HOBOKEN - The Hoboken City Council will likely make sweeping changes at their Wednesday evening meeting, addressing ordinances involving campaign finance, moving municipal elections from May to November, and stripping the residency requirements for city employees.
But that's not all.
The council will also vote on a resolution to adopt the city's budget with an approximate 8 percent decrease in taxes, compared to last year. The issue of the budget has been controversial. Allies of Mayor Dawn Zimmer want to hold on to a 5 percent surplus to improve the city's bond rating and avoid tax spikes in the future, while Zimmer's opponents want to return the $5 million surplus to the taxpayers, providing immediate tax relief by applying the money to the tax levy.
Zimmer's allies now have the final say on the budget, as Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino, a Zimmer supporter, was sworn in on July 1, shifting the council majority back to the mayor's allies.
The issue of moving municipal council and mayoral elections from May to November has also been controversial. The council can vote to move the elections on Wednesday with a final vote after a public hearing. To read our story about the elections possibly moving, click HERE.
The council was also scheduled to vote on legislation that would limit campaign contributions from Political Action Committees. The issue, like many others in Hoboken, has also not been without controversy. For that story from the July 17 paper, click HERE.
Councilman Tim Occhipinti and Councilwoman Beth Mason have sponsored an ordinance that would eliminate health, vision, and dental benefits for City Council members, writing in a proposed ordinance that the council members are part time employees of the city, and part time positions do not typically provide for health, vision, and dental benefits. The issue is also a cost saving measure, according to the legislation.
For more on the meeting, keep watching HudsonReporter.com, and make sure to pick up a copy of The Hoboken Reporter this weekend. - Ray Smith