Mason Community Meeting

6/20/2009 Update:

Meeting a success

“On Thursday June 18th,, Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason held a public meeting at Café Ganache in the Hudson Tea Building to seek community input and feedback about how Hoboken’s North End should be developed.

The North End is currently underutilized and contains industrial sites, parking lots, bus sheds, and service utilities. In addition the public streets are in desperate need of repair and the open space is undeveloped.

“In 2002, the master plan called for an economic development zone which would contain business, retail, light industry, an uptown light rail station, community facilities, a pedestrian boulevard, and buildings would be between a 2 story minimum and a 5 story maximum,” Mason said, “However, there is now talk of the current Rockefeller Group project containing 40 story towers, 1,800,000 square feet of office space, 84,000 square feet of retail, and 300 residential condominium units.”

Instead Mason is proposing an alternative concept that includes expanded open and recreation space, a traffic improvement plan, a transportation hub with light rail station, bus stop, inter-city jitney and perimeter parking, an office and convention center, a pedestrian boulevard with retail, art and theater venues, a museum, and boutique hotels.

In addition, the plan proposes a sports and activities venue which will include 2 hockey and skating rinks, an athletic facility, indoor courts, and a fitness center.

“This component would provide activities for 15 to 25 year olds, something we Hoboken really needs,” Mason said.


Finally Mason proposed the possibility of a Minor League AA baseball stadium as the foundation of the district.

“Hoboken is the original home of baseball, Mason added, “why not make it that way once again?”

As an added benefit the concept also calls for a new municipal garage site that would be shared with Weehawken, Hoboken’s neighbor to the north.

“For far too long Hoboken has suffered under development that does not include public input,” Mason said, “It is time to change that and make sure that future development works for the community.”

Based on the positive responses Mason said she plans to hold several more public meetings.

“The response tonight was just incredible,” Mason concluded, “I absolutely can’t wait to have future meetings, so we can help make this concept a reality.”


Staying in touch with constituents

2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason invites all Hoboken residents to a community meeting over at Cafe Ganache (at the Hudson Tea Building) on Thursday, June 18th at 7pm.


On the agenda will be:

  • 1600 Park
  • The “North End” of town
  • Open & Active recreation space
  • Job creation & economic development
  • Public Safety & access
  • Other community development

This may be the first of many other similar community meetings Mason will organize in the future. Residents seem very concerned with what will take place regarding the development of the NW part of town. The main purpose of the meeting will focus on the concerns of the community and compile feedback. Some light snacks and beverages will be served. If it turns out that attendance is more than Ganache can handle, it will be re-located outdoors.

If you’re not into these political community gatherings – stop by Ganache anyway and try their French Roast coffee! Yumm!

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83 Comments on "Mason Community Meeting"

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Matt – Do you have issues with reading comprehension? You wasted digital space to ask the same question I had in my earlier response: “So, the hypothetical zero-sum offset for the Hoboken property taxpayer that you describe is irrelevant from the perspective of someone interested in reducing the school budget. I say hypothetical because the point behind my comment was that I (as should you) wonder if indeed there is any cost savings overall.”
At the risk of being redundant, your comment “If the city and BOE didn’t cooperate on services, both would likely be spending MORE” is speculation. Show me the numbers. Prove that it is more than a shell game.

