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October 30, 2013

Hoboken Police Department Get New Vehicles and Uniforms

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — TheBoken @ 5:55 PM

Other blogs claim they give you the good the bad and the ugly when all they really do is give you the ugly, paid for ugly. If you know what website I am referring to then no need to mention it here. Here is some more good news from the Mayor’s office just one week before an election….

The City of Hoboken announces:

HOBOKEN POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES NEW VEHICLES & UNIFORMS
 Mayor Zimmer and Police new equipment uniforms
Left to right: Police Officer Willie Montanez, Police Chief Anthony Falco, Detective Vince Lombardi, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Sergeant John Petrosino, Police Officer Robert Truppner
Mayor Dawn Zimmer was joined by Police Chief Anthony Falco, Sergeant John Petrosino, President of the Hoboken Police Superior Officers, and Detective Vince Lombardi, President of Hoboken Policemen’s Benevolent Association and Police Officers Willie Montanez and Robert Truppner to display the Hoboken Police Department’s newly purchased vehicles and new uniforms.
“Our Police Department is always there for our community when we need them most,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “They deserve to be as well-equipped and prepared as possible to do their jobs and keep us safe, and I thank our Police Officers for partnering with us on investing in their new uniforms.”
“This is a big morale booster for our department,” said Police Chief Falco. “The new uniforms have the full support of our rank-and-file, meet the needs of professionalism and utility, and are more adaptable for the daily rigors of the job.”
“The steady hiring of new officers, ongoing replacement of our aging patrol vehicles, renovations of police headquarters, approval of new work uniforms, and future K9 unit are just a few of many positive and progressive endeavors supported by the mayor, and we thank her for her strong commitment to public safety.” said Detective Lombardi, President of Hoboken Policemen’s Benevolent Association. “Protecting the public and keeping the peace is our purpose, and Mayor Zimmer has proven our purpose is her priority.”
The Police Department recently acquired one 15-seat Ford Econovan, two Ford Interceptors, two Ford Explorers and four Harley Davidson Road King motorcycles. As of this week, the Police Department also has a new uniform more appropriate for patrol work – the first comprehensive revisiting of uniform policy in recent history.
“After three years of careful planning, the Hoboken Police Department’s uniform motorized patrol are now wearing BDUs, the more casual and community-friendly uniform,” said Sergeant Petrosino, President of the Hoboken Police Superior Officers. “Hopefully this change will bring the residents and the officers closer together, by making their appearance seem more approachable, rather than authoritative. With the new additions to our fleet and our brand new uniform change, the citizens of Hoboken will now not only have one of the most professional and well educated officers in the county, but also one of the better equipped. The residents of Hoboken deserve nothing less.”
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GOTV Rally Tonight 7-10pm for Mayor Zimmer and Team 10th and Willow

Filed under: 10th & Willow,Hoboken — Tags: , , — TheBoken @ 2:20 PM

GOTV Zimmer Team 10th and Willow 10-30-2013

The election for Mayor and the three at large City Council candidates is less than a week away. The Leading Hoboken Forward Team of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Councilman Dave Mello, Councilman Ravi Bhalla and Council-candidate James Doyle are looking to win this coming Tuesday and need your help if you are so inclined.

There is a GOTV Rally from 7-10pm tonight at 10th and Willow where you can have an appetizer and a drink and get your signs and campaign materials including green shirts while they last.

10th-willow

Editor’s Note:

TheBoken.com fully supports this ticket as the Zimmer team has accomplished a lot in 4 years by restoring balanced budgets to Hoboken, getting out from under the State Fiscal Monitor, saving Hoboken from $52 million dollars in bonds that could have defaulted by the HUMC  by saving and privatizing the Hospital, reduced taxes 12.5%, finished Pier C Park, built 1600 Park, renovated Church Square Park and many others, initiated Corner Cars, re-organized the top heavy Police and Fire Departments, ousted a corrupt Parking Director from a prior Administration that stole $600,000 in parking revenue, boosted Hoboken’s Shuttle Bus system, installed a flood pump in the most needed location first, and restored honesty and accountability to government just to name a few accomplishments.

