HOBOKEN AND BEYOND – In a press release sent out Friday morning, spokespeople for Gov. Christie Christie featured a statement from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer in the State House’s latest attempt to get the state legislature to approve the 33 bills that make up the governor’s “Mayor’s tool kit.” The proposals include caps on annual municipal tax increases and limits on union contracts in order to keep spending and taxes down in cities across the state.
Some aspects of Christie’s proposals are controversial, as they cap union benefits, school administrators’ salaries, and other aspects of local spending. But several local Democratic mayors have endorsed portions of Republican Christie’s toolkit, including Union City Mayor Brian Stack.
In a press release e-mailed to newspapers Friday to drum up support for the proposals, the subject head says, “Tool kit flashback: Hoboken mayor: ‘[We] need the mayor’s tool kit that the governor is proposing.”
The release features Zimmer’s quote: “It’s important to note, that nearly eighty percent of our city’s budget, our operating budget, is personnel costs. So, I need help reducing those personnel costs, and that’s why it’s important – again, with the arbitration process, that we be able to have a way to really fairly negotiate with our labor unions and address those issues. The Cap 2.5 – I think it’s extremely important that that passes as a package. So, not only do we need the Cap 2.5, but we also need the mayors’ tool kit that the Governor is proposing. I think the most important elements of that are the arbitration process and the shared services, so at the very least, the arbitration process needs to change. I was the first municipality to have Governor Christie come to Hoboken, and he gave a wonderful talk with the residents of Hoboken. I’m reaching out to legislators and letting them know my position on this and trying to encourage them to support these measures. I’m writing to residents and speaking out publicly on this. I think he’s doing a great job going, you know, going around to various municipalities and taking it directly to the people and letting them know how important this is.”
It also includes a link to a video of Zimmer.
For more on the toolkit and the reactions from local mayors, click the state’s website HERE.