Monday, July 20, 2020

Basic bike storage causing heat for Ravi Bhalla


The following statement was issued on behalf of Councilman Mike DeFusco:

Councilman DeFusco: Mayor Bhalla’s Veto of Bike Storage Plan Continues Administration’s Unwillingness to Work with City Council
During the July 8 City Council meeting, an ordinance sponsored by Councilman Mike DeFusco and Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher to allow Hoboken residents to store their bicycles in Municipal Garages for $1 a week was approved on second reading. With a 7-2 vote in favor of the plan, the piece of legislation was then sent to Mayor Ravi Bhalla to sign, only to be vetoed nine days later. 
“I’ve long said that local government can only serve the best interests of its residents when we bring new and innovative ideas to the table to better our city,” said Councilman Mike DeFusco. “This is the very reason I was proud to work with Councilwoman Fisher, community stakeholders and Director Sharp to advance a plan to create bicycle parking in our municipal garages. The mayor’s refusal to advance legislation, despite earning overwhelming support of the Council, is nothing short of his inability to put politics aside to create new opportunities for Hoboken residents. Instead of continuing his record of vetoing legislation sponsored by those who do not agree with him politically, might I suggest the mayor better utilize his time by addressing the nearly 10% municipal tax hike he’s proposed in the middle of a recession.” 
The City Council will now be hosting a special meeting on Wednesday to address the Mayor’s veto, hold a final vote on the closure of the lower portion Sinatra Drive for the remainder of the summer and continue conversations about the municipal budget. 
It's all abut sucking down credit for an idea.

Talking Ed Note: Not many people know that the idea in Hoboken for the extended outdoor dining came from Councilman Mike DeFusco. It did and originated with people close to him. Once he put up the idea, a series of phone calls with the mayor's office commenced but he was blocked from participating.
Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his staff purportedly blocked DeFusco from participating in the conference call with other council colleagues. Then Ravi Bhalla issued public pronouncements claiming the restaurant outdoor dining idea as his own.
So too here, the desire to keep the first ward councilman from receiving credit is the motive for the ridiculous veto here. It's going to be beaten in a City Council vote as before, likely in another 7-2 vote.
This is not an endorsement for Councilman DeFusco. It's just a sign of the times. There will be a list of mayoral challengers to Ravi Bhalla next year. That will be part of a special issue to members this week.
It's not only Councilman Mike DeFusco eyeing a run to replace Ravi Bhalla in 2021.