Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Councilman Ruben Ramos: 4th of July and 4th Ward Updates!

Official release:

Dear friends,

I want to update you on a number of activities happening in the Fourth Ward.

Commercial Business District Expansion

Opening a business in Hoboken has not always been easy but working with my council colleagues we've made it a lot easier to open a new business by expanding our Commercial Business District the entire length of First Street and the east side of Jackson Street between 3rd and 7th.  Allowing new permitted uses in these areas will help attract and diversify the types of businesses in our neighborhood.  For example, a florist or a cafe can now open without going through the sometimes grueling zoning permit process. Hopefully, in the very near future there will be new businesses sprouting up in our ward. 

Commissioning New Southwest Traffic Study

As we all know traffic in Hoboken is not always easy to navigate.  Three years ago we commissioned a traffic study with the goal of opening new arteries and adding traffic signals to help the flow of traffic.  While that plan has had a positive impact on traffic it didn't go far enough.  Our new traffic study will not only collect data on Hoboken streets but neighboring Hudson County and Jersey City roads as well.  The goal of this study is to have all three governments working towards the same goal of creating a more efficient traffic pattern and also connecting Jersey City Heights to Downtown Jersey City so drivers no longer use Hoboken roads as a pass through.   

PSE&G Tree Replacement/System Upgrades

We have reached the end of tree planting season and to date PSE&G has planted 37 new trees.  Persistent rain slowed the planting down and PSE&G fell 3 trees short of the original goal of 40 new trees planted.  However, they will continue to plant new trees once the fall planting season starts.

Community Development Block Grant Funding

Every year the City of Hoboken awards Federal Funding to a variety of nonprofit agencies that service Hoboken residents.  The largest grant was given to the Hoboken Housing Authority for replacement of boilers throughout their properties.  This award will help the HHA dedicate more funding to other daily maintenance projects as opposed to constantly fixing boilers that are in severe cases of disrepair.  

New Park Opening

The new resiliency park at 7th and Jackson streets opened on Saturday, June 29th.  The new park features playground equipment, one acre of open lawn space, a new gym with a basketball court and resiliency infrastructure to capture more than 450,000 gallons of rainwater to help reduce flooding primarily across the western side of Hoboken.  Additionally, the park will soon benefit from shade structures that are being re-deployed from the “Pop-up” park as preparations for the construction of the new Northwest Park on that site begin. 

Update on Abandoned Property

As we all know the Zaklama property on 1st & Jackson has been an eyesore for a number of years.  In January the Hoboken City Council adopted a resolution to hire an engineering firm to inspect the property.  However, for the firm to gain access to the property we had to receive An Order To Show Cause from the courts which were granted on July 2, 2019.  If upon inspection the property is deemed unsafe we set aside funding in our municipal budget to demolish the remaining structure.  The City will be entitled to recoup any expenses on demolition once IRS and Zaklama Estate reach an agreement.  Thank you for patience this has been a long time coming and we will continue to work until the issue is resolved.

New Suez Contract and Water Utility 

On July 1st, the city’s new water contract with Suez went into effect which includes a new water utility.  Last fall our relationship with Suez was fragile after multiple water main breaks and traffic nightmares triggered by Suez’s work in SW Hoboken.  I reached out to Suez and demanded that we all get in a room and figure out a better way forward for all parties.  And that is exactly what we did.  With the leadership of my colleagues on the City Council Infrastructure Subcommittee working closely with the Administration and specifically our director of Environmental Services Jennifer Gonzalez, we agreed a new contract that provides $33 million more in revenues to Hoboken for the needed upgrades to our water system which will reduce future disruptions and save taxpayers from having to pay for these repairs.

Thank you for your continued input and advocacy.  Please share this with everyone you think might be interested in or affected by this information.  And don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any time to discuss this or any matter that is important to you.   Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July weekend!   

