Campaign Fact Check – Part II
Two Views of the Zimmer Record, continued
First we looked at a Kim Glatt mailer, now let’s look at one of Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s pieces of literature. Like all of Zimmer’s mailers, this one attempts to make the case that “In just a few short weeks” she has a growing list of “accomplishments.” Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
- Established fiscal responsibility benchmarks to restore local control
Zimmer doesn’t list the actual benchmarks in her literature because not even one of them is anything more than what was already required by state law. There is no new ground here. See for yourself:
- Adoption of a fully funded budget (well, duh!)
- Completion of a certified audit (has to be done every year)
- Preparation, adoption and implementation of a Corrective Action Plan addressing any issues arising in the Certified Audit (standard operating procedure)
- Hiring of a qualified Business Administrator (will it be Lenz or Tripodi?)
All four are required by law with or without Zimmer’s buzzwords. On to the next one…
- Cut Mayor’s and Director’s salaries by 10%
Well, strictly speaking she hasn’t done this because after four months of trying as Council President Zimmer still can’t get the wording correct on the Salary Ordinance. By the way, this Acting Mayor and all three of her new directors got raises over what their last jobs paid them courtesy of the city taxpayers. Some bargain.
- Won approval of the critical Southeastern Flood pump
This is false. The only movement on Zimmer’s watch was a simple easement approval from Hudson County that was requested by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority. The flood pump plan was the proposal of Zimmer’s opponents back in 2007. Just watch this video of the pump announcement from that time to see who was originally pushing for the pumps.
Here’s a hint: it wasn’t Dawn Zimmer.
- Instituted safeguards to limit political influence over zoning decisions
Yeah, so now instead of one guy appointing campaign contributors to the Zoning Board we have a five person council majority led by Zimmer making the call after wasting hours of time pretending they didn’t have their minds made up before the meeting started. They bumped their political ally Tony Soares to a permanent position and picked $3,000 donation giver James Aibel to replace Soares as an alternate. Business as usual.
- Made high quality appointments through an open application process
This should read “hired my unemployed, underemployed, and soon-to-be unemployed friends and soccer playing buddies to be my directors.” The open application process was a farce, and no public vetting was done of Zimmer’s directors. Zimmer promised council hearings, which never happened.
- Restored cross-town bus service through a new, more cost effective approach
Work to restore the cross-town bus was accomplished by holdover Director Terry LaBruno, not Zimmer. Note the bold part of the line. That was put in there to try and appease people like matt_72, who think the bus is a waste of money that shouldn’t have been brought back. Not that matt_72 would ever vote for anyone but Zimmer of course.
- Ended longevity pay for Directors
And wasn’t that the major reform everybody was screaming for after all? Oh, you say it wasn’t, and you don’t even know what this means? Well, it doesn’t mean much. Zimmer’s under-qualified Directors aren’t even eligible for longevity pay as new employees, and are still overpaid without it.
- Won public commitment to fix state legislation that would have allowed NJ Transit to go forward with their plan to build skyscrapers over the South Hoboken rail yards.
Hey! What happened? Zimmer originally claimed she had HALTED the legislation. That got the powerful State Senate sponsor so angry he re-doubled his efforts to get this thing passed during the lame duck session of the legislature. Hardly what Zimmer intended, but she is a bit of a neophyte after all.
Here’s the bottom line
It’s clear today that a majority of Hoboken voters do not want Dawn Zimmer to be Mayor. The question now, is whether the majority of anti-Zimmer voters can agree on one candidate to beat her in this winner-take-all election.
Get out and vote tomorrow!
(And don’t forget to stay on topic please!)