City Council – 2/4/2009 Preview
Tonight at 7pm – City Hall.
Hoboken City Council Preview
The Hoboken City Council meets again tomorrow. It should be another night of sparring, pontificating and jostling for position. The last few meetings have seen high drama as we get closer and closer to the deadline for filing petitions to run for Mayor and Council-at-Large this spring. Watch for more grandstanding as Peter Cammarano tries again to convince us it would have been better to continue to hide Dave Roberts’ overspending than to open the bloated $121 million dollar budget to the public review and outrage now underway. At the last meeting Terry Castellano called Cammarano a liar. Will there be a rematch of Terry LaBruno and Donna Antonucci? Who will mix it up this time? Here’s a juicy preview of what’s officially on the agenda – Hoboken411 style.
Borrowing more money, raising more fines
Two ordinances are up for public comment and a final vote. Back in December of 2007, a majority of the council led by the Mayor’s allies Cammarano and LaBruno approved a $2.2 million dollar bond issue to pay the bill to fix the 916 Garden automated garage. Instead of paying the Unitronics bill out of the multi-million dollar profit made by the Parking Utility each year that Roberts raided to help hide his deficit spending, the Mayor insisted the council push the bill on taxpayers of the future by borrowing money.
Fast forward a year and State Monitor Judy Tripodi has apparently discovered that the bonds were never issued and Unitronics was paid out of other accounts. Now the bonding is back on the agenda. If the bill has already been paid out of HPU revenue why borrow and increase the city’s indebtedness? The second ordinance raises fines for parking violations in an effort to raise revenue for the city.
SEE MORE OF WHAT’S ON TAP, AFTER THE JUMP…
(City Council 2/4/2009, continued…)
New: More PILOTS, salary reduction grandstanding
Five new ordinances are up for first reading, with no public comment allowed before the vote. The first comes from Tripodi and establishes a Department of Revenue and Finance. This continues Tripodi’s effort to clean up the jumble of dysfunctional fiefdoms that has developed at City Hall under the watch of Mayor Roberts. Tripodi already dispatched the private financial firm that Roberts brought in three years ago and has brought in new people to oversee the finance wing.
The next two involve the approval of two more 25 year tax exemptions for 69 market rate residential rental apartments at 1320 Grand Street and 1321-1325 Adams Street. These are believed to be more Ursa/Tarragon Upper Grand units that will be built between the Movie Theater and existing Upper Grand condos on that block.
The last two are efforts by members of the council to say they have cut something, no matter how small out of the $121 million dollar budget. The first from Castellano and Mike Russo cuts the $24,130.00 base salaries of the council members by 10%. The second from Dawn Zimmer and Peter Cunningham reduces the $129,894.00 salary of the Mayor by 10%.
Neither measure has much impact on the $121 million dollar budget, but then again it’s probably more about how it will look in campaign literature than what it actually does to cut spending. It’s not like the public employee unions are going to see these cuts and step up to take their own 10% pay cut. Not hardly!
Running down the resolutions
Rounding out what else is on the slate tomorrow:
- A standard request for state grant money to pave streets
- More money for Cali Carting to take out recyclables
- The appointment of Sharon Curren as Collector of Revenue at a salary of $112,000.00 following the retirement of Tax Collector Louis Picardo. The resolution says she would serve a term through January 1, 2014.
- Yet another redevelopment zone proposed for North Hoboken outlined in depth here on Hoboken411.
- Removing Block 11, Lot 9 from a resolution awarding a contract for appraisal services. This one is an odd duck. It involves the Nat Salvemini property. The council has stated it’s interest in acquiring the land for a southwest park, but now the Roberts legal department wants the council to rescind it’s move to assess the land. Strange.
- Adopting certification for the estimated third quarter tax bills (should be a doozy)
- Authorizing Emergency Temporary Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2009 budget which is now more than half over.
As always, the public will also get their five minutes to vent during the open portion at the end of the meeting. It begins at 7pm Wednesday at City Hall.