Ruben Ramos

Hoboken City Council, 4th Ward

Mayor's operatives go "Sharkie" for failed non-binding e-scooter referendum

City Council rejects Mayor Ravi Bhalla's bid for a non-binding referendum on e-Scooters

Closing out this Independence Day week, it's actually last week's "emergency" council meeting called by Mayor Ravi Bhalla for his now-failed non-binding November referendum on e-Scooters.

The bid barely saw quorum as the mayor's office tried to jam the measure through entering one of the biggest vacation periods of the year. It was crushed in a 5-2 no vote by the City Council.

A boy barely handle-bars high illegally jets off at Maxwell Place Park on an e-Scooter.
Hoboken Police would intercede minutes later and end the foray. The City Council will act shortly to further
modify the six-month e-Scooter pilot. A proposed non-binding referendum on the pilot failed 5-2 last week in the council.

The desperate play to jam the November election with the non-binding re: meaningless measure, is a bid to generate turn out of low information voters in tandem with the six council ward races.

It's all due to apparent recognition the more informed (Reform) Hoboken voters are not likely to be swayed by the mayor's ticket of mostly Hoboken do-nothings. Almost to a person, the mayor's council ticket consists of residents who haven't lifted a finger or a voice on any Hoboken issue of import, ever.

The realization has hit home. So the e-scooter pilot program, with over 100,000 uses to date according to one of two companies participating, was thought the means to generate a voter more inclined to vote, say, along the same manipulated lines with the Ravi Terror Flyer. (Surely, it's a coincidence.)

The non-binding referendum measure, however, failed miserably, only receiving two toe-the-line votes: Councilman Jim Doyle and Councilwoman Emily Jabbour.

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, the details digging policy wonk on the council was critical of the politically-inspired non-binding ordinance shooting down any delay in tweaking the pilot program. Most recently, she has pushed for drivers license verification of riders. No one under 18 is allowed to use the e-Scooters, classified as a motorized device. Hoboken police reported their first arrest last week.

"We need to be gathering information...acting today, we cannot wait until November," Fisher said. The mayor's operatives are attempting to again argue as they did against the runoff referendum, that without a non-binding e-Scooter referendum, voter fraud will impact the November election.

That argument was crushed last November when by an overwhelming margin of almost 2-1, Hoboken residents opted to bring back runoff elections. In 2017, Ravi Bhalla was elected mayor with less than 33% of the vote.

The mayor's operatives have even cynically brought back a Masonic-inspired commenter name, "Hudson Shark," aka FinBoy, morphing political operative bad behavior into a new inspiration:

While the mayor's paid political operatives proclaim outrage the Hoboken public will not be able to express an "opinion" in November, Mayor Ravi Bhalla claimed a non-binding ordinance is "a democratic way for residents to make their voices heard."

Talking Ed Note: The City Council saw through all of it. Unlike the Ravi Terror Flyer, no one's buying.

On the let your voice be heard front, notices are out when e-Scooter users sign in with the phone app to get a ride on an e-Scooter. It informs the user that anyone under 18 using the device will see their account terminated. That's one of the biggest modifications to dissuade bad parenting, pictured above.

Sad Update: A reader shared Nancy Pincus continues multiplying her lies about the 10,000,000 hit milestone celebrated here. After presenting Alexa as a measurement that has no actual data on this site, she saw it blow up in her face as Alexa shows her website far below the rankings and ZERO time spent there. She trails by about 14 million websites behind Hobokenhorse!

Alexa shows she gets a small subset of visitors here in the teens at ZERO SECONDS! She created the grenade, pulled the pin and now she's crying it exploded in her face. She believes she's deceiving Hoboken residents or the thousands of readers here but she's only further revealing herself.

Even sadder, Nancy is trying to sell lies on t-shirts attacking council members Cunningham and DeFusco for an "emergency" meeting when they weren't even here let alone register a vote on the e-Scooter referendum scam. She's literally documenting her lies on a t-shirt because her cave site isn't enough. Pray for her.