I first met Phil Cohen on the morning of October 29, 2012 after Sandy had hit Hoboken. It was a cold morning and there was a group of volunteers including CERT members as well as those who were being “sheltered from the storm” of the previous night. We were in Wallace School that had been flooded leaving us without electricity or a way to prepare a warm meal. At that point we were not certain where we were going and there was a definite sense of anxiety within the group.
Phil and his daughter showed up asking, “What can I do?’ My spontaneous response was, “It would be nice if we had coffee.” Phil left and returned with a huge urn of hot coffee that we served to both the shelter guests and the volunteers. He later donated the urn to one of the shelters so that the coffee could continue to flow. It may not seem like a big thing but it meant a great deal to the recipients and restored a sense of normalcy to the stressed group.
Since then I have heard Phil speak at city council meetings and am impressed by his thoughtful comments. Most folks, myself included, do not know what freeholders do or what the county is responsible for. I am not proud of the fact that I have been to two meetings in my 38 years in Hoboken. I did learn something and believe that we do need to have an accounting of how our tax dollars are spent. We need to question where the money flows and how can we save money without reducing services. I am not voting against anyone but will vote for Phil Cohen. On that cold October morning, he asked, “What can I do?’ He now tells us, “I am running for freeholder to bring greater cost-effectiveness and fiscal responsibility to county government.” He has my vote.