On July 4, many Hoboken residents were furious, including Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher who expressed her frustration on Twitter, that Pier 13 was closed to the public because the operators of the Pier were hosting a $20 per person, private event. On Aug. 16, Pier 13 will again be closed to the public, and this time it is because Councilman Mike DeFusco is throwing a political fundraiser, and his birthday party, for which he is charging Hoboken residents $25 for access to the pier.
For generations, Hoboken has worked to make our waterfront open and accessible to all members of the public. That fight continues to this day as the city struggles with New York Waterway for control over the final piece of our waterfront, the property known as Union Dry Dock.
Despite the best efforts of organizations like Fund for a Better Waterfront to ensure open access to our waterfront, the operators of Pier 13 are allowed to hold five private events a year during which the public are barred from entry unless they pay for a ticket. While I understand the agreement that allows for these private events was entered into year ago, I urge the City Council to revisit it. Pier 13 is a popular destination and based on the number of visitors, and the price of the drinks sold, it is also wildly profitable. It seems, therefore, inappropriate to allow the operators to close the pier to the public for private events that only serves to increase the profits they make off the backs of Hoboken residents.
If, on the other hand, the council does not want to revisit this agreement entirely, I would suggest the city revise the agreement with the operators of Pier 13 so that in the future political fundraisers/politician’s birthday parties cannot be one of the five time of the year that Hoboken residents are not permitted to enjoy access to Pier 13.