City Council – 12/13/2007 Preview

The Hoboken City Council holds a special meeting at 6pm tonight with two items on the agenda. The special meeting will be followed by the fourth and final budget workshop. Here is a look at the two items on the agenda.

Municipal Garage Sale

The agenda includes a “resolution on the selection of a proposal solicited through a request for proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the Public Works Garage Site and the conditional selection of a redeveloper.” This is the conclusion of the open and fair RFP bidding process that the City Council approved unanimously at the August 20th meeting. While residential developers such as Metro Homes and Tarragon are halting projects and/or selling off assets during the credit crunch, Hoboken was still able to secure competitive bids for the garage through a process designed to establish a level playing field for all qualified developers while reaching the city’s $25 million dollar goal for the sale of the property.

The city received bids from Trammell Crow Residential and S. Hekemian at the deadline. Tonight the city’s special redevelopment attorney will recommend the most acceptable bid for council consideration. A third developer – MDK Development – sent a letter to the city refusing to participate in the open and fair RFP bidding process, and is now trying to weasel back onto the scene via Councilman-at-Large Peter Cammarano, who is looking to make new friends in the campaign contribution-rich developer community ahead of his run for Mayor. Cammarano and Ruben Ramos tried to block the RFP process back in August so they could direct the project to their friends at MDK. Seeing they didn’t have the votes, they begrudgingly voted to support the RFP.

Hoboken Municipal Garage

In the unlikely event Cammarano could get five votes to reject the bids that comply with the city’s bidding procedure, the city would lose all the credibility it built up by actually launching a level playing field bidding process. Watch for the inevitable appearance of various real estate developers standing up to demand the council allow an even bigger building on the muni garage site to “maximize value,” which is a codeword for making sure more high-rise condo projects get the green light without pesky citizen interference.

Hiring Rail Yard Planner

The second and final item on the Special Meeting agenda is a contract to hire FXFOWLE Architects and Planners to prepare a redevelopment plan for the Hoboken Terminal and Yard. FXFOWLE will then work with the city and NJ Transit on plans to start building on the rail yards. This item was tabled at the last meeting due to concerns about how NJ Transit would reimburse the city for the work.

Budget Workshop Continues

Day 4 of the budget workshops may be dominated by all the unanswered questions from the first three budget workshops. It is scheduled to begin at 7pm, but with the special meeting preceding it at 6 it may take a while to get it going. As a refresher, you might want to catch up with day 1, day 2 and day 3 of the budget workshops.

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59 Comments on "City Council – 12/13/2007 Preview"

dosomethingright
Member
dosomethingright
[quote comment=”58221″]I agree with strand about the street fairs. They are great for the bars in particular, as is the St.Pats parade, but they suck for the shops on the avenue because fairgoers walk primarily in the street.[/quote] Something dawned on me last night, while watching the Dec 6 Council meeting on TIVO. Limiting the number of street fairs were brought up as a way to cut the budget and improve quality of life around here. Fair arguments were made on either side, but there seemed to be a consenus that the street fairs are a great way to bring outsiders in and advertise Hoboken. Helped Hoboken in the dark days, when realtors couldn’t get people here no matter how low the rents. But do we really need them now. An official reported that the office that sponsors the street fairs “breaks even” – but that does not account for all the police, fire, and clean-up overtime. These are expenses borne by the town residents, many of whom don’t want the street fairs in the first place. Then I remembered this is Hoboken and thought in more detail about the main reason government has been motivated to do anything here. The street fairs creates tons of overtime for municipal workers. Ten times a year, that overtime is money they can take to the bank. Municipal workers are generally friends and family of elected officials in Hoboken. If not blood related, their voting bloc is solid and loyal. So why would… Read more »
Colonblow
Member
Colonblow

[quote comment=”58269″][quote comment=”58253″][quote comment=”58239″]When Cunningham had the floor he urged the Council and Mayor to freeze all hiring, freeze all pay raises, and forbid all overtime until the budget mess was sorted out. Russo and his gang were utterly tongue tied trying to change the topic and not let this turn into a resolution.[/quote]

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v1650853tttGF6wB%5B/quote%5D

Cunningham tells it like it is. This guy is the real deal – a true manager, not some flunky politco type. We need more of these. Is there any word if he is considering a run for mayor?[/quote]

No! Y’see…if Cunningham were running for Mayor…he’d have an AGENDA!! THAT’S why he’s effective…he doesn’t have an agenda dependent on how he decides on issues. He doesn’t care how he comes across…he’s there to clean shop. Period. He has a nice, well paying job. He’s in there just to clean shop, no agenda. What a relief. Agenda…no agenda = big difference. Thanks Peter.

Easy-E
Member
Hoboken isn’t the only city with these exact problems. Voter apathy and ignorance is rampant on Lawng EyeLaand. http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ny-ensals1216,0,4641373.story From the article: [quote]Payroll records show, for example, that Water Authority of Great Neck North Superintendent Robert Graziano makes $183,283 a year — more than the governor of New York, who makes $179,000. The district’s assistant superintendent is Graziano’s son Gregory, who makes $95,700 a year. Gregory Graziano also drives a 2005 Dodge Durango, complete with a DVD player, paid for by the district. The senior Graziano receives fully paid medical, dental, vision and pension benefits worth thousands more. He gets a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, with gas and insurance paid for by the district and he received low-interest financing from the authority to buy a home. On top of that, he is able to monitor security in the district and watch television on a 42-inch plasma TV, which records show was paid for by taxpayers, in his office. It was part of an $11,740 security system, but officials refused to specify the cost of the television. Graziano is the highest-paid water superintendent on Long Island, supervising a staff of 27 people. The authority covers 7.5 miles and serves 31,400 people, according to officials. “I think I’m underpaid,” Graziano said.[/quote] 😯 Wow! Makes more than the Governor of the entire state, yet has more responsibility?? I’ll bet some of you could re-write that article with different names and have it apply to Hoboken. Thanks to all of you for making these… Read more »
hbkn_resident
Member
hbkn_resident

[quote comment=”58255″][quote comment=”58252″][quote comment=”58237″]Dawn Zimmer prodding why we don’t negotiate on tougher terms against the municipal employee’s union on their ridiculously generous benefits. Then she asks when is the contract up for negotiation. Awkward silence from Dick England. Pause. Errr. Russo looks. Down. England mumble, “next month.” (Funny how this union renegotiation never made it on the Council’s budget cutting agenda. even thought their salaries and benefits account for 2/3 of the City Budget).[/quote]

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v1650950re6mBNCg%5B/quote%5D

precious, classic, brilliant to share with the taxpaying public. dawn’s question and england’s response made the rest of the budget meeting substantially irrelevant, don’t you think?[/quote]

pathetic.

hbkn_resident
Member
hbkn_resident

[quote comment=”58253″][quote comment=”58239″]When Cunningham had the floor he urged the Council and Mayor to freeze all hiring, freeze all pay raises, and forbid all overtime until the budget mess was sorted out. Russo and his gang were utterly tongue tied trying to change the topic and not let this turn into a resolution.[/quote]

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v1650853tttGF6wB%5B/quote%5D

Cunningham tells it like it is. This guy is the real deal – a true manager, not some flunky politco type. We need more of these. Is there any word if he is considering a run for mayor?

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