Monday, September 23, 2019

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: North End Meeting 9/24, e-Scooter Restrictions

Offiical release:

Dear friends and neighbors – 
Happy First Day of Fall!  As someone who is generally glass half full, but helms from Rochester NY, to me this just means the beginning of 7 months of cold… but with an October birthday, fall is still my favorite season nonetheless!
A few important things I wanted to share with you:
Important Meeting on the Plans for the North End Redevelopment Area
  • When:  9/24 (Tuesday), 630-830
  • Where: Elysian Charter School, SW Corner of 15th and Garden
As I knock on doors and talk with people, I still hear from most of you about issues relating to overdevelopment and population growth.  
“Too many cars already on the road”  
“Not enough active/recreation space to meet the demands of today’s population of kids and adults”  
“We need to build new schools” 
“Impossible to get in and out of Hoboken”  
“There is no uptown municipal parking” 
“Taxes. Taxes. Taxes.” 
“When are we getting that uptown light rail station?”  
“Uptown bus lines are so long…” 
“Our uptown businesses are dying” 
I know that at least one of these resonates with each person who reads this.  That is how pervasive the concern is.  And not planning the North End correctly means the risk of exacerbating each one of those concerns.  We need community voices, not just property owners, to determine what works for Hoboken. That is how important this meeting is so I hope you can attend to learn, share your views, and be a voice for the future of our community.
e-Scooter Restrictions Approved 9-0 – Now All About Enforcement 
At our meeting last Wednesday, the City Council approved unanimously legislation to restrict e-Scooter’s from our parks and on the upper and lower waterfront areas.  Specifically as defined in paragraphs J & T of the ordinance the restricted area is: 
the portion of the Waterfront Walkway that begins at the North End of Sinatra Park running south to the municipal border including but not limited to the promenade area adjacent to Blue Eyes CafĂ© nor the portion of the Waterfront Walkway that begins at the south end of the Skateboard Park and runs north to the Municipal Border.  This prohibition shall not include bike lanes or roadways along the Waterfront Walkway”.
If you get a chance, please take time to watch the meeting either online or on Facebook to see the discussion of the e-Scooters.  At least the first three speakers.  Our neighbor who, while pushing her three month old in a stroller, was hit by an e-Scooter begins speaking at 7:08:22 (on Facebook, at minute 38:50 online).  After her, there are speakers relating to a 2nd year Stevens student who is visually impaired.  Her guide speaks first, and she speaks second beginning at 7:17:29 (on FB, minute 48 online).  She tells her own personal story of how her walking stick does not find a Lime e-Scooter because of its shape and as a result she walked into ones left in the middle of the sidewalk three times and injured herself.  But the most heartbreaking aspect of this is when she says “She has lost her independence and now must use a guide wherever she goes”. Accessibility and ADA – another aspect of this program that just wasn’t thought through enough before it was launched.  And one that is critical for us to get right.  

Overall the Council gave indications it will not extend the pilot on November 20th.  If there is a vote, I will be voting not to extend.  Why?  A combination of wet/snowy weather and inability to enforce.  Much of what we discussed was how these new regulations, or any of our e-Scooter regulations, be better enforced?  For now, I am hoping that Lime will be “geofencing” the prohibited areas which they have the technology to do.  Longer term, if an e-Scooter program resurfaces, we need a definitive and better solution to enforcement than we currently have.  
For those reading this who are supportive of e-Scooters, and even angry about the direction of the e-Scooter program or just the restriction itself, know that I am committed to continuing to work closely with the City to craft a better plan for them than we have right now.  One that supports mobility, has effective enforcement of irresponsible riding, keeps them out of the hands of children, has more organized parking and severe penalties for impairing accessibility, and whatever else necessary to keep residents, riders and visitors as safe as possible.  And this to me requires a few months, a public meeting, and a new Request for Proposal to be sent out more widely so we can get the best practices, best insights and best terms available.
NFL Sunday’s and Rampant DWI’s
I don’t know about you, but this year it feels like every Sunday feels more like Leprecon most evidenced by the multiple DWI’s that are occurring in town.  Last week there were 5 on Sunday including accidents (a couple relating to late Saturday night), and yesterday there was one that terrorized the areas near 7th and Bloomfield St.  All people who do not live in Hoboken.  To me, driving while intoxicated is probably the single most dangerous thing that can happen on our narrow, pedestrian and children-filled, Hoboken roads.  Thankfully no one was injured, this time.  But we need to do more to stop this from happening.  Yes, I am sure my critics will say these are just words at this point, but I will be raising with my Council colleagues, our Hoboken Police, and my fellow Hoboken Business Alliance board members to think about what more we can do to curtail this practice.  In this instance, the enforcement side is strong (thank you Hoboken Police!).  It is the prohibition side that isn’t.
I am 100% committed to running a positive campaign
I spoke with a neighbor last night who said he appreciates my newsletters, and in particular that they usually have an objective and constructive tone.  And I want you to know that I try to be that way all the time and 98% of the time it is pretty easy given we are mostly just talking about policy issues.  But I did say back to this person that I am reserving my right to not always be that way, and specifically when I need to defend myself against negative politicking or campaigning.  Rhetoric, propaganda and whisper campaigns can be ugly and dishonest, especially around elections, and sometimes I just need to make you aware of it.  Out of the 140ish emails I sent in the past 21 months I think I only sent two that were like this.
But in the interest of full disclosure, my stomach is churning about the potential, defamatory “October Surprise” attacks like we saw in the 2017 elections.  For clarity, do I think my opponent will issue them?  No I do not.  Although negative comments about me has been part of her campaign so far, I am confident she would not stoop so low as to send out attack ads.  If there are attacks, I think they will come from a Super Pac or Independent Expenditure like we saw in 2017 and that we hear is being formed to attack certain incumbents (including me).  Hopefully I will be wrong, but all I can do is ask you to keep it on your radar and if you see or hear anything, please consider the source, the purpose and definitely let me know.
Campaign season is heating up and like it or not, you will start seeing more of me - and more things with me on them - posters, bags, t-shirts, buttons, you name it.  If you want to reserve yours just let me know!  Nowhere does campaign season better than Hoboken.  Notwithstanding the above, it is way more fun and energizing than not.  Regardless who you support, be part of it!  Pick your team.  Engage with candidates.  It is all of our voices together that elevate the game, the experience, and the outcome.  
As always, please forward to anyone you think may be interested in this.  And feel free to email me at or call me at 201/208-1674 to discuss what you have read or anything else that is important to you.  If you are interested in donating to my campaign you can do so online HERE.  Thank you again for this amazing opportunity to serve you and for your support.  I will continue to work hard, every day, to earn your vote on November 5th. 
I hope to see all of you tomorrow night at 630pm at the North End meeting!
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”

