Zimmer Loses Flooding Grant

10/30/2009 UPDATE:

More details about lost $4 million grant

During one of his last City Council meetings back in June, State Assemblyman Ruben Ramos put the council on notice that he was working with Congressman Albio Sires, State and Hudson County officials to get millions of dollars of federal stimulus funds to alleviate Hoboken’s flooding problem. Ramos said the North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s flood pump plan was a “shovel ready project” ripe to gain stimulus money. He wanted the council – and whomever was going to be elected Mayor – aware that the City would be contacted soon to apply for the grant funds. Apparently Dawn Zimmer was not paying close enough attention, because as Acting Mayor she missed the opportunity to secure $4 million in stimulus funds. In this video from the October 21st council meeting Zimmer is asked about how Hoboken lost the money:

The four million dollars would have gone a long way to paying for the second flood pump that NHSA and it’s engineers at CH2M Hill say is needed to fix the flooding caused by high-tide storms. Zimmer’s public relations team claims the city wouldn’t have been able to find the additional $2 million needed to secure the grant, but that excuse falls apart when you see at the very same meeting the State Fiscal Monitor allowed the city to borrow over $4 million to secure grants to help pay for the cleanup of the long-delayed park at 1600 Park Ave.

People outraged by the loss of the $4 million grant say “Zimmer dropped the ball.”

Ironically, this Kim Glatt flier was on my car today:


See original comments from Mayoral candidate Kim Glatt after the jump.

Original Article Titled: Glatt condemns Zimmer: Flooding Failure

Press release from Mayoral Candidate Kimberly Glatt:

Zimmer failed to alleviate Hoboken’s Flooding Issue

Incompetence, lack of leadership and lack of transparency is costing Hoboken’s taxpayers


Below is a statement from Mayoral candidate Kimberly Glatt regarding Acting-Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s failure to take action to alleviate flooding in Hoboken. Months ago, Zimmer requested a flooding update from the North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) and was given a packet that laid out ways for Hoboken to secure funding. Included in this packet was information on how Hoboken could secure a $6 million pump that would help solve Hoboken’s historic flooding problem by pursuing FEMA mitigation grants and NJ DEP grants. All Dawn Zimmer had to do was submit a letter of submittal supporting the project and agreeing to have Hoboken fund $2 million by September 30th. Unfortunately, Dawn Zimmer missed the deadline and failed to file this letter. Her inaction – whether due to incompetence or a lack of leadership – squandered $4 millions in available grants. Now, Hoboken taxpayers are left footing the full $6 million bill for her failure.

“For years, Dawn Zimmer has never missed an opportunity to exploit Hoboken’s flooding problem as a political issue. However, when given the opportunity to actually do something to fix the issues facing our families, Dawn Zimmer failed to act. Her inaction not only postponed a solution to flooding, it will also cost Hoboken’s taxpayers millions of dollars. Moreover, this is a prime example of the lack of transparency and accountability we’ve seen for far too long in City Hall.”

“It’s time to turn the page on the problems of the past that continue to hobble Hoboken’s taxpayers. We need leadership in City Hall, not mere rhetoric and certainly not more of the same old political grandstanding. When Zimmer had a chance start a project that would alleviate flooding for scores of Hoboken residents – while saving the taxpayers their hard-earned money – she failed to even respond to the Sewerage Authority. This is unacceptable. Perhaps even worse than her incompetence and lack of leadership is the fact that Dawn Zimmer is trying to hide this issue from the public.”

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Monday, November 2, 2009 6:31 pm

silly me..How in the hell does our mayor loose out on a grant to fix the flooding problem in her ward that she promised in her campaign pledge?? Again you may get what you wish for..Please no vaulting over the council chambers railing when it dosen’t work out..wow yikes gee

professor pinetop
professor pinetop
Saturday, October 31, 2009 3:35 pm

flooding was a big part of zimmer’s council campaign in 2007 (when she claimed to have no intention of running for mayor) but once in office, while still not running for mayor she ran a wiffle ball game in the second ward to give her citywide publicity and spent 2008 making sure that she worked against anyone who might help beth mason become mayor (though she still wasn’t running for mayor) and then she decided the only way to fix flooding was to run for mayor. the associated press story of her six campaigns in two years missed the real story; it is all just a campaign for her. the issues that affect the constituencies are merely opportunities for more campaign promises as she seeks the next elective office. we have never had a ward councilperson turned mayoral candidate who would not get re-elected in their own ward. dawn has several unique accomplishments (avoiding prosecution for absentee ballot fraud by stepping down and allowing us to pay for a third fourth ward council election, lying about not running for mayor while campaigning, getting the community to rile itself up over the appointments to volunteer boards while sneaking in her soccer buddies to the paid positions, not knowing the name of a single member of the beatles, creating a divisive schism in the “reform movement” and blaming mason, supporting parks and flood relief but shrugging her shoulders over $5 million in lost grant money and pushing for enough emergency funding in… Read more »

Saturday, October 31, 2009 11:19 am

So let me get this straight: Ramos and Sires (and others) were in a position to know that the deadline for our request as a city for this funding was looming and may possibly be missed and did nothing to help us meet that goal, even though they knew we are in crisis?

Anyone who knew about this and chose to do nothing is culpable in my view, is not doing their job and it’s clear they would rather use this as an opportunity to point fingers than help us. Lame-ass politics as usual where we all lose.

I’m not in agreement that our city’s grant-writers do their job well either. They should have been beating down doors to meet this deadline and I know they’ve missed other deadline grants in the past, including transit-related funding we were eligible for because of our light-rail being placed on the west side of town which stimulated development that would use mass-transit.

Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:24 am

Deer caught in headlights injured on election day.

Saturday, October 31, 2009 3:40 am

Sorry to hit you guys with 3 postings in a row!

Matt_72: Dealing with the flooding was always going to cost money. Zimmer had to take cost into account from her first campaign on the issue, pre-Judy in ’07. Now the issue isn’t whether Judy ok’d $2M, the issue is the $4M Hoboken may not get due to the failure to secure the funds on Zimmer’s watch. (It may not be entirely her fault, but as acting mayor the buck stops with her.)

#37 Furey said: “I laugh when these new people showing up and writing on Hoboken411 like they are really concerned citizens and not a bunch of anti-Zimmer folks just doing the campaign propaganda.”

Furey: are you a local business owner? Do you pay Hoboken property taxes? How much of your own skin is in the game? The financial mess will likely affect all of us living/working here, some much more unfairly than others. Your suggestion that other posters are not concerned citizens doesn’t make sense to me given the burden we as residents all share from the financial mess.
Zimmer had a great opportunity as acting mayor to display her leadership abilities and strategies for solving Hoboken’s current problems. Given the scale and scope of the problems, I think discussion of her performance vs her campaign promises is relevant prior to 11/3 among residents bearing the current brunt of past political failures.

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