Hoboken’s Future Will Be Decided This November. Before you Vote, Check the Facts.
Over the last few months, we’ve been talking about big ideas for Hoboken’s future together, as well as the necessary changes we can make right now to make our city work better. But now Election Day is almost here, and I think it’s time to take a look not just at what I’m proposing, but who I’m running against in this race.
All of my opponents have positive attributes, and this isn’t about personal attacks. But I think you deserve to know more about their backgrounds, because we can’t solve the problems in our city with the politicians who have helped cause many of them. This is why I think it’s important to check the facts about the candidates for Mayor.
Councilman Ravi Bhalla is a partner at one of the most politically connected law firms in the state, with over $3.8 million in government contracts last year. Although he initially denied a conflict, he was forced to recuse himself from voting on the city’s water contract when it was revealed that Suez had paid his firm $240,000 in lobbying fees over the last two years. He’s also been subject to two lawsuits for violating residents’ first amendment rights at city council meetings, one ongoing and one that the City settled at taxpayer expense.
Freeholder Anthony Romano is running for two offices at the same time, both Mayor and Freeholder. He’s a career politician who lives in subsidized housing, occupying an apartment that could be used by a family who needs it, even though he collects two government paychecks (a pension and Freeholder salary) worth over $160,000 per year and has substantial real estate investments in Hoboken. Romano has been a Hudson County Freeholder for over nine years, and during that time Hoboken’s county tax burden has increased by 86% to over $70 million.
As City Council President, Jennifer Giattino presided over city government during a time when we racked up an unreported, unbudgeted $8.3 million debt to our water provider. She also sponsored an ill-conceived flood ordinance which is now causing the destruction of historic brownstones, placing huge financial burdens on homeowners and displacing long-time residents from affordable garden level apartments. (Ordinance Z-263 2nd reading 11-6-2013 sponsored by Giattino, seconded by Mello). Now, she’s pointing fingers and asking for an explanation for something that happened on her watch.
I’m the only candidate for Mayor with no personal business interests in Hoboken and nothing politically to gain. As a private sector media executive in Manhattan, I’m not part of the political establishment. I ran for City Council because I saw that the longtime incumbent representing my neighborhood wasn’t getting the job done. I knew I could deliver more to my neighbors, and I’ve done that by reducing traffic congestion in the Southwest, improving pedestrian safety on Newark Street and securing a commitment from the operator of Hoboken Train Terminal to open an outdoor French market next year.
Now, I'm running for Mayor to be a problem solver for all of Hoboken, to make our city work for everyone -- I hope you'll help get us there on November 7.