The other slates challenging her in my humble opinion have failed to make the case to replace her and in some instances have misrepresented the facts about their prior records. Don’t forget Ruben Ramos under his service as City Councilman with the Mayor Dave Roberts Team created the 2008 fiscal crisis by approving underfunded budgets for many years and selling or Municipal Garage to pay salaries. There is one instance where a faction of the Tim Occhipinti campaign purportedly have committed libel and slander and as a result will be getting sued for defamation. This is the same campaign that in a juvenile fashion sent a letter to Giants QB Eli Manning’s Brother Peyton admonishing him for endorsing Mayor Dawn Zimmer for her support in fighting the Monarch Project where he lives. It was a low class move by low class candidate and proven obructionist. Hoboken needs serious leaders and clearly that is not Tim Occhipinti and they need fiscally responsible ones and that is clearly not Ruben Ramos.

Most importantly the opposing  slates don’t have the right plan going forward that represents the community as a whole or the skill sets and integrity to pull it off. The initial Vision 20-20 plan initial brochure called for more than doubling the size of the Projects in Hoboken. How could that possibly benefit anyone but developers? Both the Occhipinti and Ramos campaigns support this plan yet no final plan has been presented and vetted out by the public.  Zimmer has stated that until a real plan is in place that this should not move forward. This is the sort of reckless development would could expect to see if  Dawn Zimmer and her team were to lose.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer has a lot to run on her record with for re-election and Hurricane Sandy showed that she really cares about the community of Hoboken and its residents. Her plan to protect Hoboken from future storms is the most comprehensive plan but will take time to complete. Mayor Dawn Zimmer has persevered through the obstructionist tactics of her political adversaries and although she may not be perfect  (who is after all?)  she has the best character, integrity and proven track record of results to get the job done. She will need her slate  to maintain a 5-4 majority so I advise you vote across the board to continue the progress we have seen in Hoboken.

 

 

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June 6, 2013

Hudson County Budget Meeting at City Hall Tonight – Hoboken County taxes up 10% – Voice your concerns

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 1:55 PM

Hudson County Budget Proposed 5-7-2013 #2

Tonight, The Hudson County Board of Freeholders is hosting one of their budget meetings for the presentation of the 2013 County Budget. At the behest of Mayor Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken and the mayor’s of Weehawken and Secaucus the meeting is being held at Hoboken City Council Chambers to allow local residents to voice their concerns. Coming in at a whopping half a billion dollars, the County Budget is a leviathan of which Hoboken pays the greatest share per resident. According to the 2010 census, Hoboken with a population of 50,005 is only 7.9% of the populations but with a tax burden of over $50 million dollars Hoboken pays at least 17% percent of all of Hudson County tax burden and perhaps even more after the latest $5 million increase from last year. When you factor in the fact that Hoboken sees no where near that tax levy back in services the wide disparity between taxes and services is even more apparent.

Department heads for the Sheriff’s Department, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office,  Hudson County Corrections Department and the Office of Emergency Management will present their budgets at tonight’s  meeting, which is scheduled for a start time for 6 p.m.Hudson County Budget Proposed 5-7-2013

The link to the proposed budget is below…..

http://www.hudsoncountynj.org/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=32&mid=326&fileid=421

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May 4, 2013

Hoboken City Councilman Ravi Bhalla – Voter Regristration Drive at tomorrow’s Hoboken Arts and Music festival

Filed under: Hoboken,Politics — Tags: , , , , — TheBoken @ 12:55 PM

Hoboken City Councilman Ravi Bhalla is going to be at tomorrow’s street festival and will be heading up a voter registration drive. Registering to vote is an important part of the democratic process. Even if you think you may not vote in the next election, it is best to register to at least have that option. Due to the transient nature of Hoboken, there are always opportunities to get people to register in Hoboken and have the ability to vote in local elections. Below is Ravi’s note:

Ravi Large Cropped

Dear Neighbors,

Great weather has finally arrived and I hope you all are enjoying time outdoors!

I am writing to remind everyone about the spring Hoboken Arts & Musical Festival this Sunday, May 5th, from 11 am to 6 pm.  The weather forecast is looking good and this should be a spectacular city event as usual.We are once again, though Hoboken Votes!, an initiative launched last year by residents, sponsoring a Voter Registration Table to assist and encourage new residents to register to vote, and to assist anyone who has moved within Hoboken to update their registration.

