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August 10, 2013

Photo of the Day–1600 Park Ball Field in Hoboken

Hoboken Field 1600 Park HDR 8-9-2013

Today’s photo of the day is of the newly completed ball filed at 1600 Park Avenue in the northern section of Hoboken. The filed is open for use according to the City of Hoboken Facebook page and there are just a few finishing touches including the installation of bathrooms and the completion of the observation mound at the northern section of the field. You can see the construction in Weehawken in the background as well as Troy Towers.

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June 27, 2013

City of Hoboken Budget Passed Last Night – Statement from Mayor Zimmer

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , — TheBoken @ 1:25 PM

 Last night the City of Hoboken Budget passed 7-1. Here are the Mayor’ s remarks on its passage…

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ZIMMER ON ADOPTION OF 2013 BUDGET

Hoboken City Hall Closeup HDR

“Last night the Hoboken City Council adopted our 2013 budget. I am very proud that my Administration has reduced municipal taxes by approximately 10 percent since 2009, despite the financial upheaval that has caused property taxes to increase in many other New Jersey municipalities. While I do not agree with the City Council’s choice to defer important projects, this is an excellent budget consistent with the budget my Administration introduced in March. A special thank you to Council President Cunningham for his statesmanship and Budget Chair Giattino for leading the budget process to a successful completion.”

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March 19, 2013

Open Letter from Mayor Zimmer on Parks in Western Hoboken

Here is the latest update from Mayor Dawn Zimmer on Parks. Take note in particular of her update on the Southwest Park which is project to be triple the size and much less costly than Tim Occhipinti’s pocket parks proposal.

OPEN LETTER FROM MAYOR ZIMMER ON PARKS IN WESTERN HOBOKEN

7th-Jackson-Park-Hoboken aka Pino Site

“I am writing to update the community on the progress we are making towards acquiring land for new parks in Western Hoboken, including a large Southwest Park, the Pino site at 7th St. and Jackson St., and the BASF site at 11th St. and Madison St. With Hoboken’s growing number of young families, our senior community, and active recreational community, the neighborhoods in Western Hoboken need more active and passive park space. The City is focused on acquiring land to provide large active space for residents at a fair market price in the interest of Hoboken taxpayers.

A Park in Southwest Hoboken

The first phase for the Southwest Park, envisioned in our Master Plan and Open Space Plan, would include an almost one-acre portion of Block 12 on Jackson Street. The property will be purchased this year, built into a park in 2014, and then expanded into a larger park through the redevelopment planning process. The plan for the first phase would include adding traffic lights, pedestrian signals, and crosswalks to ensure residents can safely walk to the park.

Block 12, the surface parking lot across the street from the new restaurant being built on Jackson Street, was chosen as the first building block of the Southwest Park for several reasons:

1. It has been and currently is still zoned for non-residential industrial use, which is typically appraised at a value less than similar property zoned for residential use. Based on the appraisal done by the City as part of the acquisition process, the fair market value is approximately equal to the $3 million Hudson County open space grant that is available to fund the purchase.

2. At one acre, it is large enough to be a significant park for active use, similar to 1500 Park near the Hudson Tea Building that has a field and playground space. The park will be expanded significantly by adding industrially zoned properties to the west of it through the Southwest Redevelopment process. Ultimately, the goal is to create a park in the Southwest approximately the size of Church Square Park — an enormous asset to residents in my neighborhood and throughout Hoboken.

The owner of Block 12 is interested in selling, but believes that the property should be valued as if it were zoned for large-scale residential development even though such a use is not permitted under its current zoning. As a result, it was necessary to use the eminent domain process to determine the fair market value for which the City can acquire the property. That process is ongoing.

Contrary to popular belief, the process of acquiring land by eminent domain does not take years. The City can obtain title to the property and start planning and building the park as soon as an order authorizing the use of eminent domain is entered by a judge. It can take a long time for a final value to be established, but the City would become the owner of the property early on in the process. The City is moving ahead with acquiring the property this year, and if all goes well, the one-acre foundation for a SW park could be completed in 2014 with the larger park to be developed through the redevelopment process.

Making Prudent Choices

Councilman Occhipinti has put forward a petition requesting that the City acquire the three Zaklama properties at 1st St. and Jackson St. While I agree with the sentiment that the Southwest needs new park space urgently, fiscally prudent choices must be made, and we do not have the resources to acquire every lot where it might be desirable to have a park.

