing the following statement:
“Despite having a larger tax base than ever before, the mayor’s budget contemplates raising taxes nearly 3% to compensate for unprecedented spending over the past year.  During his first two years in office, Mayor Bhalla has increased his office's spending by an alarming 40% to fund jobs for political supporters, politically convenient contracts and unnecessary lawsuits.  Simply put this is irresponsible governing that only benefits politicians and not residents. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues on the City Council to propose amendments to the budget which will save the city over $1 million while simultaneously increasing funding for our short-staffed Fire Department.  While no tax increase is acceptable, this is the City Council’s chance to take action and continue Hoboken’s track record of responsible spending.

The City Council will vote on the budget amendments at its regular meeting, Wednesday May 1 at 7 p.m.

Who did Mayor Ravi Bhalla try to see replace Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro?

Last week, Politifax reported Mayor Ravi Bhalla put up a chip for a favor to State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack.

The chip, a small payoff for the Hoboken mayor delivering most of the local Democrat Committee votes to Stack in his failed bid to gain control over Hudson County government backfired.

Politifax got half the story correct. Brian Stack last year told Ravi Bhalla he could name his pick for Assembly replacing Annette Chaparro who has served almost four years in two terms backed by former mayor Dawn Zimmer

Stack gave a single condition to the selection as reported. All Ravi Bhalla had to do was choose a Hispanic woman.

Instead, he submitted a candidate who did not fit that criteria. Stack rejected Ravi Bhalla's candidate.

Then Ravi Bhalla came back again a second time.

Same problem. Stack rejected Ravi Bhalla's proposed Assembly candidate again.

Word gets back to Union City early this year Ravi Bhalla is returning with a selection. Sources outside Hoboken close to HudCo say that again, Ravi Bhalla planned to put up the same and most definitely non-Hispanic candidate a third time.

Is he deaf?

Brian Stack had enough. He put the entire issue to rest at a meeting and said, "it's over." He renewed the incumbents and said the matter was closed. Annette Chapparro would return as the candidate for a third term as reported earlier here on last month.

So who is the non-Hispanic candidate Ravi Bhalla kept putting up to replace Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro?

A shadowy Ravibot to be named later failed to be approved by Brian Stack and is not going to replace the two term
Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro.

Stay tuned.

The answer first out later today to Premium members.