Can you spare a little time on Sunday to volunteer at our Voter Registration Table?

If so, please email me at councilmanbhalla@gmail.com or call me at 201-647-6090 to sign up!

Last year, Hoboken Votes! successfully registered over 750 Hoboken residents, and we hope to continue the progress to make sure every eligible resident in Hoboken is registered and enthusiastic about participating in the electoral process.

Finally, as I am sure you know, a lot of important things have been happening in Hoboken civic, governmental and political affairs over the last several months.  I hope to provide you with a substantive update, from my perspective, early next week.

But for now, enjoy the weekend and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday!

Sincerely,

Ravi S. Bhalla

Councilman-at-Large

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February 13, 2013

Reminder: Hoboken State of the City Address Tonight at Stevens Debaun Auditorium

Just a reminder, Dawn Zimmer, the Mayor of Hoboken will give her 3rd State of the City Address tonight at Steven’s DeBaun Auditorium at 7pm….

REMINDER: PUBLIC INVITED TO HOBOKEN STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS

 Stevens-Institute-DeBaun-Auditorium-Hoboken-HDR-1.jpg

Mayor Dawn Zimmer invites all members of the community to attend her third State of the City address. Her remarks will include a discussion of plans for building a more resilient Hoboken following Superstorm Sandy.

The event will take place on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the DeBaun Auditorium in Edwin A. Stevens Hall on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology.

The main entrance is on 5th Street directly across from the Stevens Park. The wheelchair entrance is located in the rear entrance of the building on River Street with handicapped parking located behind the two buildings (McLean & Babbio) located directly across the street from the ramp. For additional information, visit: http://ugstudentlife.stevens.edu/org/debauncenter/DeBaun_Auditorium_Directions

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October 19, 2012

Open Public Forum on Rent Control Question #2 – Our Lady Of Grace School – Wednesday October 24, 2012

Filed under: Hoboken,Politics — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 11:20 AM

Here are the first of two forums from the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition with respect to local issues coming up in November’s election. There is more at stake then just the presidential election in Hoboken. This forum below has a discussion open to the public on the heated issue of rent control.

Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition’s
Open Public Forum on Rent Control Question #2

Our Lady Of Grace School Willow and 5th in Hoboken
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 – 7 to 9 p.m.

When: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 – 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: At Our Lady of Grace School, Willow at 5th 
Event Description: Discussion of impacts of Local Resolution #2  on The Hoboken Rent Control Ordinance . Voters will be asked to vote on November 6 Ballot – Yes or No?

Participants:

  • Mile Square Tax Payers Association: Ron Simoncini and Charles Gormally, Esq.
  • Hoboken Fair Housing Association and NJ Tenant Association: Dan Tumpson and Matt Shapiro.

Below is the question as printed on the November 6, 2012 for Hoboken residents. There was was controversy over the wording of this question. This is a simplification but a yes vote ends rent control as we know it, otherwise known as vacancy decontrol for the most part according to supporters of rent control and a no vote would keep the current ordinance on rent control as it is.

 

 

 

 

 

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October 3, 2012

Presidential Debate Watch Party With Mayor Dawn Zimmer at Marty O’Brien’s Tonight 8-11pm

Whether you are part of the upper 1%, the rest of 99% or the 47% “dependent” on the government according to “Mittens” the President’s challenger, the Mayor of Hoboken Dawn Zimmer welcomes you regardless of political affiliation to a debate watch party in Hoboken tonight.
Tonight, Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012, the  Debate Watch Party will be at Marty O’Brien’s from 8pm-11pm. Marty O’Briens is located at 94 Bloomfield St., Hoboken
Quote from Mayor Zimmer:“Everyone is welcome no matter who you support! Come and enjoy a lively debate on the issues.”

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September 4, 2012

Obama Watch Party this Thursday at Marty O’Brien’s in Hoboken

There is an informal viewing party for Hobokenites this Thursday at Marty O’Brien’s for Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention.  Please note that regardless of you political affiliation all are welcome. Details are below in a letter from Mayor Dawn Zimmer…

Dear Friends,

Please join me for an Obama Watch Party, this Thursday at Marty O’Brien’s (1st & Bloomfield) from 8:30 – midnight.

