Can you live without Sinatra Field?
Open space may be an open tax wound too
Let’s face it – most Hoboken residents appreciate the little open space we have in town. And even though the soccer field is now (was) practically “permit only” and rarely available for “free” casual activity – it still remains closed due to the deterioration that surfaced after it collapsed last year.
Conundrum: Now, later, never, or something better?
Here’s some facts: The city of Hoboken is suffering. Massive tax hikes that won’t go away, a fledgling hospital with an uncertain future, and lack of transparency at city hall “just like the old days.”
And now they’re talking about borrowing tens of millions of dollars more at your expense. What happened to fiscal responsibility? At a recent council meeting – a resolution appeared on the agenda to borrow money (bond $12 million dollars) to supposedly repair this dumpy recreational area.
One problem is – no one knows where this $12 million dollar number came from. Is it fictitious & too high – and just thrown out there to use money for other expenses (a la David Roberts)? Or like some residents are saying – way too little – and will end up costing taxpayers $20, even $30 million dollars. No RFP’s, no quotes, no analysis, nothing on the city website, zippo. Frankly, unless someone says (and proves with hard evidence) that “all steel pilings underneath this pier are rotting away and the entire park needs to be demolished and replaced” – I bet we could just bang a couple more steel beams into the sinking corner – add a few bricks and some concrete – and the job is done for a couple hundred grand – if that. I’m sure there are plenty of contractors out there need work – so what is it exactly?
Furthermore – if we’re going to bond for many millions of dollars, don’t you think we should get a larger, newer park with MORE playing fields than just one? Even if they put taxpayers on the hook for Sinatra Field, we still have a lack of space for people to play on. Perhaps building three or four recreation spaces somewhere on the west side of town is a better idea?
There is no rush to get this done so fast
Assuming this $12 million dollar number is correct (which we all doubt) – what is the motivation for the city of Hoboken to rush this job right away? The city has more pressing needs! Here are plenty of reasons why this should WAIT:
- What about our roads? Fix those first. Not just some – all of them.
- Reduce the burden on the taxpayer. Fixing this park will NOT alleviate the tax problems – only make them worse.
- Handle parks that have “been in the works” for a long time already – like 1600 Park and SW6.
- Solve the parking problems – not with useless bike lanes, but more parking spaces.
I could go on – but if our city government rushes into this project without prioritizing what is important to most city residents – not just some – then it’s just another example of how we’re being horribly mismanaged. While I do understand that park space like Sinatra Field is considered important for many residents and families, any park is still somewhat of a luxury – a “non-essential,” and should only be handled when our fiscal situation is sound.