I am so proud to put my name on the ballot to continue representing the First Ward on the City Council. Downtown Hoboken has been my home for over 15 years and working with all of you for the past nine years, first on the Zoning Board and now on the City Council, has been the opportunity of a lifetime.
This will actually be the third time in four years that I’ve had my name on a ballot and what a journey it has been. In 2015, I took on a 21-year incumbent who everyone said was unbeatable. They said I was crazy and would lose, yet we won by 14%. After a year on the City Council I saw the tremendous inefficiencies within local government first hand and decided to take on an even more ambitious plan -- run for mayor.
I hope you all have been enjoying the summer. The past few weeks have been very busy in Hoboken, so I wanted to take a moment to update you on some important issues in our city, including plans for a new market, new changes to the Monarch Development and eminent domain proceedings at Union Dry Dock.
A EUROPEAN MARKET AT HOBOKEN TERMINAL
Since I first ran for elected office four years ago, I’ve shared with all of you my vision and plan for Hoboken Terminal, one that creates a world class market experience much like Chelsea Market in New York City or Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. As Chairman of the Council’s development subcommittee, I am so proud we’ve finally advanced a historic rehabilitation and redevelopment plan that embraces this cornerstone concept and creates an indoor/outdoor marketplace at our terminal.
Tens of thousands of people travel through Hoboken Terminal everyday and I have long believed that this building presents an incredible opportunity to re-energize our transportation hub and provide a better experience for commuters, residents and visitors alike. Forward thinking adaptive reuses like this create opportunities for small businesses to thrive and entice makers and creators to invest in our community, bringing cultural and creative cache back to Hoboken.
The market concept is incorporated in the designated developer’s revised Hoboken Yard Redevelopment plan to create a world class transit-oriented development, provide economic development opportunities to the city and create new jobs, including both union construction jobs and permanent jobs. The plan also conforms to the city’s ongoing Rebuild by Design sustainability initiative and will be built alongside new flood walls alongside Observer Highway intended to protect the city from major storm events.
I’m thankful Mayor Bhalla has put politics aside to work with NJ TRANSIT, LCOR and local stakeholders who have shared my vision for our terminal. I’m looking forward to continuing our push to finally make this long sought after priority of mine a reality. Big ideas like this are why I got involved in local government and I’m energized and excited to see this game changing activation move forward over the coming years.
Read more here.
I hope you and your family are enjoying summer and staying cool and dry. With a special City Council meeting happening tonight, I wanted to quickly update you on what's been going on in and around Hoboken, including a new ethics ordinance, improving eScooter safety and more.
TAKING POLITICS OUT OF CITY HALL
Last month I was proud to support a City budget that put politics aside and Hoboken residents first. In doing so, we prevented an astronomical tax increase while still making investments in our infrastructure and city services. Checks and balances in any form of government are essential to hold those in office accountable, even when it’s not easy and requires standing up to the mayor to get there. So at tonight’s City Council meeting, I will be sponsoring a comprehensive ethics reform law that will ensure taxpayer funded resources are being used responsibly.
Politics should never be permitted to run out of City Hall which is why it’s concerning that our current law allows for city owned computers, phones and other taxpayer funded services to be used for personal and political gain. The law I am introducing tonight prevents anyone, including myself, from using City Hall resources for anything other than official City business. Those who work for the taxpayers should be focused on providing the best possible services for all of Hoboken, not advancing their political careers.
I’ve always fought to make our local government more transparent and, quite frankly, strengthening our dated ethics laws is personal for me. The mayor has handpicked his own aide, a City Hall insider, to run against me for Council and we’ve already seen this administration abuse the power of executive office. For example, Hoboken residents subscribe to our Nixel alert system to receive emergency alerts -- like last night’s severe storms. Instead, the mayor has used this important communications platform to take cheap political shots at those who have the courage and confidence to speak up and push the administration to do better.
Now is our chance to take a stand against the misuse of taxpayer dollars and I hope you will join me in supporting this reform to begin restoring a sense of accountability to City Hall. Hoboken deserves leaders who aren’t afraid to speak power to truth and that is exactly why I am continuing the push to make our local government operate more transparently and efficiently.
Read more here.