Marty O’Brien’s is offering our group some great drink and food specials for this event!

We’ve heard from Governor Romney, and Congressman Ryan about their vision for America’s future, and I look forward to hearing President Obama’s response and his vision together with all of you.

Last week Congressman Ryan claimed to have run a marathon in under 3 hours, when in fact his time was four hours, and one minute.

Finishing a marathon is a great achievement no matter what your time. Had Mr. Ryan not “misremembered” I would have been impressed, given that my marathon time was a lowly four hours and 30 minutes.

I know my time, and like all runners, I will never forget it. I don’t know if President Obama or Vice President Biden have ever run a marathon, but I hope if they did, they would be honest about their time.

Let’s come together to hear President Obama stand up for the ideals that have made our country great.

Everyone is welcome! (Democrats, Republicans, & Independents, as long as you pledge to tell the truth about your running times!)

See you Thursday!

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

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March 19, 2012

Secretary LaHood, New Jersey Senators Highlighted Benefits of Senate Surface Transportation Bill for NJ in Hoboken Today

Filed under: Hoboken,Lackawanna,Politics — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 4:25 PM

This is from today’s transportation conference in Hoboken’s train terminal on the Surface Transportation Bill that just passed the US Senate by a wide margin….

The Office of Senator Frank Lautenberg announces:

SECRETARY LAHOOD, NEW JERSEY SENATORS, REP. SIRES HIGHLIGHT BENEFITS OF

SENATE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BILL FOR NEW JERSEY

Call on House to Join Senate in Passing a Bipartisan Transportation Bill

Hoboken, NJ—Today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood stood with U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and U.S. Rep Albio Sires (D-NJ-13), urging the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and move quickly to pass a bipartisan transportation jobs bill.  Last week, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the Senate passed the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act,” a surface transportation bill which will create or maintain 2.8 million jobs nationwide.  Speaking at the Hoboken Train Station, the federal officials were joined by New Jersey transportation advocates to stress the importance of the legislation, which would provide New Jersey with $500 million for transit projects and $1 billion per year in highways funds.

The Senate transportation bill, which was approved last Wednesday by an overwhelming 74-22 margin, would relieve road congestion, expand transit and rail systems, and direct billions to American workers rebuilding the nation’s aging infrastructure.  The legislation is particularly important for New Jersey, where it would support 54,200 jobs in a state economy powered by regional transportation systems.  New Jersey commuters would get immediate relief through restoration of the commuter tax benefit, which allows mass transit riders to set aside an untaxed $240 monthly to pay for commuting costs.

“I’m thrilled that the Senate has passed a bipartisan transportation bill that will put millions of Americans back to work repairing our aging transportation infrastructure,” said Secretary LaHood. “If the House follows their lead, we can relieve congestion on our roads, expand our transit and rails systems, and provide Americans with safe, affordable ways to reach their destinations when gas prices are high.”

“House Republicans should back away from the extreme Tea Party ideology and pass the Senate transportation bill that will rebuild our nation’s crumbling transportation systems and put millions of American to work,” said Sen. Lautenberg, Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation.  “In New Jersey, we need this bill to help reduce traffic congestion, benefit transit commuters, and boost our economy.  Funding for America’s transportation system expires at the end of the month.  It’s time for the House GOP to complete this bill so we can keep people on the job rebuilding America’s infrastructure.”

“This bill represents years of bipartisan work to invest in our infrastructure, create good jobs for New Jerseyans and give us the transportation network we need for our workers to get to their jobs, for our families to meet their needs, and for our businesses to thrive,” said Senator Menendez.  “The toughest work is done.  The Senate’s acted to create jobs and keep commuters moving.  Now it’s time for House Republicans to get on board and do their part for New Jersey.”

“I am pleased that the Senate passed this bill, which will provide important funding for our country’s transportation needs,” said Rep. Sires.  “I hope my colleagues in the House will create jobs and keep commuters moving. Now it’s time for House Republicans to get on board and do their part for New Jersey.”

Original Post:

Hoboken being the transportation hub that it is, is a fitting place to hold a press event on a major transportation bill….