The three Zaklama properties, which total only about 0.35 acres (one third the size of Block 12), are zoned for residential use, and would be extremely costly to acquire. The largest lot, which is less than 0.25 acres, has an asking price of $4.3 million, or over $17 million per acre, compared to the approximately $3 million per acre reflected in the City’s appraisal for Block 12.

These price differences explain why, in order to acquire as much open space as possible, the City has focused its acquisition efforts on property with industrial rather than residential zoning. We are also concerned about creating larger parks that can be used for active use by the entire neighborhood. We need to make economically prudent choices so that we get the best and largest Southwest Park possible.

Park at 7th St. & Jackson St.

The City is entering into negotiations to create a one-acre park at 7th St. and Jackson St. (known as the Pino site). The City Council will be asked to approve an interim cost agreement that would provide for an evaluation of Larry Bijou’s proposal to develop an adjacent property and donate the Pino site to the City for park land (for details visit: www.hobokennj.org/pinosite).

Large Northwest Park

The City is currently negotiating to purchase a large property now owned by BASF (formerly also known as the Henkel/Cognis site) at 11th St. and Madison St. As part of the evaluation process, the City hired a firm to analyze the environmental issues on the six-acre site. Negotiations are ongoing, with a firm commitment to create a large park in the northwest area of Hoboken.

Together, these three parks will ensure that residents of Western Hoboken can easily access outdoor recreational opportunities with their family and friends.

Save the Dates for Park Community Meetings

Two community meetings are scheduled to discuss parks in Western Hoboken:

  • Southwest Park: Tuesday, April 2nd (Location TBA)
  • 7th & Jackson & Northwest Parks: Monday, April 8th (Location TBA)

I hope to see you at one of these meetings where we will be providing updates and answering any questions about the parks acquisition process.

Sincerely,

Mayor Dawn Zimmer”

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February 14, 2013

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s 3rd Annual State of the City Address Remarks and Video

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 8:15 AM

City of Hoboken State of City Address 2-13-2013 Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Last night Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer gave her 3rd Annual State of the City Address at Steven’s Debaun Auditorium. Below are her prepared remarks as well as the video of the speech…

Remarks of Mayor Dawn Zimmer – As Prepared for Delivery

State of the City Address

DeBaun Auditorium, Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, New Jersey February 13, 2013

“Good evening everyone. Thank you for being here. I want to welcome you to my 3rd Annual State of the City address on the Stevens campus. Thank you to Provost Korfiatis for the warm welcome and to President Favardin and Stevens for hosting us again. This year, given the dedicated volunteerism from the Stevens community for Hoboken in our time of need, it is more appropriate than ever to hold my address here at Stevens.

As we all know, Hurricane Sandy was by far the biggest event of the last year. Despite the unprecedented flooding of our City, I am so proud that together we kept our residents safe through the most incredible teamwork I have ever seen.

I want to start by thanking our first responders including the Police, Fire, OEM, employees from the Parking Utility, as well as our Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps for working tirelessly to protect our community. Thank you to Police Chief Falco, Fire Chief Blohm, Public Safety Director Tooke, Parking Utility manager Anthony Ricciardi, President of the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps Tom Molta, and your impressive teams for all of your work to protect the City. And thank you to all of my directors as well for becoming Sandy crisis managers.

Thank you Governor Christie. His leadership helped pull our state through, and his bipartisanship showed us all the need to put people before politics. I look forward to working with him along with federal and state agencies as we apply for critical funding that will help us mitigate the effect of future storms.

I also want to thank Secaucus Mayor Gonnelli for reaching out and helping Hoboken in our time of need. Despite the fact that his own home was flooded, Mayor Gonnelli immediately offered assistance to our City. He provided lighting equipment to ensure that PS&G could work through the night to get our substations back online, and it seemed like limitless supplies to help our citizens in their time of need. Thank you Mayor Gonnelli for being there for Hoboken.

And thank you also to Weehawken Mayor Turner. We all remember the fuel shortage shortly after the storm. Mayor Turner provided us with fuel we needed just to keep our emergency vehicles running. His Emergency Management Coordinator Geo Ahmad is here to represent Mayor Turner, and we thank him so much for coming to our aid.

