Hoboken Amenities or “K.I.S.S.?”

Hoboken Amenities vs. Keeping it Simple {think about it}

Roads. Sidewalks. Parking spots. Traffic signals. Street lights.

Basic city features that have worked for decades. Just keep them operational, and everyone does fine. They were also relatively straight-forward to maintain, with no “epidemic” style catastrophic death and destruction.

In 2016? We have special “safe space” bike lane paint (even dedicated paths), colored curb cutouts, parking bollards, sidewalks with slippery slopes, countdown timers, security cameras, brick crosswalks… we could go on (what did I forget?)

The more you add to your checklist of “things that CAN and WILL fall apart and break,” the more your overall cost goes up. Often by a LOT, and for a LONG TIME.

Until the people demand “change.” Then a different buffoon screws things up. American History 101.

(To be fair, one improvement that DOES pay off long-term: LED lighting everywhere, and the ROI is relatively short… Ironic the best ideas are always one of the last improvements around…)

curb cutouts in hoboken cost money to maintain

Is the upgrade for “safety” worth the long-term cost?

Many costly things have been done over the ages “even if it just saves one life.”

God, I hate that overly-used buzz-phrase. Fuck you all!

But playing on that raw emotion (especially after something tragic happens), easily BLINDS people to other ramifications – especially over a longer timeline. [One easy example is 9/11 led to the “Patriot Act.” Where did that get us?]

And policy-makers love to drop the words safety, protection, etc. to sell their improvements. You’ll never know if an “official” was handed something under the table, and those bobble-heads will be long gone when these costly implements are still line-items in the budget that prevents your property tax bill from going down. They get lost over the years, in mounds of budget paperwork, or deep within a cell of an Excel spreadsheet. Corruption is relatively easy to sweep under the carpet.

(Unfortunately, stings like “Operation Bid Rig” are not 24/7 like convenience stores. However, you never know what someone is brewing up behind the scenes…)

Hoboken Amenities are “photo ops” for hardly-ever-working politicians

You know the new “safe space” they made near the CVS downtown, right?

Hoboken amenitites cost money to build and maintain

It was costly (someone somewhere paid for it – whether it was a grant or straight out of city coffers), and will require upkeep.

Here, the hardly-ever working “mayor” don Zimmer takes a break from strenuous day of doing nothing to pose in those plastic lawn chairs called amenities. I’d like to see the expense report she submitted for that rigorous busy day.

Hoboken don zimmer photo op

Additionally – these chairs will eventually become a liability for the city.

Why? Because, like Patrick Swayze from Road House, some drunken buffoon will use one as a weapon in a fight.

And how long before these lovely chairs have human excrement on them from the wandering bums in town? Would they still be considered amenities after that?

Any smart city uses permanent, concrete sitting implements in public spaces. But then again, today’s entitled recreational sitter needs to be able to angle towards the sun for maximum tanning effect. Gotta keep them happy!

Wasn’t Hoboken supposed to have a lower budget?

“mayor” don Zimmer promised to cut the annual budget by tens of millions of dollars in order to get elected as a “career politician.” Seven years later, the budget is higher than ever. Great job! Not.

Still a “career politician?” You betcha!

To lower a budget – you have to get serious about limiting recurring expenses across the board, as well as deferring big projects until you have money in the bank. That’s how smart households do it without getting into debt.

Our “mayor” cannot comprehend that fact.

The more you implement in the city (paint, structures, fancy whatevers), the more your overall cost to maintain goes up. This year, and every year in perpetuity. And you get the “bill.”

Damage from snow plows. Imagine if this winter we have many snow storms? Will be fun to assess the damage come spring ’17.

Erosion of paint, crappy parking bollards, and much more to maintain all year round to prevent from looking blighted and un-cared-for.

On the bright side, these fancy “extras” can be used as handy economic barometers to see the fiscal state of the city. Because they’ll be the first to go. Then you know it’s time to pack it up!

costly road paint hoboken NJ

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