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For years we have seen our municipal garage on Hudson Street deteriorate, despite the fact hundreds of residents rely on these parking spaces everyday. With just a glance, it’s clear this building is only deteriorating more as the days go by. I’m proud to say that the City Council has approved the funding I requested to conduct an engineering study of the garage, the first step in allowing us to make necessary infrastructure repairs to the structure. 

But we don’t have to wait for the results of the engineer’s report to begin conceptualizing better ways to utilize the empty space over the property. That’s why as the Chairman of both of the Southern Development and Zoning Subcommittees, I’ve been working with stakeholders to explore our options in building a long overdue public pool and much needed community garden on the roof. This is a space that all of Hoboken can benefit from, but only if the redevelopment plan is done responsibly. 

Unfortunately, my opponent in this election has proposed building a recreation facility between the two neighboring buildings that would bring flood lights and loud echoing into our neighborhood. A project like this could pose a serious threat to the quality of life for residents on Hudson Street and in the surrounding downtown area. Projects like this need to be done collaboratively with the administration and our neighbors who will be most impacted by new development. Before we make any promises, I’m committed to hosting community meetings that will allow every voice to be heard so we can determine the best way to proceed from here. 

While it’s nice to see my opponent, a political aide to mayor in City Hall, recognize the positive change and placemaking initiatives we’ve already been delivering to the First Ward, it’s concerning to see her mix campaign rhetoric with official city business. 

By working together, I’m confident we can revitalize this space, and others, in the First Ward to create public parks and amenities that can be enjoyed by our entire community -- much like we did this past summer by opening our neighborhood’s first dog run just down the street from this project.