City Council Meeting: 11/15/2010


See video archives of the meeting at the end of this article after the jump.

Political convention means Monday Meeting

Tonight, the Hoboken City Council Crew gets together for a rare Monday night session.

The annual NJ League of Municipalities convention and political debauchery fest gets underway this week in Atlantic City, and Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s team wants to be there. The usual Wednesday night meeting schedule would make that difficult, so they’ll meet on Monday instead before heading south for the “party.” Your tax surplus hard at work! (You really think they can’t benefit from seeing the seminars via web video?)

Tim takes his seat but Nino absent

Newly elected 4th ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti will officially join the council tonight. He was sworn-in following the election certification last week but will take the ceremonial oath again before taking his seat for the first time. 6th ward Councilman Nino Giacchi is away on vacation and will not be at the meeting.

Zimmer wants $200k Emergency Appropriation

The first item on the agenda is a $200,000 Emergency Appropriation for “inspecting” the failing waterfront.

The problem? Well, for one the Mayor obviously approved the expenditure before consulting the council, since Hoboken411 first told you how Boswell Engineering is currently diving under Pier A to do these inspections. Zimmer’s “do nothing but have a photo op with repeaters reporters” approach after Sinatra Field started falling in has now given way to a “spend $450,000 just to figure out what is going on before anybody asks any more questions about what I knew and when I knew it” defensive position.

See video and much more on the resolutions and ordinances on the agenda below!

Resolution Rundown

Resolution #1 names the Jackson Street Garden after founder Marjorie Laue, who passed away earlier this year at the young age of 54. Laue was a tireless volunteer for many Hoboken charities. This memorial resolution will be the first sponsored by new 4th ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti.

Councilman-at-Large David Mello sponsors three resolutions with one thing in common: they don’t do much more than kiss the keister of Zimmer Traffic Czar Ian Sacs.

Mello applauds Sacs for the “Twenty is Plenty” signs ignored daily by thousands of Observer Highway commuters who frantically rush to and from work. Feeling the sting of continued criticism of the on-street Corner Cars program, Mello is also sponsoring yet another spin-filled resolution applauding Sacs’ continuing effort to add to Hertz’s bottom line.

And speaking of Corner Cars

Ever notice how nobody gets tickets for parking in those green Corner Cars spots?

That’s because it’s not against the law to do it. Sacs and Zimmer launched the Hertz program with little more than a handshake, several cans of green paint, some signs and a press release. To make it legal, the council would have to pass an ordinance – which is on for First Reading tonight. Sacs won’t tow non-resident cars from residents-only parking, but he wants to tow your car if you park in a Corner Cars spot. He needs an ordinance to do it. The council may be hesitant to approve it in the face of many angry small business owners who want the corner cars off the streets.

Maxwell Place park easement

After years of controversy, an ordinance actually placing waterfront park space at Maxwell Place in the hands of the city is finally on the council agenda. Games played over the years by the various developers involved in the multi-partner project have over-complicated the situation for maximum profit.

The Mayor has been accused behind the scenes of manipulating this issue for political gain in an attempt to discredit 2nd ward Councilwoman Beth Mason, ranging from a publicity stunt Wiffle ball game three years ago to the long delayed ordinance finally on the agenda tonight. Zimmer’s delays have backfired, leading the parties involved to go to court, costing the city money for lawyers. It also put Mason in the position of advocating for her constituents against City Hall, building her standing in her own ward.

Another $2 million in borrowing

For decades, self-described “reformers” on the outs with city government cried fowl when Mayors put up multi-million dollar bond issues to pay for things that should be included in ongoing capital budgets.

The silence of “the reformers” will be deafening tonight when Dawn Zimmer’s team promotes a very Dave Roberts-style bond issue to pay for a bunch of small items that total almost $2 million. Instead of setting a Capital Budget and sticking to it – or using the city’s surplus funds to pay expenses – Zimmer wants to make taxpayers pay interest on $2 million in borrowing for things like a new telephone system, security cameras for City Hall (at a cost of $92,000), a $275,000 “Quantar Station Repeater” some Hybrid 4×4 SUVs, etc.

Now would be an ideal time to look into a mirror and ask yourself what you were thinking when you bought into the “reformer” plan back then. You still like yourself?

Take a look at the full agenda and resolution pack here, and come back (if you dare) for the live stream of the meeting tonight at 7pm.

11/15/2010 Council Meeting Video Archives

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

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Is this really “privately owned” if it was atleast partially paid for with federal dollars.