Monday, March 2, 2020

Chaos at City Hall as 79 layoff notices issued

The City of Hoboken issued 79 layoff notices to municipal workers Friday as the reverberations of Mayor Ravi Bhalla's budget debacle take hold.

Ravi Bhalla is preparing his ax issuing 79 layoff notices last Friday. His 2020 budget is in dispute with one financial forecast by Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher stating it's $12 million in red ink not the $7 million the mayor's office claims.

According to a story earlier today on the Hudson County View, the layoffs would become effective end of day May 7th this spring.

"It's very upsetting and overwhelming to people... The (Bhalla) administration was pretty much silent (on Friday) and they seem to be disinterested in hearing from our union," said Diane Nieves, President of the Hoboken Municipal Employees Association.

Fear and trepidation has spread up and down City Hall as Ravi Bhalla and the mayor's office have kept a lid on the full details of the 2020 budget debacle. They continue to insist the red ink faced is in the area of $7 million.

Publicly countering their narrative is Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, the chair of the City Council's revenue and finance subcommittee. She released her financial analysis of the City's red ink  last week and recently said the actual number is $12 million.

Between the local unions and City Council members, Ravi Bhalla and the mayor's office are sticking with their "official" best face narrative 'all is well' with a mere $7 million in red ink at hand.

The finality of what Hoboken faces in layoffs and a tax increase remains unknown. People are however, beginning to learn the full impact amidst the Ravi Bhalla happy talk.

In addition, union seniority "bumping" rules will likely drive any final layoffs to a savings figure less than currently being projected by the mayor's office.

For the full story, please see the Hudson County View.

Related: The first inkling of the 2020 Ravi Bhalla Budge Debacle came here early January:

Mayor's office: Deploy the Patronage Protection!