Our first responders were supported by an incredible Community Emergency Response Team and over 5,000 volunteers, including our Relief Coordinator Carly Ringer. I want to thank each and every person who volunteered to keep our community safe through Hurricane Sandy. There were quite a few close calls, but thanks to a lot of hard work, stair climbing, knocking on doors, and perseverance, everyone in Hoboken was kept safe through the storm.

There are so many people and organizations to thank that it is not possible to name everyone, but I do want to highlight some extraordinary efforts that demonstrate the resilient spirit of our community.

First, Lou Casciano, a CERT team leader. Before the storm, Lou took the initiative and worked with the City to successfully apply for a CERT grant that provided equipment that was crucial throughout the storm. During the storm he was there to do anything and everything to keep the community safe, and now he and Tom Molta have been instrumental in organizing our next 8-week CERT team training that is in progress right now. It will ensure that through our next storm, our shelters and our emergency command centers are even more prepared with highly trained and dedicated volunteers. Lou and Tom, please stand so that we can thank you for your service to our City.

During the storm, I met seniors very anxious about how they were going to fill their medical prescriptions. We quickly recognized that prescriptions had to be filled if we were going to keep our seniors safe, and the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps developed a system to respond to this need. We sent out tweets and Facebook posts asking for volunteer doctors and pharmacists able to write and fill prescriptions.

Doctor Dana Spivak, physician’s assistant Maureen Thyne, nurse practitioner Craig Sorkin, and pharmacist Sharon See answered that call for help. Thanks to their team effort, a medical emergency response program was quickly launched and a makeshift pharmacy was set up in Council chambers. Volunteers spread out across the city to knock on doors to ask if seniors needed help.

They came back with prescription bottles or whatever their needs were, and our team, with the help of the CVS across the street, filled more than 500 prescriptions. Volunteers then delivered those prescriptions back to our seniors. I would like to ask Dr. Spivak, Maureen Thyne, Craig Sorkin and Sharon See to please stand so we can thank you for saving lives.

Stevens Institute of Technology provided the core of the unbelievable volunteerism during Hurricane Sandy. I want to thank President Favardin for making it a policy – if you are not studying, then you should be over volunteering for the City of Hoboken.

And truly, we owe a debt of gratitude to all of the Stevens students for answering the call to action. The response was almost overwhelming. But several Stevens students stepped up to manage the stunning numbers of volunteers coming to City Hall.

In particular, I want to thank Allison Outwater for taking the initiative and for managing the huge volunteer effort. You provided essential leadership to make sure that volunteers were headed to buildings where help was needed the most. You were part of developing, administering and operating the Point of Distribution system (POD) that enabled residents to receive needed supplies more quickly. I want to ask Allison to stand and be recognized. Thank you Allison and your team.

With their help, we made it through the immediate emergency. And as the floodwater receded, the mountains of debris rose in its place. Thank you so much to Director Pellegrini and your very hard working sanitation and parks team for getting our City back to its beautiful self in record time. As I walked the streets, I saw the mountains of debris disappear and then reappear again and again. It was heartbreaking to see how much our community had lost. But by quickly cleaning our streets and parks, you and your team not only helped with the recovery process, but you provided our residents with the peace of mind that Hoboken will get through this and a sense of normalcy would return. I want to express my deepest gratitude to you and your team.

I also want to thank the Elks Club. I know Jason Maurer from the Elks is here, and I want to ask him to stand and be recognized. Your organization, supported by so many volunteers, provided a gathering place for our community with delicious non-stop meals throughout the storm. It was another example of the tremendous spirit of Hoboken and it helped so many get through a difficult time.

Finally, as we enter Lent today on Ash Wednesday, I want to acknowledge and thank Saints Peter and Paul and Saint Matthew churches. They opened their doors to shelter our community during our time of greatest need, and I cannot thank them enough for all they did.

There’s no doubt that Sandy had a major impact on our residents and businesses. But we are also fortunate that our waterfront, the Washington Street area, and most of our city is very much back to normal and open for business. And we invite visitors to take advantage of our great shopping, dining and nightlife. But while we no longer see the piles of debris representing the losses so many of us faced, we must remember that there are still many residents, non-profits and businesses struggling to recover. This year will be focused on that recovery process and on building a more resilient future.

The question everyone has been asking since the storm is: how do we prevent this from happening again? What can be done to avoid the kind of flooding and devastation we faced? So many residents and business owners have told me, “On top of Hurricane Irene, I just cannot financially survive another massive storm…what are we going to do?”

