Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: 'The August meeting'

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors – 
Reminder that tonight the City Council will be voting on important legislation relating to the last two sites on our waterfront that if passed, would pave the way towards completing Hoboken’s waterfront.
You can click HERE to read the newsletter I sent out on Monday with more details about each piece of legislation.
The votes on both of these items will be at the beginning of the meeting which starts at 7pm.  I hope you can make it!  I will be walking to the meeting and leaving from Hudson Tea’s circle at 6:15 if you would like to join me.   I expect and hope there will be a sizable crowd!
Eight years of advocacy... potentially culminating in resolution beginning tonight for the last two remaining sites on our waterfront.  Although I am confident that the entire council will support both votes tonight, I will breathe easier once the votes are behind us.  
Thank you in advance to those pioneers who set us on this path three decades ago with the transformative “WaterfrontReferendums” that led to our lower waterfront parks Pier A and Pier C (click each word for 2 articles worth reading), many of whom are still in Hoboken fighting today.  And thank you also to everyone who have continued to advocate since then - the list is long.  We aren’t there yet, but we are closer than we have ever been so lets keep working together until we get there.  More voices always matter. 
As always, please forward to everyone you think may be interested in this.  And don’t hesitate to email me or call at 201/208-1674 to discuss this or anything else important to you.   
PS - from the second article above from 1992.  If you ever thought your vote in an election doesnt matter, it matters most in local elections.  Two different votes relating to our waterfront, long before social media, the internet or text phones.  One passed by 12 votes and one by 231 votes and are why we have both Pier A and Pier C parks today:
April 1992 NY Times article – “…Preliminary results from the City Clerk's office had the plan defeated by 231 votes, 5,547 to 5,316. Officials later said the margin was 341 votes, but said they did not have the total number available. The office said that about 60 percent of Hoboken's 19,145 registered voters cast ballots.  The first plan to go to a referendum, a larger plan to redevelop Hoboken's crumbling waterfront, was defeated in July 1990 by 12 votes.”

City Council set to easily pass Union Dry Dock eminent domain and Municipal Garage negotiations with Shipyard

Tonight the only City Council meeting in August is the backdrop for two aligned issues seeing easy passage this evening.

First is a repeat of eminent domain proceedings on the Union Dry Dock now NY Waterway property. Looming over the matter as in late 2017 is the massive presence and superior eminent domain powers of NJ Transit.

In early 2018, the City Council reversed its earlier passage of emiment domain requested by Mayor Ravi Bhalla after fulfilling his desire and former mayor Dawn Zimmer's earlier request to approve in 2017.

The reason? The ultimate eminent domain power holding sway over the issue and by extension Hoboken is controlled by NJ Transit.

NJ Transit holds all the cards if its willing to reconsider hosting
the NY Waterway ferries downtown. Tonight the Hoboken City Council
will again easily pass eminent domain proceedings on the Union Dry
Dock site.

Talking Ed Note: There's no real drama involved this evening in the upcoming council approvals on both Union Dry Dock eminent domain and for Monarch negotiations on the site of the Municipal Garage. That is other than the mayor's office which is hyping it for political purposes to herald its would-be "rubber-stamping" council candidates for the November election.

Almost to a person, the "B" Team of Team Bhalla candidates were invisible on any Hoboken government issue, let alone these matters before being selected as candidates. Team Bhalla is releasing centrally controlled communications on their behalf to prop them up in the hopes the public will believe their sudden interest isn't manufactured based on complete lack of participation previously.

On Union Dry Dock, there remains some small hope toward useful discussions with NJ Transit which has not shown much interest in using any property in the Lackawana terminal for NY Waterway's ferry maintenance. Their property is considered too valuable to make a switch to that southern location.

The public can only hope NJ Transit will consider that alternative. To this point they are unmoved but if they decide to reconsider, they can be heralded in doing so.