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More parking meter rackets

Parking meter racket continues in Hoboken

Hoboken411 reader Leigh overheard the most ridiculous situation over at the Hoboken Parking Utility (or HPU – which also stands for “Hoboken Pickpocketing Underworld”).

“I was waiting in line at the Parking Authority this morning and I heard a woman discussing her parking ticket with one of the parking supervisors. She said she had a doctor’s appointment at 9am. She tried putting money into the parking meter machine prior to 9am but was not allowed to since parking is free from 9pm-9am. If someone had a meeting from 8am-10am, they are almost guaranteed a ticket unless they are able to come outside and pay the machine at 9. The supervisor said there was nothing he could do about the ticket or the machines. These machines have been in use for over a year. How is this even still an issue?”

So in other words – even if you WANT to pay ahead of time you cannot. Boy, I could hire a $2/hour programmer from overseas to fix this “glitch” in about 15 minutes. That’s just 50 cents. Let’s see how much the city “budgets” for to fix this asinine problem. My guess it’s six figures.

Parking Meter Racket in Hoboken NJ hours

Hoboken NJ

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Less fires – more paid firemen

Can Hoboken save? With less fires – hire less firemen?

Stumbled across this interesting article about fire statistics over the past 35 years in America. We have less fires than ever in this country, yet 50% MORE paid firemen!

The chart below shows that in 1980 – we (America) had 225k paid firefighters, who handled close to 2.4 million working fire calls. And today – we have 340k paid firefighters, but for over a million less fires (1.37 million)! 50% more paid firefighters for 40% less fires.

career fire fighters Hoboken NJ

(note that the number of “volunteer” (read: free) firefighters has actually gone down…)

Firefighters doing a lot less “fire” work?

There has long been a fierce debate about “public safety” workers. With the divide between those who support and are against getting deeper by the week. Many feel life would be over without these paid (and pensioned) first-responders, while on the flip-side, the pensions are bleeding the property taxpayers dry. Pick your poison.

However, apparently what fire-fighters are doing is respond to medical calls, up over 300% in the past few decades, and close to 80% of all calls? Are they fire-fighters or medics?

“Whenever you see six firefighters standing around at a fender bender accident scene remember that it costs you the taxpayer approximately $3,500 every time a fire engine leaves the station.”

fire fighters respond to mostly medical calls

How would you fix the exorbitant cost for fire safety in Hoboken?

This is a tricky fine line to walk. How would you handle, or reduce the cost to a mile-square city? The annual pay and pensions for the fire department is over $10 million per year here in Hoboken.

Would we ever be able to switch to a 100% volunteer model? And over the next few decades next to eliminate the growing (and virtually unsustainable) pension payouts?

Would volunteer firefighters be incapable of handling a row-house blaze? How do most other cities (85%) “survive” with volunteer fire departments?

There are many questions like this out there in cities across the country. And a very tough problem to solve. Because with unions, “votes” and much more (sabotage, threats), there will always be a VERY big loser somewhere if the “honey” was removed from the “pot.”

Who is strong enough to solve this conundrum?

See more stats here: usfa.fema.gov/statistics/estimates/nfpa/

Hoboken Volunteer Fire Fighters

Hoboken NJ

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Library renovations… again?

Hoboken Public Library Renovations – for what?

Did you notice the Hoboken Public Library is seemingly always under some kind of renovation? A couple people we’ve spoken with don’t quite buy the whole constant library renovations – regardless if it’s a benefit to the community or a “historical” building. Fair questions like this come up:

  • Is some kind of money-funneling going on? Either to contractors or others behind the scenes?
  • Why is this building constantly in need of work? What about work that was done previously? Was it completed satisfactorily?
  • Has anyone ever audited all the expenses, verified work being done, line-item by line-item?

The library seems to get a hefty chuck of public money every year. I’d suspect most people would want proof that it’s not being squandered in some nefarious way.

Hoboken Library Renovations

[Click to continue reading the rest....]

Hoboken NJ

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Citizen complaints or responsibilities?