I’ve been asking myself those same questions. And I’ve asked different experts and stakeholders to think about how we can address our flooding problem.

Some of the solutions being proposed in other towns simply won’t work here. As an urban community, we cannot raise our buildings up on pilings. We cannot build sand dunes to protect our City. We need a better solution.

I believe we must pursue a comprehensive, integrated approach to fully protect all of Hoboken. Rather than each individual building needing to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect itself from flooding, there is a more cost-effective, realistic, and universal solution for which I am seeking federal funding. With this plan to protect Hoboken, I will work to have our flood insurance rates lowered in recognition of the reduced risk to our community.

The plan under consideration involves using Hoboken’s natural topography and elevation as a barrier to flooding. I want to thank the Rockefeller Group’s engineering team for introducing this simple design concept to me. As we all know, the flooding from the Hudson River occurred at the south and north ends of our City. The higher elevation around Washington Street and Castle Point protected those areas from flooding.

Therefore the concept involves building permanent flood walls along the south and north ends of Hoboken, connecting to the cliffs to the west. Roadways at either end of our City would be equipped with a flood break system which rises up as a gate if flooding were to occur. This system is proposed as a best practice by FEMA and has been successfully implemented in numerous locations, including hospitals where building up on pilings simply was not an option.

Additional flood pumps proposed by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority could be installed so that if the Hudson River breaches our City again, the water can be pumped out as quickly as possible.

Those flood pumps are critical because as everyone in Hoboken knows, we flood not just when there is a super storm, but even when there is a “not so super storm” if the heavy rains come at high tide. Our existing flood pump helped enormously after Hurricane Sandy and it has also substantially reduced both the number and severity of flood events in Southwest Hoboken from normal weather conditions. Additional pumps would reduce our normal flooding even further while also helping to protect us from the increasingly more frequent severe storms.

But engineering solutions are only part of the answer. Our integrated approach must include Hoboken becoming as green as possible. By doing everything we can to prevent rainwater from going into our sewer system, we can help to avoid smaller flood events without the use of the pumps.

Larger scale approaches include purchasing more land for park space and building large underground detention systems. Parkland created on the western side of Hoboken will help to alleviate the flooding in the most severe areas.

We should incentivize green roofs that can retain rainwater and minimize runoff from going into our sewers.

I want to thank Assemblyman Ramos for his proposed legislation to require green roofs on new government buildings and to encourage their use in new and existing buildings. It is a great idea that we have been incorporating into our redevelopment planning process. I encourage the state legislature to add incentives for smaller scale projects, and most importantly, for retrofitting existing buildings with green roofs.

In addition to encouraging the use of green roofs, we want to develop legislation and establish best practices to promote the use of other green solutions like rain gardens, grey water technology, street trees, porous asphalt and pavers, and rain barrels.

That’s why we have applied for a grant to complete an extensive storm water master plan.

And we are embarking on a comprehensive planning process led by our Planning board for a Green Element of our Master Plan. I hope you will all participate this spring in the planning process that will lay the foundation for green design for all development projects in Hoboken going forward.

As we reflect on Hurricane Sandy, we must ensure that any new development projects contribute to the solution, not add to the flooding problem. As our city considers important projects including the NJ Transit redevelopment, the Southwest and Neumann Leather area, the Hoboken Arts Center, the Post office rehabilitation with a new hotel, and the North End of Hoboken, it is critical that we develop our city in a way that makes us more sustainable and resilient.

On a smaller scale, we have begun that planning process. I want to thank the Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability for working with us to develop a green City block design for around City Hall. And I want to recognize the Shade Tree Commission for completing the beautiful street tree demonstration project on the 100 block of Washington Street.

I also appreciate that some developers have taken a lead focusing on green development. Larry Bijou is one who has set a great example, and I know there are others. He has been incorporating green roofs and other sustainable elements into his buildings for years. We are also proud of the LEED certified green design for the new SJP building that just broke ground next to the W hotel. It will be home to Pearson Publishing and will bring 700 jobs to Hoboken.

Hurricane Sandy caused massive damage from flooding, but it also highlighted the vulnerabilities in our power system.

