Changing Hoboken’s form of Government

1/23/2009:

Helen Hirsch, an outspoken community activist, and frequent speaker at City Council meetings sent Hoboken411 a letter suggesting a complete overhaul of the type of government we have here in Hoboken.

Do you think it would work?

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Hoboken does not need another monarch

The country is rejoicing in the changes we are looking forward to; much of the world is holding its breath, hoping for spill-over benefits of change. Men and women of all political parties and persuasions, by joining together and setting aside deep-rooted ideologies have helped to accomplish this change with the fervent hope that the lives of all will benefit.

In the US, the philosophy and behavior of the out-going leaders have caused pain at most levels. In Hoboken the philosophy and behavior of the current administration have also caused pain to many while rewarding others.

A number of individuals in the City have recently come forward suggesting change. More will surely follow. Each leader will claim to have the cure for Hoboken’s problems and torch-carriers to spread their words. Does any of them have a resume indicating training or life-experience to bolster those claims?

Hoboken does not need another monarch, tied to a political party’s power-brokers, and with virtually unfettered power to appoint subordinates with no applicable credentials, arrange for unwarranted salary increases to insure support at the ballot box, throw trifling gifts to those already enjoying protection and providing unquestioning allegiance while depriving services to those who disagree. The Mayor/Council form of government encourages corruption and the culture of “what’s in it for me?” Continuing in this mind-set does not encourage efficient solution of Hoboken’s problems. Only by setting aside strictly personal considerations and behaving as a unified, cooperative community — witness the behavior of so many in the safe evacuation of Flight 1549 — substituting “we” for “I”, can Hoboken stand tall — a true community. I suggest, therefore, that the many community-oriented individuals who are circulating petitions or suggesting litigation or asking for money to pursue litigation, forced into those activities because the present government prefers combat with its citizens rather than service, join forces and redirect their efforts to requesting that a referendum, changing the City’s government to the Council/Manager form, be put on the June ballot. There is still time; only 8,000 signatures are necessary.

“The Council-Manager Form of government is the most widely used form of government in the United States, despite limited use in New Jersey. The National Municipal League endorsed the Council-Manager form of government as the most desirable form of local government in the United States. To thousands of communities scattered all over the United States, the Council-Manager form has brought professional management that would have been unavailable under any other known governmental system… The most important (idea) one was that politics and government could be separated.”

Council members hire a manager, based on resume; renew contracts based on performance. They would continue to serve residents of their respective wards while determining policy for the City as a whole. The manager would manage the money and oversee the fulfillment of the City’s needs — mind the store. Wake up, Hoboken, and join the “Obama” revolution.

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46 Comments on "Changing Hoboken’s form of Government"

truth1
Member
truth1

Whatever the form of govt., the elected governing body must have sound ethics, the ability to plan, organize and form a consensus, make sound decisions, know how to see problems and the courage to do the right thing. Boy, does this town need positive change. Vote your gut in May… 💡

estevens
Member

If y’all vote in a decent mayor and council this May, I’d consider coordinating a petition drive for the November election (I wouldn’t advise doing it in a June primary, as turnout is much lower and it would likely get bounced by the machine faithful. We’d also need to collect 8000 signatures within the next five weeks to meet initiative & referendum deadlines, and that won’t happen during the winter season).

Here’s the thing: if we get another lousy council and mayor in May/June, switching formats only guarantees us another hack getting hired in city hall.

If we elect the sort of council that we hire someone that would do a proper job, we would likely also have elected a progressive mayor who would then be bounced from office once the changeover took place (I have to check to see how that actually works).

drox
Member
drox

I think we are missing the point: how do we get Helen’s idea implemented? We do indeed need someone that actually understands budgets, and what they sign when they make decisions for all of us (for example see the BOE idiotic president’ little speech before she voted yes for raping the Hoboken citizens further, not to mention the city council members).

KenOn10
Member
KenOn10

What about offering the manager a base salary ($100k-$150k?) with a $100k bonus for reducing municipal spending to $90 million (or whatever)? We shouldn’t be hiring another high-end civil servant without performance guarantees.

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