Secretary LaHood, New Jersey Senators to Highlight Benefits of Senate Surface Transportation Bill for New Jersey

 Call on House to Join Senate in Passing a Bipartisan Transportation Bill

Hoboken Erie Lackawanna Train Temrinal and Ferry

Today, March 19 at 1:30 p.m., Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will join U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ-13) at the Hoboken Train Station to highlight the jobs that will be created in New Jersey by the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” MAP-21, the surface transportation bill that the Senate passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.  They will also call on the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and move quickly on a bipartisan transportation bill that will put Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, and transit systems.

Transportation, safety and environmental advocates will join the elected officials to support House passage of the Senate-passed transportation bill. The bill, which has received overwhelming bipartisan support, is estimated to create or maintain 2.8 million jobs and makes desperately needed investments in transportation infrastructure.

WHO:

  • Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood
  • U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg
  • U.S. Senator Robert Menendez
  • U.S. Rep Albio Sires
  • State and local public officials, transportation advocates, labor leaders and environmental advocates.

WHAT: Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will join New Jersey’s Senators and elected officials in calling on the House of Representatives to pass the Senate Surface Transportation Bill.

WHEN: Monday, March 19, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Hoboken Train Station at  1 Hudson Place Hoboken, NJ 07030

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January 26, 2012

Hoboken State of the City Address Remarks by Mayor Dawn Zimmer Transcript

Last night Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer gave her state of the City Address to a good sized crowd at DeBaun auditorium at Stevens Campus starting at 7pm. Here are her prepared remarks from her speech that lasted about 30 minutes. …

Hoboken State of the City Address

Remarks of Mayor Dawn Zimmer
As Prepared for Delivery
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
DeBaun Auditorium, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Welcome everyone. Thank you all for joining us tonight. I want to thank Stevens and President Farvardin so much for hosting tonight’s 2nd annual State of the City.

I am extremely pleased to announce that under Dr. Farvardin’s leadership, the partnership between Hoboken and Stevens continues to grow stronger than ever.

Most recently, we are partnering on a very exciting project that could make Hoboken the nation’s first truly “smart city.” Through this innovative program, residents would be able to have immediate access and input on the array of services that impact their daily lives.

Thank you to Dr. Ali Mostashari and all of the Stevens staff and students who are working with us on this project, along with the many other essential infrastructure projects by Stevens students.

Thank you again to all of the Stevens students whose volunteerism during Hurricane Irene helped to protect our community, students who volunteered to help beautify our City, and also those who volunteered to help with our many cultural events. Hoboken is so lucky to have the Stevens community as a part of our City.

I also want to say a huge thank you to the City Council, all those who have served and continue to serve on our many boards, and volunteers for our Community Emergency Response Team. We don’t always agree on everything but all of these individuals devote an enormous amount of time and energy to serving our City, and their contributions deserve to be recognized.

A special thank you to my directors, chiefs, and employees for your dedication to our City.

Now I must say, 2011 was one heck of a year! Together we overcame tremendous challenges. At times I feared we could be destroyed financially if the sale of the hospital failed – let alone the challenges we faced from the hurricanes, the blizzards, the shipworms that ate away at our piers, and the unexpected earthquake. I want to give a huge thank you to all of our public safety members who saw us through quite a tumultuous year.

Despite the fact that the challenges have never stopped, we not only survived, but we thrived on many fronts in 2011.

First, we were able to achieve a 10 percent municipal tax reduction, the 6th largest in the State.

Secondly, together we saved our City from financial destruction with the successful sale of Hoboken University Medical Center to the principal owners of Bayonne Medical Center. The sale was crucial for our City both because of the incredibly important role the hospital plays, and also because we had a $52 million bond backing the hospital. The hospital was bankrupt, and had the sale not been completed, we would have lost our hospital and faced a fiscal crisis on a frightening scale.

Saving our hospital consumed more of my time than I could have ever imagined, but the results demonstrate that what seems impossible can be achieved. Thank you so much to everyone who worked tirelessly to save our hospital. In particular, I’d like to thank and recognize Toni Tomarazzo, the Chair of the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority board and all of the Authority members. They are the heroes of Hoboken. Without your unwavering support and perseverance we could never have succeeded.

Thank you to the Hoboken Women’s Auxiliary for their tremendous support of the hospital. Over the years they raised more than $1 million dollars for the hospital.