So in addition to planning to protect the City from flooding, we are also preparing the City to be more resilient during power outages. We are working to develop a micro-grid with hybrid power sources including natural gas and diesel, supplemented by green energy like solar or wind. It would provide redundant power to critical infrastructure including our police and fire departments, City Hall, our hospital, supermarket, and our neediest residents. A power grid like this would be a first for New Jersey, and I’m glad to say that we have had very encouraging discussions with PSE&G regarding this idea.

Finally, I will continue my advocacy to protect Hobokenites post-Sandy.

I testified before the Senate in Washington, D.C. to highlight the unfairness of flood insurance, particularly as it relates to garden level apartments. And I will continue to advocate for policy makers to incorporate an urban approach into their policy-making decisions.

I will advocate as hard as I can for the money and resources Hoboken needs to rebuild. But I know the federal government won’t be able to solve all our problems, so I am also working to help fill the gaps with private funds. As a community, I am proud that we’ve fundraised nearly $1 million thanks to the Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund and all the dedicated volunteers who helped to make the recent gala fundraiser such a success.

Rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy will be an ongoing process that will take years.

But even while much of Hoboken was still without power, work was continuing on several important projects. The demolition work to rebuild Sinatra Park and our waterfront soccer field resumed within days after Sandy hit. In December, we renovated the playground at Church Square Park. And in January, we broke ground on construction of a new field at 1600 Park.

I want to especially thank Director Pellegrini and Director Forbes for keeping these important projects moving even while they faced so many other serious challenges related to the storm.

For me, our parks aren’t just an important part of solving our flooding problem – they’re critical to improving our quality of life as more and more people choose to stay and raise a family here. So this year, just as last year, will be another Year of the Parks.

Last year we completed the renovation and repairs to the Church Square Park playground area and basketball courts. We completed renovations and repairs at Jackson Street Park, Jefferson Park at the Boys & Girls Club, Legion Park, Madison Street Park, the waterfront skate park, and Mama Johnson Field through a partnership with the Housing Authority.

The Waterfront Walkway opened connecting Hoboken and Weehawken. And we are looking forward this summer to Hudson County’s first marathon running along the waterfront, with a half-marathon that we hope will end in Hoboken to help to boost our local economy on Memorial Day weekend.

This year we have grant funding to renovate Elysian Park and replace the turf and install batting cages at the Little League field. New restrooms are scheduled for completion at Church Square Park. And this year we will finish rebuilding Sinatra Field and Castle Point Park.

Phase I for 1600 Park and Hoboken Cove will include a multi-use field, lighting, bleachers, leaning rails, a dog run, restrooms, and a slide hill and viewing mound.

I remain focused on parks acquisition in the western side of the City, and we will continue to work through the legal process to ensure more park space for those neighborhoods.

Finally, with the City Council’s support for a bond, we hope to complete Phase 2 of Church Square Park, renovate the equipment at Stevens Park, and complete renovations at Legion Park.

Improving quality of life isn’t just about having nice parks – it also means making our streets safer for everyone.

This year there are several exciting transportation safety projects underway including the redesign of Observer Highway into Observer Boulevard. It will transform an important gateway to Hoboken from a dangerous speedway into a complete street with a protected cycle track, walking path, and new signals to better manage traffic and provide safe crossings for pedestrians.

In addition, we’re going to make important safety improvements to Newark Street between Washington and River Street including corner bump outs and a new community plaza space.

Washington Street is our main street, it represents the core of our city, and it is key to our economic and social vitality. But it’s also in need of a major upgrade. This year we hope to complete a redesign process with the community so that we can secure more grants for renovations.

In addition, our waterfront is the treasure of our city, and we look forward to conducting a planning process for redesigning central Sinatra Drive so it is as safe and inviting as our northern and southern waterfront.
This year, Hoboken was recognized as a bicycle-friendly City by the League of American Bicyclists. We are proud to be the only city in New Jersey designated as both walk-friendly and bike-friendly. We will continue to move forward with adding more bike parking and bike lanes, and with the support of the City Council, investing in pedestrian safety measures at intersections near schools and parks for the safety of our children.

I also want to acknowledge some of the other great progress happening all over Hoboken. Our library will soon get an 84-seat auditorium in the lower level to make room for more community-oriented events. And later this year, they will begin preserving the exterior of the library as part of a rehabilitation of the 115-year old historic building.

I want to congratulate the YMCA, which completed the renovation of its residential facility, adding 92 units to Hoboken’s low-income housing inventory. I thank Hudson County for their progress on the reconstruction of the 14th Street Viaduct, which will feature recreation space, a dog run and playground underneath when it is complete. And I thank the NJ Tech Meetup for working with us on transforming the Sinatra Park café into a tech community center.

