12/1 City Council Meeting: Recap
What happened at last night’s marathon Hoboken City Council meeting?
Hertz on Demand Connect Corner Cars Continue
The Corner Cars program has been approved by resolution for another 200 days while the new council majority seeks to address the many criticisms of the program.
Contrary to email blasts from Mayor Zimmer and her council allies, the program was never in danger of being canceled. The Ordinance to make the Corner Car spots permanent was not approved, but Corner Cars customers will see no change in service.
The council spent (wasted) about three and a half hours on Corner Cars. Some residents still wonder if there’s a back-room connection here somewhere.
Police demotions move forward
Many police officers were on hand to plead their case to stop the Zimmer demotion plan from taking effect today.
Instead of informing the union members of what was to come, Zimmer’s PR team sent out a press release announcing it at about 10pm last night. Observers say many of the demotions appear politically motivated.
Police Captain – and Hudson County Freeholder – Anthony “Stick” Romano will be demoted to Lieutenant. Former PSOA President Ken Ferrante – who actively supported Tim Occhipinti – will drop from Lieutenant to Sergeant. In all, 12 demotions will take place taking about $167,000 in salary from the officers involved.
The council does not vote to approve layoff plans, which are handled by the Mayor.
Changing of the guard
We are now wrapping up the 6-month Transition Year budget, and a new budget will have to be adopted for 2011. Council President Carol Marsh was elected by the old Council Majority, which included appointed representative Michael Lenz. Now that the people of the 4th ward have chosen their own Councilman in a 60/40 romp, the new majority is moving forward to reorganize the council for the new budget year beginning in January.
A resolution was approved to amend the council rules to remove Marsh in 2011, paving the way for members of the new duly elected majority to choose new leadership.
The recap continues – Pincus, hidden taxes, and who are those public speakers? After the jump!
$25 Recreation fee repeal progresses
Councilman Occhipinti’s proposed repeal of the Zimmer Recreation Fee (Hidden Tax) was approved on first reading and will face a public hearing and final vote at the next meeting. Same for the Maxwell Place Park deed transfer ordinance sponsored by 2nd ward Councilwoman Mason.
Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin was called away on a family “emergency,” and was not available to present his report on what the council can do about embattled Zoning Board member Nancy Pincus.
After her Nazi-themed attacks came to the council’s attention at the last meeting, Tabakin said he would report back on steps that could be taken against Pincus.
In the absence of Tabakin, 1st ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano noted Mayor Zimmer still has not commented on the controversy, and she formally requested a comment from the Mayor on the issue her Rabbi has now weighed in on, along with the ADL and NJDC.
Several Zimmer-appointed members of the Planning, Zoning, Housing Authority, Library and other boards rose to “support” the Mayor’s initiatives without identifying their positions in City Government.
Hoboken411 is considering a “spotters’ guide” for Council Watchers who want to know who is getting their talking points and marching orders direct from the Mayor’s office. Because obvious and calculated efforts were put in to give a false perception of what the actual public (who rarely attends council meetings) feels.
Joy: Hoboken Council meeting tonight at 7pm
Has it been two weeks already? Yup. Time for another Hoboken City Council meeting. With Hanukah getting underway and only about three weeks to go before Christmas, most good Hoboken citizens have other things on their mind. For the others, here’s a brief look at what’s ahead tonight…
Occhipinti: repeal the Zimmer Recreation Tax
Newly elected 4th ward councilman Tim Occhipinti makes good on a campaign promise tonight by sponsoring a repeal of Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s $25 per child, per sport recreation fees. The highly unpopular fees have been called an added tax on Hoboken families. The original ordinance included no exemptions, but the administration has been acting outside of the rules to give certain people exemptions above and beyond the law. Occhipinti’s ordinance repealing the fees will see a vote on first reading, followed by a pubic hearing and final vote at the next meeting.
More wrangling over Hertz Corner Cars
At the last meeting an ordinance to officially hand the green-lined parking spaces to Hertz for their use at a measly $100 a month per spot failed by a 4-4 tie vote.
Taxpayers want to know why they can’t buy a dedicated on-street spot for $100 a month. Restaurant and other small business owners want to know why the city keeps taking parking away from their customers to serve a big business like Hertz. In case you haven’t noticed by looking for a parking spot lately, the Corner Cars program hasn’t pulled many cars off the streets of Hoboken. The city claims less than four dozen, which is a lot less than originally promised and not backed up by anything other than press releases they keep pushing out like welfare babies. You’ll soon realize that Hoboken has less parking than ever!
Apparently, the relationships of some key people at City Hall with the Hertz Corporation are so strong that they’re giving the ordinance another go tonight. A 90-day temporary extension will also be offered by resolution. It has a better shot of passing than the ordinance.
Meanwhile, nobody on the council has publicly called Zimmer Transportation Czar Ian Sacs to account for the fact that his very first hire has been charged with Theft by Extortion and Official Misconduct in connection with his work for the Parking Utility.
Will tonight be the night?