If Hoboken had a good government, would citizen complaints be needed?

You’d think that in a city about a square mile, and with a $100 million dollar budget – things would not only get done perfectly, they’d go WAY above and beyond the bare minimum. Pristine streets, no sidewalk rubbish, rock-solid waterfront walkways, and more than enough time left over to spare to lend a helping hand to some of the less fortunate residents (i.e., seniors, disabled, etc.)

But that’s not the case here in Hoboken. Not only can’t they “manage their own house,” but they beg that citizens also lend a hand (for FREE!) by submitting citizen complaint requests, etc.

Even then, I’m hearing that many “citizen complaints” go pretty much ignored or unresolved.

How long has the Hoboken Huddle been over? That concrete platform has remained months after. What were they waiting for, the next NY Super Bowl?

Hoboken Huddle Citizen Complaints

Then another resident was complaining about this ugly, orange “temporary” dog park set up on Hudson Street outside one of the municipal garages (while three of the parks were curiously shut down simultaneously this past winter for “renovations.”) It too, still remains.

Hoboken temporary dog park citizen complaints

Citizens even have to light the fire to keep construction projects plugging along, like the crumbling walkway north of Sinatra Park. So what are the public servants at City Hall doing exactly? Maybe the entire city should be run by volunteers – and not “paid slackers.”

Hoboken sinatra park walkway citzen complaints

Hoboken NJ

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Hoboken City Council Meeting 4/16/2014

Hoboken City Council Meeting of April 16, 2014

Inspect Hoboken City Council meeting documents below – and click here at 7:00pm to watch live video stream.

Business as usual over at the circus tent city hall this week.

But here’s a little food for thought to plant in your head. You want to know the top three recurring expenses in Hoboken every two weeks?

  1. Police Dept. (around $550k)
  2. Fire Dept. (around $500K) and…
  3. Hoboken Parking Utility (over $150k)

The first two can be argued “contribute” somewhat to “quality of life” in Hoboken. The third? No way.

Hoboken City Council Meeting April 16 2014 NJ

Hoboken City Council Documents for April 16, 2014

Enjoy!

Hoboken NJ

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CarePoint Health – Medical Monopoly?

What’s up with CarePoint Health in Hoboken, NJ?

Does anyone else notice the relatively recent “explosion” CarePoint Health Medical Group has undergone in our area?

Carepoint Health Out of Control in Hoboken NJ

Some questions about CarePoint Health to ponder

Without too much commentary – here are some observations (as well as honest questions that might be in the minds of many others):

  • Does it seem to you that there is a “revolving door” of names, D/B/A’s, and other corporate finagling that could be construed as “suspicious?” Or is that just the way “big business” works (in order to find loopholes or more profitable shifting of monies all over the place?)
  • Why is their name popping up everywhere? Buying up private medical practices? Expanding into locations every which way you look! How can they afford all the costly rents?
  • Why did this organization get to pay the LEAST for St. Mary’s Hospital (Hoboken University Medical Center), when others BID MUCH MORE? Is that why they have so much extra money to expand? Weren’t their “books” kept under wraps and OUTSIDE public purview?
  • How do they have the money to buy multiple “full page spreads” in countless (antiquated, hardly read) print publications all over the county? Is that to “pay for silence?”
  • Why are (fledgling) “mainstream” news media outlets CONSTANTLY publishing “good news” press releases without ANY critical commentary? Who’s getting the “lucky” treatment?
  • Is this big “expansion” a sign that “someone has privileged info” about what is to come in the future?
  • Who the hell are these people?

Something seems either wrong, or heavily tilted in SOMEONE’S favor. We certainly don’t have the time or resources to get to the bottom of it (the way we want to), and refuse to take anyone or any other “source” for their word until it can be verified with absolute accuracy. Which is most likely next to impossible (shredding, payouts, and other trickery.)

But when you get a feeling in your gut that “something ain’t right,” normally you’re on to something…

Carepoint Health NJ Hudson Street Hoboken

CarePoint Health Monroe Street Hoboken NJ Hudson County

Hoboken NJ

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