Finally, I want to talk about our City’s finances.

Superstorm Sandy wasn’t just devastating for our businesses and residents – it also caused more than $10 million in damage to City property. The cost of this storm is enormous, and obviously we are trying to get as much of the damage covered as possible by the federal government. However, even with coverage by FEMA, we will still be responsible for 25 percent of the total cost.

Quite simply, without the responsible surplus that we fought so hard to maintain, this storm would have been devastating to the City’s finances. Because of the prudent budget choices we have made over the past few years, our rainy day cash surplus was there for us when the rainy day came on October 29th.

So I want to thank the members of the City Council who made sure that our cash surplus was protected. I am confident that everyone, including those who argued for zeroing out the surplus, now understand the importance of maintaining a responsible surplus.

Without that surplus, we would be facing a huge tax increase due to the costs of the storm. Instead, unlike many other communities that were devastated by the storm, we will be able to move forward without any increase in our tax levy this year.

In order to avoid raising taxes despite the costs of the storm, we will have to use much of our surplus, leaving us with less than we need going forward to be fully prepared for the next “rainy day.”

We will retain as much surplus as we can so that we are not left completely without a cushion should the next “rainy day” occur before we have a chance to replenish, but we will not raise taxes in a year in which so many of our residents and businesses have already paid so high a price.

Some may advocate once again to use the entire surplus so that we can provide a tax cut. I will not raise your taxes, but I will not leave you with no rainy day fund. That would be irresponsible.

This year was the rainy day for which the rainy day funds were intended. The task of rebuilding our surplus will not begin until next year, but it is crucial that we focus on that task as quickly as we can so that we remain not only physically resilient but financially resilient as well.

We already know we are a resilient community. Over hundreds of years, even as the Hudson River has challenged us, we have adapted and ultimately thrived because of the river. From our beginnings as a riverfront resort, through our rise as a port town, to the abandonment of our industrial waterfront, and most recently our transformation into a vibrant waterfront destination, our future will forever be linked to the Hudson River. The river once again presents a new set of challenges, and it is up to us, as past generations have done, to seize the opportunity to build a more resilient future that embraces the river.

I know that we can rise to the challenge. We all saw how so many who lost everything gave the only thing they had left – their time – to help their neighbors. It is that community spirit which makes us strong. Whether we were born here or chose to make it our home, it is what makes us love Hoboken and want to stay. It is why we will not just survive this challenge, but overcome it, become stronger, and thrive as a city.

It is why I am hopeful for our future and why I look forward to working with all of you as we take on these challenges and build on everything that makes our city so great.

I want to thank you all for being here with me. I want to thank our City employees who work to provide important services to our community. I want to thank everyone who serves on our boards and volunteers their time to make Hoboken great.

And most of all, I want to thank my son Alex for spending his 12th birthday listening to his mom give this speech tonight.

Thank you so much.”

Audience Hoboken State of City Address 2-13-2013
Audience Hoboken State of City Address 2-13-2013  – Courtesy of City of Hoboken

Video of Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s 3rd Annual State of the City Address 2-13-2013:

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November 6, 2012

Letter from Mayor Dawn Zimmer on Today’s Election

Filed under: Hoboken — Tags: , , , , — TheBoken @ 10:35 AM

We here at TheBoken.com generally try to steer clear of politics at least for the most part on this site. Today is an exception since we have some very important local issues at stake and in the wake of Hurricane Sandy it is feared that voter turnout could be very low. Mayor Dawn Zimmer has worked tirelessly and around the clock on behalf of Hoboken residents  to address the voluminous number of serious issues caused by Hurricane Sandy. She has appropriately not campaigned other than put out this brief last minute note out to residents as to her take on the issues. After consideration we decided to publish her note due to her exceptional leadership shown through this crisis. Regardless of whether you politically agree with the Mayor or not, I as editor of TheBoken.com believe the residents of Hoboken should be very thankful we have her as Mayor during this unprecedented crisis. For your consideration. If you can, please vote:

Mayor Zimmer Press Conference 11-5-2012 Hurricane Sandy

Dear Friends ,

Hoboken is emerging from the worst natural disaster in our history having demonstrated the incredible spirit of our community.

