HOBOKEN – Two weeks after Council President Beth Mason sided with Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s four council supporters by voting yes to introduce a $20 million bond to acquire open space throughout the city, it appears another council member has jumped on board. A vote to approve spending for more parks will most likely pass at the Wednesday evening council meeting, according to a statement from Councilman Tim Occhipinti’s campaign.
Occhipinti said he would vote in favor of an ordinance to purchase parks throughout the city after he said Zimmer assured him that a park in the southwest portion of the town would be a “top priority of the plan.”
Zimmer has said the money will come from an Open Space Trust Fund, and would not cost taxpayers an additional dollar. In order for an ordinance to pass on second reading, six out of nine council members need to vote yes. At the March 2 meeting, the council voted 5-4 to introduce the ordinance.
“For the first time since I’ve been on the City Council, we have had a face-to-face meeting with the mayor and some of our council colleagues to seriously discuss how we can work together,” Occhipinti said in a release. “The mayor agrees that the time for action on a southwest park is now. We will see some of the funds from this bond used to start buying property that was included in the original ‘Southwest 6’ plan for a park in the 4th Ward.”
The Southwest 6 was a six acre park proposal put forth by the Hoboken Southwest Parks Coalition, a group of residents in southwest Hoboken.
In a release, Occhipinti said he appreciated “the cooperative tone” of the administration over the past few days.
The council members who voted against the park bond originally, which includes Occhipinti, did so because they said there was not enough details in the introduction, with some council members saying it was Zimmer asking for “a blank check.” However, Zimmer refuted that statement, saying she would have to go back to the council as the park space is acquired, and that it was not a blank check for her administration.
For more coverage on the parks bond and the City Council, keep watching HudsonReporter.com