City Council – 1/2/2008 Preview
For those that want to watch last weeks council meeting:
See original preview after the break.
Back to work tonight for the Hoboken City Council, which is more than halfway through the fiscal year without an adopted budget. Once again the joke is on the public as Mayor David Roberts’ strategy to introduce his spending plan late in the year has greatly diminished the likelihood there will be any substantial cuts, since the annual spending plan is already half-spent. Still, the meeting begins with the continuation of the Municipal Budget Hearing, where members of the public can tell the council how they feel about the city’s spending practices.
Taxi and Open Space Tax Ordinances
Public hearings will be held on three ordinances up for a second reading and final vote. The first two overhaul the city’s taxicab, limousine, and livery ordinances including increases in fees and fares. If the ordinance passes you’ll be paying five bucks for the honor of squeezing into a cab with two other strangers for a ride to your destination, even though technically that is still against the law.
The Open Space Tax approved by the voters in November will also be up for a public hearing and final vote. Passage is likely, since it will be difficult for the council to say no to a “Trust Fund” concept already approved by the public. The “Public Comments” portion of the meeting will follow the ordinances and will no longer be held at the end of the meeting.
Claims and Payrolls
What are they spending your tax money on? Check out the long list of “Claims” up for council approval this week, including:
- $875,121 in Health Insurance costs
- $325,826 for Prescriptions
- $26,900 in Postage costs
- $24,807 in Gasoline (not including $1,974 for HPU gas)
- $6,865 in Rent to Al Arezzo for the Police Horse Barn
- $1,350 to the Tree Barn for holiday decorations
- $1,328 for the Recreation Department to the “Izod Center”
*** Note that the “Claims” PDF was horribly formatted on some pages, and the over $875k in Health Insurance wasn’t included on the agenda. And why is insurance under “Telecommunications?” Who proof-reads these documents? ***
That on top of two weeks of payrolls totaling $1,505,058 in regular pay, $62,651 in “other” and $49,689 in overtime. That will lead in to yet another vote “authorizing additional temporary emergency appropriations until such time a formal budget is adopted.”
The verbiage for this section of City Council agenda should be changed. “Claims” can be misleading to the average person. Why not rename it “City Money Paid Out,” or “City Operating Expenses.” And list a total as well. What is listed on this week’s agenda totals OVER $2.2 Million dollars!
Parking Fees rise for second and third cars
The Parking Utility originally proposed a five dollar across-the-board increase for resident parking permits this year, but when the council balked it was back to the drawing board. Instead, a resolution tonight would keep the price at $15 a year for the first car in a household, but double to $30 a year for the second car, and rise again to $90 for any additional vehicles.
The meeting starts at 7pm at City Hall.