Hundreds of people volunteered every day to help their neighbors, literally saving lives as we struggled together as an extended Hoboken family. As I write this, power has been restored in most of the City thanks to the enormous assistance given to us by President Obama, Governor Christie,the National Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, and most of all by the dedicated workers of PSE&G who worked 24/7 to get our antiquated and badly damaged substations running again as quickly as was humanly possible.

Some of our neighbors still remain without power and we are continuing to work hard to identify the reasons and resolve the remaining problems.

It is time to start the long and difficult process of rebuilding our City and in many cases our homes and our businesses.

Today  is Election Day and the election will go on. It is important that despite the turmoil in all of our lives, that you vote if you can.

FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE

Polling locations can be easily found by texting 877877 with your address (street address and 07030 zip code) as the message. A return text with your polling location will be received in seconds. In addition to voting for President, Senator and Congressperson, three questions critical to our local Hoboken community are on the ballot.

Especially during this difficult time, it is important to the future of our community that you make sure that your voices are heard on these three critically important Hoboken ballot questions.

SCHOOL BOARD

I strongly urge you to support the Kids First School Board team of Tom Kluepfel, Jeanne Marie Mitchell and Ruth McCallister (K – L – M on the ballot). Kids First has our schools finally moving in the right direction. They have instituted the sound educational and fiscal practices that are necessary to make our schools better year after year.

The process will take time but Kids First is definitely moving our schools in the right direction and we cannot return to the past practices that led to the problems the Kids First team is working so hard to address.

ELECTION REFORM

Please vote YES on Hoboken ballot questions 1 & 3, important election reforms that would consolidate our municipal elections into a single election on Election Day in November with the candidate getting the most votes on that day elected to serve without the need for an additional runoff election.

This would replace the current system of having a separate local election in May followed by an additional runoff election if necessary in June, in addition to the June primary and the November general election.

In 2009 we had 5 elections in 8 months. If these reforms had been in place we would have had only two, a June primary and a November general election. These important reforms would greatly increase voter participation and save taxpayer money, as much as $125,000 per unnecessary election that would be eliminated.

RENT CONTROL

I will be voting NO on Hoboken Ballot question 2 which proposes amending our Rent Control law to move toward vacancy decontrol. In my opinion the proposal, which was developed by a landlord advocacy group, does not include sufficient protections for existing tenants given the new financial incentives that would be created to encourage vacancies so that rents could be raised.

If your commute has been made more difficult, please vote in the morning if you can. The process will likely be much quicker and that would ensure that a difficult commute doesn’t cause you to arrive home too late to cast your ballot.

I will be emailing more regularly over the next several months so that I can keep you updated on how our great City is progressing.

Sandy has set us back a bit, but Hoboken remains a unique and extraordinary City and our future remains bright.

- Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer


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October 26, 2012

Mayor Zimmer to Discuss Prep for Hurricane Sandy at City Hall 2pm Today

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 12:55 PM

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer will be discussing preparations for Hurricane Sandy at 2pm today at Hoboken City Hall for both media and citizens alike…

CITIZEN ADVISORY: MAYOR ZIMMER TO DISCUSS

PREPARATIONS FOR HURRICANE SANDY

Who: Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer
What: Mayor Zimmer will discuss the City of Hoboken’s preparations for Hurricane Sandy and advice for residents
When: Friday, October 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Where: Front steps of City Hall, 94 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ

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October 24, 2012

Statement from Mayor Zimmer on Lawsuit Filed by Council Minority

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 12:15 PM

The latest update from Mayor Zimmer in response to theatrics from the City Council Minority which includes Beth Mason, Terry Castellano, Mike Russo, and Tim Occhipinti….


Statement from Mayor Zimmer on Lawsuit Filed by Council Minority

“Yesterday, City Council members Castellano, Mason, Occhipinti, and Russo filed an action in Superior Court seeking to remove Councilman [James] Doyle from office. The apparent purpose of the lawsuit is to create a 4-4 deadlocked Council for at least the next eight months.”

“The City believes that their claims are entirely without merit. It is extremely unfortunate that instead of focusing on properly representing the interests of their constituents that these Council members are attempting to paralyze our government for political reasons to the detriment of the citizens of Hoboken who they were elected to serve.”

