Hoboken P.O. DePascale on Budget
Hoboken Cop says Mayor Zimmer a pushover
Allowing County, State to trample on the Mile Square…
Hoboken Police Officer Justin DePascale – who submitted a letter regarding the Police Layoffs last week – has sent another letter, further elaborating on the budget situation:
“To my fellow Hobokenites,
A week ago, I wrote a letter in which I spoke of a 20 million dollar budget surplus (411 note: see that letter after the jump). This letter drew some criticism on the validity of this monetary figure. With this in mind, I began a more in-depth review of the three budgets that comprise the Hoboken tax base. For those of you who do not know, the final tax bill in Hoboken is made of three tax levies combined. The City of Hoboken, County of Hudson, and the Hoboken Board of Education tax levies make up the final amount. After reviewing this information, I have come to a new conclusion. I believe the budget surplus is just below 20 million, but could have been upwards of 27.5 million dollars.
I know what the skeptics are saying, he must be crazy, but let me explain. First of all, I am not a finance major in any respect, but as a police officer I have worked as an investigator for a number of years.
In its simplest form, the City of Hoboken’s tax base has been pillaged by the County of Hudson as well as the State of New Jersey without so much as a quibble by Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Shouldn’t we fight harder for our money?
- The Hoboken share of Hudson County taxes have been increased by approximately 6 million dollars this year to an approximate total of 45 million dollars, per year, under Mayor Zimmer. The total amount of tax increase paid to the County of Hudson for this budget year is approximately 12 million dollars, which means Hoboken alone has shouldered 50% of this total increase, unfair to say the least
- State aid to Hoboken has been reduced by approximately 1.5 million dollars this year
First off, the readjustment made at the county level, although constitutional, has been generously allowed to occur by Mayor Zimmer without even appearing at a County Freeholder meeting.
As reported by the Jersey Journal on June 26, 2010, “It’s the annual county milking of Hoboken. Freeholders approved a budget allowing Hoboken to pay the lion’s share of the tax levy.” The paper goes on to say, “The mayor missed a chance to publicly blast the county administration at Monday’s freeholder meeting. In the past, even the older Russo and Mayor Dave Roberts showed up to take their public swipes at the county officials over the pillaging of the Mile Square City.” Why did Mayor Zimmer not try to save millions of tax payer dollars at the County Freeholder meeting?
As Mayor Zimmer so proudly stood with Governor Christie, Hoboken was relieved of approximately 1.5 million dollars in State aid as mentioned above. I am glad to see the Mayor has a good relationship with the Governor, but to appear with him at the announcement of the Governor’s plan to cap tax hikes to 2.5% is conflicting. I believe this is a conflict because, while supporting the Governor’s 2.5% initiative, the Mayor allowed the County of Hudson to raise our county share of taxes by approximately 15% without a fight.
Now the Zimmer administration is cutting the Hoboken Police Department as well as other City workers to create a fiscal diversion. This diversion has been created not out of a fiscal necessity, but a political one. The budget recently introduced by Mayor Zimmer, as she put is, “fully funded and gimmicks free,” but as I see it is full of public omissions and diversions.
In conclusion, again I state the budget surplus should be in the area of 27.5 million and should be comprised of the current 20 million and the 7.5 million that was so cavalierly allowed to be taken from the Hoboken tax base.
Justin Louis DePascale
SEE ORIGINAL UPDATE AFTER THE JUMP…
Hoboken Police Officer Justin DePascale sent this letter to the editor regarding the impending layoffs Mayor Dawn Zimmer is eager to execute. Keep in mind that the administration still hasn’t responded to the analysis of the police audit that the PBA submitted, where they state that the state’s information was grossly inaccurate – and puts city residents safety at risk.
Hoboken progressed because of safe streets
“To my fellow Hobokenites,
My name is Justin DePascale I am a 32 year old resident and police officer, not in jeopardy by the layoff plan. I have lived in Hoboken all of my life. I recently moved out for less than a year and collectively decided, with my wife Cara, to move back because Hoboken is the place we want to raise our son, now six months old. Throughout my life here in Hoboken I have seen so many changes, mostly for the betterment of our city. We know that Hoboken is a safe, friendly, and fun place to live, but it wasn’t always that way.
For those of you who do not know my family history my grandfather, Louis DePascale, was the 30th mayor of Hoboken. During his terms as mayor Hoboken was not the desirable urban center that it is today. As Mayor he utilized the “Model Cities” program to begin Hoboken’s transformation. His experience on the City Council, as well as holding the office of Mayor taught him that public safety was the most important component of his beloved City’s forward progression. Dilapidated buildings, empty lots, and abandoned industrial complexes were part of Hoboken’s landscape. Worst of all, crime was a major part of life in Hoboken. In 1970 during a holdup at the local liquor store, my mother was shot while standing outside getting caught in the cross fire. This occurring just a few doors down from her home on 7th and Garden Street. This same home was burglarized on three separate occasions, with many items being stolen. Today, thankfully, Hoboken is a different place to live.
How did Hoboken become one of the most desirable places to live in the country? Before banks would lend money to builders, before planners could design a model city or builders construct new neighborhoods and before thousands of young people would have made Hoboken their home, there had to be an understanding and reputation of Hoboken being a safe city. If one were to chart the correlation of the crime rate dropping to the increase in investments and population in Hoboken, you would see that as crime rates dropped, investments and population were on the rise. Here we are now, in 2010, with a population of almost 50,000 people, and an envy of cities throughout the state, with a 20 million dollar budget surplus. I believe it is incomprehensible that Mayor Zimmer would even consider making a reduction to our police force. We all know that creating and sustaining a safe city is a community effort but an effective police department is the main ingredient.
So I ask, Mayor Zimmer, please reconsider your decision to layoff 18 of our police officers. Please let Hoboken keep its reputation as one of the safest cities in our state. I know my grandfather would have been so proud of the many ways in which Hoboken has progressed. Let’s keep our city moving in a positive direction.
Justin L. DePascale