Hoboken continues to spend money it doesn’t have

As I already mentioned in today’s Hoboken City Council Preview – the city continues their crazy spending spree (via bonding). It’s getting a bit out of control when we already have a $100 million dollar budget (including a surplus).

1st Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano sent a letter to Mayor Dawn Grossbard Zimmer requesting more sensible ways to make routine purchases.

Castellano: Why does Hoboken bond for routine purchases?

First Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano is asking the city administration to explore funding sources to acquire a new senior citizen bus as an upgrade to the existing municipal transit fleet.

Specifically, Councilwoman Castellano would like to determine if the purchase could be financed through grant funds or though the city’s budget surplus, but not through bonding as was previously advocated by the administration and its supporter on the City Council.

“Bonding simply increases the municipal debt burden and that is not a risk we need to take given the uncertain economy. Bonding can be utilized for specific community capital improvements, such as the repaving of Washington Street, but not for a single vehicle with a limited lifespan,” said Councilwoman Castellano.

Earlier this year, an administration attempt to approve a $450,000 bonding scheme to acquire a senior bus and other vehicles, including a bucket truck, did not garner the six votes necessary for approval. Councilwoman Castellano was one of four minority council representatives to prevent approval.

“It was unnecessary to bundle the acquisition of a single senior citizen bus with other vehicles through a $450,000 bond when we currently have the money for the acquisition of a senior citizen bus. Why would we want to go into long-term debt to acquire something with a short-term lifespan?,” she said.

Councilwoman submitted her request to Mayor Zimmer, the department of Community Development and the Law Department for review. It is her hope to sponsor an ordinance for the acquisition at this evening’s City Council meeting.