-END OF STATEMENT

Background Note: James Doyle was recently appointed to the City Council when Carol Marsh stepped down from her position as Hoboken City Councilwoman at large. As such, as part of normal procedure the City Council votes and and replacement is brought in until the next available election or if a special election can be called. Two votes were taken in the last two City Council meetings were taken and a majority for James Doyle was reached each time. In the event of a tie the Mayor could have broke the potential 4-4 deadlock  but Mike Russo wasn’t in attendance in the first meeting. Beth Mason missed the second meeting and James Doyle abstained so the vote went 4-4 last Wednesday. The Mayor voted yes for James Doyle in both cases TheBoken.com’s editor thus sees this as a technical ploy by  the City Council minorityto deadlock the City Council.

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August 1, 2012

Mayor Zimmer Announces Open Office Hours

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 12:15 PM

The City of Hoboken Announces open office hours for the Mayor for the next two months. Here is your chance to give feedback and constructive input to the Hoboken’s elected leader face to face…

MAYOR ZIMMER ANNOUNCES OPEN OFFICE HOURS


Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s next scheduled open office hours will take place in Southwest Hoboken on Monday, August 6 from 5pm-7pm at Mission 50, located at 50 Harrison Street, Suite PH in the Hoboken Business Center. Mission 50 is Hoboken’s first coworking space.

The following office hours will be on Monday, September 10 from 5pm-7pm in the Mayor’s office on the second floor of City Hall, 94 Washington Street. No appointment is necessary.

 About Mission 50

Mission 50 is a coworking space for entrepreneurs and freelancers featuring private, open, and conference room space available by the day, week, or month. For more information, visit www.Mission50.com.

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May 14, 2012

Hoboken Parking Authority Re-instates Parking Enforcement Officer

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken,Parking — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 10:55 AM

Here is some  good news for the Vera family with the reinstatement of Kleber Vera to the Hoboken Parking Authority from the City of Hoboken.

PARKING ENFORCEMENT OFFICER RETURNS TO PARKING UTILITY

Parking Enforcement Officer Kleber Vera has been reinstated on the job after being suspended in November, 2010. Vera was hired by the Parking Utility in February, 2010. He was suspended without pay pending the disposition of the criminal court case against him which touched upon his office. Ultimately all charges were dismissed.

“Mr. Vera and his family went through a very difficult and very public process, and now that the charges against him have been dismissed, I welcome him back as an employee of the City of Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

“Kleber Vera had a good work record prior to these events, and I’m happy to hear that his charges were dropped,” added Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs.

 

 

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April 26, 2012

Hoboken Parking Utility Eliminates Wait List at Municipal Garages

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken,Parking — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 4:14 PM

Here is another accomplishment coming out of City Hall that should benefit some motorists in Hoboken…

HOBOKEN PARKING UTILITY (HPU)  ELIMINATES WAIT LIST AT MUNICIPAL GARAGES

Residents can now enjoy instant access to garage parking

The Hoboken Parking Utility (HPU) announced today that the well-known waiting lists for parking in municipal garages that have forced Hoboken residents to wait for years at a time to get in have finally been eliminated. The successful sale of Hoboken University Medical Center cleared the way for residents to find relief from the most notorious waiting list of all at Midtown garage.

“When I took this job, I was handed a wait list for garages that in some cases was over 200 people and nearly three years long,” said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs “After two years of careful management, organizational changes, and creative thinking from my staff, we can proudly say there is no longer a wait for anyone who wants to park in a municipal garage!”

The HPU manages five municipal parking structures. In 2009, four of five parking facilities had extremely long waiting lists while one was “under-parked.” While some garages have availability limited to certain options, everyone who wishes to park in a municipal garage may now do so.

Corrective actions to eliminate the wait lists included eliminating unauthorized/undocumented parking accounts in an early audit of all facilities, standardizing application and wait list procedures, rigorous tracking of occupancy statistics, creation of new options that better meet the needs of customers, clearer documentation about availability, and re-balancing parking to better match supply and demand throughout all facilities.

One of the most important changes to address the mismatch between supply and demand at municipal garages has been the introduction of the “Monthly Limited” parking option for Hoboken residents. This option is designed for residents who commute with their cars to work each day; they enjoy a 30% discount on the standard rate in return for committing to be out of the garage between 10am and 4pm on weekdays. As of March 2012, about 140 residents are signed up for that option.

This year, the HPU plans to upgrade the elevators and stairwells in all garages and address needed structural improvements, pending City Council approval of a bond ordinance.

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