I also want to thank Senator Kenny and Mayor Roberts who are here with us tonight – I called both of them on that exciting Friday afternoon when the sale finally went through. As I told each of them on the phone, while many, including me, questioned the wisdom of the City’s bailout of the hospital in 2007, without that bailout we would not have had a hospital to save in 2011.

Under the strong leadership of Phil Schaengold, the new CEO of HUMC, the hospital’s future is very bright. Just last week, HUMC hired a highly regarded neurosurgeon from New York University. We welcome Dr. Ramesh Babu and look forward to the highest level of care that he and all of the doctors and dedicated staff at HUMC offer to our community.

Another essential achievement of 2011: My Administration worked closely with North Hudson Sewerage Authority to finally get the Observer Highway flood pump online. This essential infrastructure is already helping to alleviate our City’s 100-year old flooding problem. Congratulations to Chairman Richard Wolff, Executive Director Fred Pocci, and the entire board of North Hudson Sewerage Authority. Thank you to John Nastasi, a Stevens professor, architect, and Hoboken resident, for working with the City and North Hudson to design the exterior of the pump.

As a Councilperson, I advocated strongly to make certain that this was the first pump to be built. The original 4-pump plan scheduled this most important pump last, meaning the Southwest, the area with the worst flooding would have had to wait in line to receive the relief it needed. This pump is important, but we are going to keep going to solve our City’s flooding problem completely.

That’s why I brought in EmNet to install sensors, and now we have data before and after the pump was installed. The data the sensors have provided will save our City millions as we create affordable and effective flooding solutions.

A third important achievement this year was the transition to single stream recycling. Under the leadership of our Recycling Coordinator, David Calamoneri, we have increased our City’s recycling by more than fifty percent! Thank you to David and thank you to everyone that is actively working to recycle! Not only does this save the City money, but it is plain and simply the right thing to do and our community’s responsibility.

In addition to going green, we’ve been working to restore your faith in our City’s government. This year we passed anti-wheeling campaign finance reform, which banned the practice of circumventing our pay-to-play laws and other contribution limits by funneling contributions through third parties. Given Hoboken’s recent history, this reform is a vital step to ensure that the politics of the future do not emulate our unfortunate politics of the past.

Very soon we will be announcing that a world-class company will be coming to Hoboken, creating hundreds of jobs and spurring economic development. Last week was the grand opening of Office Depot. I went over to congratulate, welcome and ask the President of Office Depot why they decided to locate in Hoboken. He confirmed my intuition: major companies such as his recognize that Hoboken is a fantastic place to locate their business with our high quality of life and direct access to New York City.

Last year was also a tough year of evaluation and change for our Police, Fire and other departments. I know it was difficult for everyone, but through it all we were able to reach fair agreements with our Police and Fire Departments. These contracts provide our public safety personnel with the security of agreements going into the future for the first time in many, many years. Thank you to our Police and Fire Departments for protecting our community each and every day.

After years of delay, we were able to complete and open Pier C Park for our community. Thank you to everyone who was involved in developing and bringing this beautiful waterfront park to our City. It is great to see so many residents and visitors enjoying this spectacular addition to our City’s network of parks.

Last year we also added a desperately needed air conditioning and heating system to our Multi-Service center that serves our seniors. This was a long overlooked project, and I am proud that we were able to work together to get this crucial infrastructure upgrade completed.

Parking is always a difficult issue in Hoboken. No matter what we do we won’t have enough supply to meet the demand. However, we need to continue to do everything we can to alleviate the problem. We must make it easier to get around Hoboken with and without a car.

Some headway we have made includes new multi-meters that have added an estimated 150 additional parking spaces and made parking easier now that you do not need to search your pockets for quarters. It has also made our parking meters impossible to steal from, something that we now know was occurring not so long ago.

Corner Cars has been an unambiguous, unbelievable success. Over 2,000 Hoboken residents have taken advantage of this program, and 99 people have surrendered their permits. This program has made it far easier to live in Hoboken without a car. It has without question, made more parking available. Is it a solution by itself? Of course not, but has it helped? Absolutely, without question, and that is why five major cities are looking to Hoboken as a model for car-sharing and part of the reason we received a Sustainable Jersey award this year.