The BOE budget is all the proof I need. They have 500+ employees running a school system the size of my old high school – a school that has under 200 workers. They can’t operate efficiently now, making them do more (or city hall for that matter) isn’t going to make them any more efficient. What you are arguing for is 1 of 2 things, better cost accounting and a full reimbursement b/w the 2 of all costs or no more shared services and each does it all on their own. As for numbers, here is a simple fact for you – BOTH options cost you more and if you thought it through you would be able to figure that out on your own. Having both replicate the same work costs you more b/c you end up needing to hire more people b/c now you are doing everything twice. And better accounting for costs & a full reimbursement of all costs also costs you more b/c you end up having to fill out more paperwork, pay your auditors/accountants more b/c they have more paperwork to pour through, etc…. So just by simplifying things you save money by not having to pay people to perform more tasks (like paperwork) that add nothing to the quality of services. The problem isn’t how costs are allocated, the problem is the costs in general. And the #1 cost problem is payroll. Anything that increases the amount of work city workers have to do and… Read more »
But it isn’t a zero sum game if they don’t cooperate, that is what you don’t seem to get. If the city and BOE didn’t cooperate on services, both would likely be spending MORE because they would both be replicating the work already being done by the other. That is half the problem in this frigging state. Every itty bitty little town has their own little government and their own BOE so you get no economies of scale and waste a fortune replicating the exact same work being done 2 miles away by a different town. So who cares if costs are being allocated based on appearances a little bit? The net effect is the city is probably saving money. And we would save a whole lot more money if NJ got serious about forcing towns to consolidate AND realize the benefit of economies of scale by laying off the extra workers. And yes – if you buy bulk fuel, you save money. I know plenty of businesses that do it. It is pretty common and I did it myself when ran a business. It sure beat filling up the truck, gas cans & equipment at the gas station daily and paying retail every day. And the more I bought, the more I saved. And if you really were serious about driving down the budget, you would be attacking where the costs were – the PAYROLL. That is where the OHMYGOD comes from. That is the vast majority of the… Read more »
Tburns – does it matter who got the better end of an agreement/contract b/w the city and the BOE? If the deal ends up costing the BOE a little money, that just means the city profits by the same amount. The net change in people’s taxes however is ZERO b/c in theory all the costs and saving offset each other. However if the BOE were to cancel the arrangement and take care of their own waste collection/removal, then the BOE would incurring addition costs to replicate work already being done by the city and that actually would result in a net increase in costs. I am actually shocked that the BOE doesn’t do this b/c collecting their own waste would allow them to hire more workers we don’t need (schools do generate a ton of trash) and there sure are a lot of workers over at the BOE. Donna as a finance person should understand this so I don’t get her complaint. The BOE should absolutely be coordinating their spending/activities whenever possible w/ the city to minimize costs. The taxpayers who fund the BOE are the same ones funding city hall so any savings generated by acting in concert would be a net positive to the taxpayers. It isn’t as if we are worrying about being on the wrong side of a deal with a different community b/c if that were the case I could absolutely see why we should be worried. But that absolutely isn’t the case. Get my… Read more »
You know as well as I that when taxpayers look at the OHMYGOD school budget they don’t break it down. They don’t look at the flow-thru funding or the number of non-public school programs supported or the fact that, hey, the BoE spent $1 million in transportation but that’s OK because the city didn’t. N0 – people get to vote on the school budget even if they don’t understand it. So, the hypothetical zero-sum offset for the Hoboken property taxpayer that you describe is irrelevant from the perspective of someone interested in reducing the school budget. I say hypothetical because the point behind my comment was that I (as should you) wonder if indeed there is any cost savings overall. Do the schools get to purchase fuel at a reduced rate because the city buys in bulk? Actually, at yesterday’s council meeting, Donna brought up the fuel cost reimbursement issue and NIck Trasente stated that there was funding in that line item for the city. Perhaps it is a matter of money being reimbursed in a timely manner. My point: Are there savings for the schools/+ taxpayers or does the shared services agreement simply drive one budget up and another down for appearances? Get MY drift? In response to matt_72 who said: Tburns – does it matter who got the better end of an agreement/contract b/w the city and the BOE? If the deal ends up costing the BOE a little money, that just means the city profits by the… Read more »
The Board of Ed was a bit of a love fest last night. The entire agenda was approved and the meeting lasted about an hour forty. Notable points: the search for an interim superintendent will begin next week. The search for a permanent is anticipated to take 4 to 6 months. A summer enrichment program will begin in mid-July. Jack’s resignation was accepted effective 8/31. Board Secretary David Anthony and School Business Administrator Brian Buckley were rehired with no increase to their salaries. Contracts for Payroll services not to exceed $7,000 and a Fixed Asset Appraisal Firm not to exceed $11,500 were approved. Copy costs were set at 6 cents. Dr. Petrosino was reappointed until 8/31, and Nellie Moyeno Parent Involvement Specialist and Jodie Davis, School safety Officer, were rehired. There were 36 items altogether including the hiring of two kindergarten teachers and the retirement of HHS Art teacher Tom Sepptembre on the Superintendent’s agenda. Other than the cost of the completion of the curriculum $46,200 – there wasn’t much discussion. The items brought up by the public included Donna Antonnuci’s questions regarding the transportation audit: the district is not being reimbursed the fuel costs for runs for the city. Carmelo stated that there had been an agreement between the BoE and the city in which the BoE was forgiven garbage pick up costs in exchange for the fuel. (Doesn’t seem as though the BoE got the better end of that one.) Also questions about placement of 2 kindergarten classes… Read more »

Yeah, B of Ed meeting last night – anyone know what happened?