Letter: Hoboken drags feet on public health concerns despite injuries
All the “hot air” and good news that comes out of this administration, but it seems as if quality of life is on decline nonetheless. Hoboken resident Melissa Blanco has been holding the administration to the fire, with barely a tepid response. See what’s going on now (hint: it’s a stinky situation…)
Warning: Injuries and damages due to poor public health!
You might be interested to know, that while our local public health officials and the non-Zimmer Council minority do recognize the risks and liabilities of our lack of public health compliance, they describe to me that “their hands are tied” without a majority of Council member and Zimmer support.
I have not only put the Council on notice about the increasing risks and the populations of various disease causing animals, but I have also recommended the solution. My first letter was written nine months ago. I have steadily followed up with council appearances and additional letters. As you know, in April, the County stepped in to clear our streets of months of filth – but this was only an interim solution.
Last night, my dog was injured and sprayed by one of the many skunks feasting on the garbage in the streets of Hoboken. I am still dealing with the de-skunking and am concerned for the injuries my dog sustained even though she is up to date on all vaccines.
This week, I called each council member. Mr. Bhalla said he would “do his best.” When pressed, he said he would talk to his other Council members. I replied that he needed to do much better, that this was gross negligence since the Council had been put on Notice and there were now injuries. I think we all know, that had this been one of his constituents that voted for Zimmer, that the City would be out with bull horns in the street, quickly cautioning residents and letting property owners know that their garbage must be in cans with tightly closed lids.
When I discussed the matter with our public health official, Fran Sasso, he said his hands were tied if the Council would do nothing. The City’s only response to date has been to cut the garbage collection, appoint additional Zimmer-aligned individuals to boards and suggest that we vote for more of their cohorts.
The City is required by law to provide for adequate public health. Towns with vermin problems, generally, have ordinances requiring garbage cans with sealed lids and furthermore fine those who do not comply. Hoboken, I am told by, tells owners to remove lids and also allows plastic bags openly on curbs. Sanitation is a fairly simple matter to correct, yet our Council instead choses to spend its time on electrical trash cans and bonding for meters to raise revenue in the same residential areas that they do not provide essential services for.
Now with a formal report of actual damages and injuries, we have both the health risk and the additional legal liability for the City ignoring its duties regarding public health.