We worked with the business community to provide new discounted parking in our municipal garages. Over 300 businesses have partnered with us, leaving more space for valued customers to park on the street.

An additional 200 cars are off the street thanks to the new “Monthly Limited” parking option – a discounted rate for resident commuters who don’t need to park in the garage during the day.

Last year we also implemented a three-route Hop transportation system, which has had 120,000 passengers since its launch, and is filled to capacity during peak commuter periods. We are looking to update the fleet with modern buses and working on partnering with the business community to expand Hop service on the weekends and evenings this year. After all, we’ve got great shopping here in Hoboken, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to shop local and enjoy everything that our City has to offer.

Most recently we worked with Councilman Cunningham and our public safety officials to pass legislation that will allow parking close to some curbs, bringing 850 new parking spaces to the City without compromising on pedestrian safety.

Hoboken is also becoming more bike-friendly every year. We doubled the number of bike racks near the PATH, installed our first bike repair station, and passed a plan for ten miles of new bike lanes, which we’ll be striping in the year ahead.

As a result of our many pedestrian safety measures, pedestrian-car collisions are down nearly 30 percent since I took office. Bicycle-car collisions are down by more than 60 percent.

This year we want to work with the community to create a parking master plan, and we look forward to hearing all your ideas on this very important issue.

In addition to all that we have achieved in 2011, we’ve also got a tremendous number of important projects that we will complete this year.

This week our Chinese community is celebrating the New Year – the Year of the Dragon. I believe in Hoboken, 2012 will be known as the Year of Parks. We will be opening a new park in North Hoboken, currently known as 1600 Park and Hoboken Cove. The plans are being finalized now, and this long awaited park will be a fantastic addition to our community.

We finally have the approvals we need, and Frank Sinatra Park and Castle Point will be reopened in 2012. We will be bidding out Frank Sinatra Cafe to transform it and make it a go-to destination for our residents and visitors.

We have a contractor in place to upgrade the playgrounds at Jackson Street Park, Jefferson Park, and Legion Park on Willow Avenue. At Stevens Park, we’re looking to resurface the little league field, upgrade the playground, and install an indoor batting cage. Church Square Park, Mamma Johnson Field, and all our dog runs will all be upgraded this year.

Thank you to all the community members who have helped to make this happen, and particularly thanks to the moms from Project Play and the Hoboken Family Alliance who raised $50,000 for the renovation of Church Square Park.

Many of you know that I started my political career fighting for a park in Southwest Hoboken where I live. So I am particularly happy that in 2012 we will be making a down payment on that Southwest Park by acquiring a substantial piece of property using a $3 million county grant and a portion of the $20 million park bond approved by the City Council.

As you know, the most important role of government is maintaining the public safety. This is something that must be focused on each and every day and can never be characterized as something which has been fully achieved.

The total crime rate in Hoboken declined once again in 2011. Since I took office in 2009, total crime is down by 16 percent. Crime is now at its lowest in a generation, and I want to congratulate Chief Falco and thank the hard work of the members of the Hoboken Police Department.

But we’re ever mindful that decreasing crime is not good enough. As long as there is any crime, we still have hard work to do.

It is never possible for our law enforcement officers to be everywhere at all times. But as we all know, quality of life offenses are most common during late night hours on weekends and in places where large numbers of people tend to congregate.

In response to this, Police Chief Falco has reassigned and redeployed his personnel in more close alignment with the time and days of these offenses. We will also be adding more eyes on the streets with Class II officers during peak activity hours on weekends and events.

Maintaining the public safety sometimes involves making difficult choices. Unfortunately the public safety problems that have arisen in connection with the events surrounding Hoboken’s St. Patrick’s Day in recent years have resulted in the City’s decision that the parade would have to be held on a weekday, and the parade committee’s decision to cancel the parade all together.

The loss of the parade is a loss for Hoboken, but at the end of the day, the safety and quality of life of our residents is more important than scheduling a parade on a particular day. Even with the parade cancelled, our public safety department will be fully mobilized. Our zero tolerance policy will be in full effect, and this year disorderly people will not merely be ticketed, but when appropriate will be arrested and detained immediately.

The City is also moving ahead with planning an event that honors Hoboken’s Irish heritage.

We’ve talked about the past, and now it is time to look to the future of Hoboken.

