Citizens of Hoboken:
Amid all the traditional campaign noise, do you get the feeling that some important issues are not being discussed?
For example, two fully functional schools, Demarest and Hoboken High, both recently renovated and centrally located beside public parks, are slated to be replaced by a combined school in a remote and industrial northwest Hoboken location at a taxpayer cost of $100 million.
Redevelopment in Northwest Hoboken and on Hoboken's southern waterfront is transferring citizens' tax dollars (through tax abatements), quality of life (through relaxation of zoning standards), and property (through eminent domain) to developers.
The Port Authority (PA) project, a three block wall of buildings on Hoboken's southern waterfront, is a good example. The project pays only 20% of its taxes, pushing the remainder of its tax obligations onto Hoboken and Hudson County taxpayers.
But as far back as 1986 my research led me to understand that the size of the PA redevelopment project and its tax abatements were problematic for Hoboken. I helped to put the PA project on the referendum ballot where the voters rejected it twice, in 1990 and 1992. Yet, in 1995, the then Mayor and City Council at the time approved the PA redevelopment deal that we are stuck with today.
What happened to the will of the people?
I believe in direct democracy. Since 1981 I have helped lead referendum and initiative campaigns to give citizens the right to vote on important issues confronting our city. I have worked consistently to inform and empower Hoboken's citizens, and to defend their rights and interests.
But no matter what I say or do as a private citizen, no matter what we the voters say in referendum votes, the harmful development continues. It is therefore now, more than ever, necessary and vital that we the citizens elect representatives to government that will truly defend our rights and interests.
I am running with candidates Alice Misiewicz (Ward 2) and Cheryl Fallick (Ward 6). Please review our platform and credentials at our website, www.hobokencitizens.org. We are running to give you the opportunity to vote for representatives with a history of working for you as volunteer citizen activists. We believe that you deserve to have that choice.
Council Candidate, Ward 1
Hoboken Citizens Organization