Hoboken's youngest council candidate focused on local transportation issues

The uptown fifth ward of Hoboken covering the northwest portion of the Mile Square City is suffering growing pains as any other.

The long bus lines in the morning with people trying to make their way to work is a recurring problem; one that prompted Nicola Maganuco to begin the twitter account HobokenCommuter more than a year ago.

Seeing no solution or as he notes, since no one on the City Council or the mayor's office lives with the issue, Nick, as he goes by with friends, decided to throw his hat in the ring last July via his Twitter account.

The exclusive story was reported here.

Nicola Maganuco, a finance professional in the fifth ward is one of three candidates vying to replace the departing
Councilman Peter Cunningham who is exiting public work after three terms.

The 27-year-old financial professional who came to Hoboken in early 2016 is one of three candidates vying for the City Council seat Councilman Peter Cunningham is exiting after 12 years and three terms.

It promises to be one of the most interesting and competitive races with Phil Cohen and Tim Crowell rounding out the field.

Originally from Wayne, NJ, Maganuco came to Hoboken for a better quality of life commuting into Manhattan. He discovered there were some problems getting to the office from uptown Hoboken.

"It inspired me to create Hoboken commuter. It's my way telling the mayor and City Council nothing was being done but no one reacted, no one responded," he says.

The issue has become he says the "root of my campaign." He's hitting the fifth ward neighborhood heavily and talking to residents who share a similar concern. Maganuco also wants to see tech solutions added to the Mile Square transportation mix like in New York City with express uptown pickups on Clinton St, with western bus routes and smart tech featured in bus shelters.

"They have it in New York City, we should too," he adds matter of factly.

Another issue neighbors discuss frequently Maganuco says is an old but familiar refrain on development or what many would call over development. "We have to be smart about it. We have too much residential and it has implications on transit and our quality of life."

More commercial and retail shops are what Maganuco is looking to see implemented in Hoboken's future. He has some ideas on seeing it happen. "A boulevard (west) and added retail will make this side of town more welcoming like Pier 13," he suggests.

As he's hit the campaign trail Maganuco hears a lot about the e-Scooter pilot. Prior to the banning of the Ojo e-Scooter, he said in this interview, "People are extremely concerned for their kids and their own safety." 

Calling the six-month pilot a "net benefit" Maganuco believes the program can work for Hoboken with "more enforcement and education." He adds that most use public transportation in Hoboken and the e-Scooters can be helpful to the mix. 

"We need to see someone who can advocate for commuters," he emphasized adding, "and be the voice of commuters."

Of his two fifth ward council opposition, Maganuco stakes out his position to the voters concluding, I'm the only one that's running on a cause.

Talking Ed Note: Nick Maganuco looks like the prototype of a candidate who gets into local government for all the right reasons. While he became interested in local government with Councilman Mike DeFusco's ascent, it would be categorically unfair to consider him an extension of the first ward councilman. 

He's already seen what happens to an independent candidate who enters into Hoboken politics and knows what it's like personally to be targeted by political operatives of Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

More to come.

9/24 Vote Jen Again Fundraiser! And new Vote By Mail legislation

Official release:


Dear friends and neighbors,
Please join me for some fun at my re-election launch fundraiser!
  • WHEN: Tuesday, September 24
  • WHERE 80 River Hoboken (in the location of the former Cadillac Cantina) 80 River Street, Hoboken
  • TIME: 6pm - 8pm
As many of you know the hardest thing for me to do is to ask for money but campaigns cost money. You have always been so generous supporting me. Each and every one of you makes a difference.  Will you support me with a donation of $25 or more? Checks payable to Jen Giattino for 6th Ward or you can DONATE ONLINE. 

I'm proud to represent the 6th Ward on the City Council and, with your continued support, will be honored to keep working together on what matters most to all of us, Hoboken. My focus has always been, and will continue to be, on improving quality of life issues, working to keep taxes low, helping those who have less, supporting our local businesses, and protecting our neighborhood feel that makes Hoboken so special. 
Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you on the 24th!
If you voted by mail in 2016-2018 you will automatically be receiving a vote by mail every year unless you wish to opt-out. If you have any questions please reach out. 
Vote Jen Again

Campaign Kick-Off Event for 3-4-5 for Hoboken School Board!

Official release:

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We hope you can join us as we kick off our campaign for Hoboken School Board!  We are excited to share with the community why we feel 3-4-5 is the right team to serve our school district.  

Monday, September 23rd, 2019
Frankie and Ava's Italian Eatery
208 Washington Street

We look forward to seeing you all,
Alex De La Torre (#3)
Joyce Simons (#4)
Sheillah Dallara (#5)