Hudson County’s Democrats are involved in a political battle that will likely continue into next year, and Tuesday’s night’s local election results didn’t look good for West New York Mayor Felix Roque and State Sen. and Union City Mayor Brian Stack.
Earlier this year, Stack, Roque, and several other local mayors, including Ravi Bhalla in Hoboken and Steven Fulop in Jersey City, announced they would not be supporting County Executive Tom DeGise in his 2019 effort to be re-elected to his position. They also want new leadership in an upcoming vote for chair of the local countywide party, the Hudson County Democratic Organization.
Last Tuesday, West New York saw a smaller party vote when that town’s Democratic residents turned out to elect their local committee members.
Local Rep. Albio Sires and three West New York town commissioners are opposing the Roque/Stack coalition against DeGise. Sires and these three commissioners backed a pro-DeGise West New York committee slate.
Sires campaigned for his supporters to vote for the pro DeGise committee members. Stack campaigned in West New York against DeGise. He is currently set to face Amy DeGise, the executive’s daughter, for chair of the Hudson County Democratic Organization on June 12. Whoever wins that would have a huge say in determining which candidate for executive the party will support. The loss could also signal trouble for Roque, who may face trouble in his 2019 reelection campaign, as his commissioners are working to run a candidate against him.
Special Properties appoints WNY man as regional vice president
Special Properties Real Estate Services has announced the appointment of Juan Rivera, who lives in West New York with his family, as its regional vice president for Hudson County. In this role, Rivera will oversee the brokerage’s business within the Hudson County region, including the growth of the organization’s new Hoboken office that opened in April.
Rivera comes to Special Properties following a decade in management at the Clifton and Fort Lee locations of Coldwell Banker. During that period, he created an internal culture shift at both locations that allowed agents to increase their sales production year over year, while also enhancing efficiency and market share. Previously, he was a top producing real estate agent from 2005-2008, and owned and operated Century 21 North Side in Bloomfield from 2002-2005.
“I am excited to join Special Properties at such an important phase in its development as a regional real estate powerhouse, while also working in one of the fastest growing regions of New Jersey in terms of population,” said Rivera. “I look forward to working with our agents to help leverage the strength of Christie’s and Special Properties’ unparalleled corporate marketing resources and superior customer service to assist clients in all aspects of the real estate process.”
Farmers’ Market Returns to Braddock Park Beginning June 24
The popular Braddock Park Farmers’ Market will once again return to North Bergen beginning June 24. It will be held every Sunday from June 24 through Sept. 30 at the Veterans Memorial on 90th Street and Bergenline Avenue.
This year’s farmers market will see both returning vendors and some new vendors, as well as occasional entertainment. The market is sponsored by Freeholder Anthony Vainieri and North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco.
County announces $6.83 million for parks in several towns
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise has announced $6.83 million in recommendations from the Hudson County Open Space trust to increase and improve parks and preserve historic sites throughout the county.
His recommendations, based on the annual evaluation of applications conducted by the Open Space & Historic Preservation Trust Advisory Board, will now go to the county Board of Freeholders for a public hearing and eventual vote, likely to be held in September.
The grants, if approved by the freeholders, will finance enhancements to sites in Bayonne, Guttenberg, Hoboken, Jersey City, North Bergen, Union City, Secaucus, and West New York. This includes county parks in Mercer Hill and Laurel Hill Park, and the Weehawken Recreational Pier B in the Hudson River.
Pier B is a recreational pier just north of the Chart House pier that stretches nearly 500 feet into the river.
The Trust’s funding is drawn from a 1 cent per $100 of assessed value micro-tax of all property throughout the county.
DeGise recommend a total of $6.8 million in funding awards to the freeholders for the following projects: Bayonne, $500,000 for Neil A. DeSena Park; Guttenberg, $335,463 for Veterans Park (Phase II); Hoboken, $500,000 for Madison Street Park Playground; Jersey City, $500,000 for Berry Lane Park Skate Park, $500,000 for Riverview Fisk Park rehabilitation, and $100,000 for Old Bergen Church Cemetery Open Space Project; North Bergen, $500,000 for Policemen’s Memorial Park; Secaucus, $500,000 for Meadowlands Parkways Indoor Sports Facility; Union City, $187,025 for 38th Street Playground and $308,000 for Washington Park Improvements; Weehawken, $500,000 for Weehawken Pier B; West New York, $500,000 for Patricia McEldowney Field; Hudson County Division of Parks, $500,000 for Mercer Park and $450,000 for Laurel Hill Park Shoreline Improvements
The freeholders will host the annual open public hearing on the recommendations later this summer. At that time the public will have a right to comment.
Liberty State Park marina plan is dead in the water
A marina proposed for the south side of Liberty State Park has been rejected by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) after months of protests by park advocates.
This is third victory for park preservationists in two years.
The DEP, which oversees the state park on the eastern side of Jersey City, will however grant Suntex Marinas – which was to develop the southern marina – an additional 10 acres at the north end of the park where the company already maintains a marina.
Earlier in May, the DEP also rejected a proposed expansion of the Liberty Golf Course into a jetty near the south end of the park, prompting a significant outcry from park supporters as well as environmentalists over the possible encroachment into wetlands and wild species habitat located there.
Two years ago, Friends of Liberty State Park along with local public officials and others stopped a massive development plan proposed for the park, including the construction of a possible casino.
All three of these plans were proposed with the backing of then Gov. Christopher Christie. Advocates for the park credit the change of administration and the support of current Gov. Phil Murphy for the rejection of the latest plans.
Sam Pesin, president of The Friends of Liberty State Park was elated. “This great news marks a major turning point in LSP history with hopefully a long, positive era initiated by Governor Murphy and his excellent DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe and Assistant Commissioner Ray Bukowski,” Pesin said.