Hoboken has great public transportation. Thousands of Hobokenites and other commuters take the PATH train or the ferry every day. We have more residents per capita using public transportation than any other City in the country. But if our City is to grow in a sustainable way, we need more public transportation.

As some of you may have heard, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed extending New York’s Number 7 train into New Jersey, most likely with a direct stop in Secaucus.

I have strongly advocated, both with Governor Christie and Mayor Bloomberg’s staff, for a Number 7 train stop in north Hoboken. South Hoboken has both the PATH and the beautiful new ferry terminal, and a stop there is extremely unlikely due to the enormous cost of extending the tunnel in that direction.

A north Hoboken stop would be more cost effective and better for Hoboken. It could be combined with a proposed light rail stop to make it an even stronger transportation connection.

I have had productive discussions with Governor Christie and Mayor Bloomberg’s staff, and I am fully committed to doing everything I can to make this a reality for our City.

In addition to improving our transportation infrastructure, we are working to improve our communications infrastructure to make our City government more effective and user friendly. For example, starting this month, you can now get your parking permits online.

We are also launching an online service request system so residents can report and get updates on everything from pot holes to graffiti to flooding. In addition to a one-stop informational website, we will also be launching an iPhone app to let you report problems from wherever you are. And we look forward to launching a 311 call center to support this system once the rewiring of City Hall is completed.

We also recently added a Reverse 911 system so we can reach Hoboken residents during emergencies such as snow storms and hurricanes.

Finally, perhaps the most important issue pertaining to Hoboken’s future is the question of development. Unlike many other places, we do not need new development to “transform our City” into something new and better. Our City is already a great City and developers are privileged to have the opportunity to build here. My Administration will always do everything it can to ensure that new development is done in a way that does not put unacceptable additional strain on our infrastructure or transform our City from the one we love into somebody else’s development dream.

New development can bring and has brought important benefits to our community. For example, my Administration worked closely to ensure that the artists’ community in the Monroe Center was protected through a bankruptcy process and sale to a new owner. Many of us would not live here without the development that has occurred over the past 20 years. However, Hoboken today has more choices and more leverage than we did 20 years ago, and we need to use that leverage and make our choices wisely to protect the character of our community.

We also have to make sure that the commitments that are made to our City and its residents, when development is approved, are real commitments that will be kept.

Currently, there are applications for approvals pending for a developer to build two eleven story buildings on a pier where that same developer had promised to build tennis courts as a condition of a prior approval.

I have recused myself from the Planning Board process because I do not want to create any confusion between the independent role of the Planning Board and my responsibility to protect the interests of Hoboken residents as mayor.

My Administration will continue to fully use the power of its office and exercise all of the legal tools available to ensure that this developers’ commitment and all other commitments, past, present, and future, made to the people of Hoboken, are kept. That is why, without hesitation, we are appealing the DEP’s approval of this pier project in north Hoboken.

This speech is about the State of our City, but I want to say a few words about the State of our State. Over the last two years, Governor Christie, working in a bipartisan way with many Democrats, has accomplished some important things that will go a long way to help stabilize the finances of our City. When I have agreed with the Governor, as I did with the 2 percent tax cap, and pension and healthcare reform, I have not hesitated to make my voice heard.

When I do not agree, it is my responsibility to voice my views.

While I applaud Governor Christie for nominating the first openly gay judge to the state Supreme Court, I strongly urge him to change his mind and sign the Marriage Equality Act when it is passed by the legislature. It is simply the right thing to do.

Now I’ve done a lot of talking tonight about government, but the true strength of our City lies not in the halls of government but in its people, a wonderful generous community. Whether it was volunteering during emergencies, helping neighbors pump out a basement after Hurricane Irene, or fundraising for the victims of a fire, our community is the foundation upon which our great City flourishes.

I want to thank all of you, and all of our residents for the important work that you do. I urge you to stay involved in our community.

Join our Community Emergency Response Team, adopt a park, join the PTSO, volunteer at the homeless shelter, volunteer for a board, organize around an issue that you care about, participate in a neighborhood cleanup, tutor a student at the Jubilee Center, participate in community meetings, and most importantly, be informed about what is happening in our town.

With your help, Hoboken will always thrive as a community that we are proud to call our home.

Thank you.

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