Hoboken City Council 3/3/2010
Another 5 hour marathon
See the two-part video recap as well as user chat transcript after the jump.
And here we go again!
Hey kids! It’s the first Wednesday in March, and you know what that means. That’s right! The City of Hoboken is now more than eight months into its fiscal year without an adopted budget! Remember all those claims about how new blood on the council would mean a fast and effective budget process with a guaranteed 25% property tax cut?
Yeah, you were punk’d. So, with no budget on the agenda for tonight’s City Council meeting, here is what they’ll be tackling instead.
No bonding tonight
First, the council will put off a Public Hearing and vote on borrowing $12 million to begin repairs of the Sinatra Park Soccer Field and riverfront walkway. That’ll be the subject of a special meeting next Wednesday night. Mayor Zimmer’s effort to pull a Dave Roberts and borrow $4.2 million to cover the state expense for retired employees is not on the agenda tonight either, after it failed to get a sponsor on introduction.
10 routine resolutions, some political pandering
Resolution 1 “Regarding Police Audit” is an opportunity for the Mayor’s 5-vote majority to spend a half hour glowing about how great it is that they have the police audit in from the state. The resolution doesn’t do anything other than give some of the remaining few members of Hoboken Revolt the opportunity to walk up to the cameras and pat themselves on the back for their letter writing campaign.
Can you guess which Revolt Steering Committee member wrote this about Hoboken Police Officers?
“What a bunch of thieves!! This is why we have no money… It’s robbery. We have been robbed. Arrest them.”
Yes, it was Prudential Castle Point Realty agent Donna Antonucci, who also kept the HPD busy with her phone calls when she was tearing down campaign signs for anyone other than Dawn Zimmer during the 2009 elections. Resolutions 2, 3, and 4 are grant applications. #5 once again repeals the 6% penalty for late tax payments. #7 authorizes refunds for tax overpayments (routine stuff).
No relief in site for Hoboken resident parking
Resolution 7 awards a 10-year lease of 20 parking spaces in Municipal Lot B for $350 a month to the United States Government. Garage B is the most expensive Municipal Lot for monthly parking, and is the one you get stuck with when you first move to Hoboken and apply for a monthly space. The other municipal lots are much cheaper, but are filled with cars owned by people who’ve lived here longer.
Many think the city would be better off lowering the cost for resident monthly parking of the (mostly empty) Garage B instead of keeping it jacked up.
Rather than lease the spaces at a sensible cost to Hoboken residents, Zimmer’s Traffic and Parking Czar Ian Sacs wants to rent the spaces at top dollar to Uncle Sam and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
Three new Ordinances, no copies available
None of the three of the new ordinances on the agenda for first reading are available for public view before the meeting. The first ordinance would require City Council members to contribute a portion of their salaries to their taxpayer paid health insurance benefits.
The council members are the only part-time city employees eligible for health benefits.
Some say “true reform” would be for the council to forfeit the benefits altogether. The second ordinance grants an easement and the third raises licensing fees. Which fees you ask? Can’t tell you because the agenda says the ordinance won’t be available until the council meeting. Remember when Dave Roberts used to do that?
Cunningham and Bhalla’s conflicts will come up
You can bet your bottom tax dollar the story Hoboken411 broke on Friday about the tangled web weaved (woven?) by the Cunninghams, Condons and Ravi Bhalla will come up in New Business. Watch for heavy doses of revisionist history, righteous indignation, and Cammarano/Campos-style council lawyering from those exposed. Councilwoman Beth Mason’s press release will probably be brought up. Council members Theresa Castellano and Michael Russo may remind everyone that they brought up the Pay-to-Play issue at the last meeting. Perhaps members of People for Open Government could chime in as well, though there’s still no official comment from POG’s board on the matter.
Videos and Chat Transcript after the break
(March 3, 2010 Council Media, continued)
Council streaming video & chat
The usual meeting starts at 7pm. Cross your fingers it’s over with sooner rather than later (due to an expected lighter “panel of city experts.”) See original preview of today’s meeting after the jump.