HOBOKEN --The City Council will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to vote on a measure that could change the way council meetings are conducted.
Sponsored by Council President Ravi Bhalla, the resolution includes moving the public portion from the end of the meeting to the near-front end of the agenda.
"This amendment is being proposed because many members of the public who sign up for Public Portion do not have an opportunity to speak because of the length of the meetings," said Bhalla in an open memo.
The resolution also seeks a stricter enforcement of deadline to submit agenda items. Currently, according to a memo from Bhalla, the deadline to submit agenda items is at 4 p.m. on the Thursday preceding a council meeting. However, Bhalla says that items have been submitted well past the deadline. Under the new resolution, only items deemed "urgent in nature" can be heard at a council meeting if they were submitted past the deadline. Items deemed urgent must be accompanied by a written statement before it can be approved for the agenda by the mayor or the City Council.
The resolution would also bar council members from making any additional statements or remarks during the vote.
For more on the proposed changes, see the agenda here.
Housing Authority controversy
The city council could also vote on a resolution to appoint a new commissioner to the Housing Authority. See separate story here at hudsonreporter.com.
Also at the meeting...
An ordinance could be adopted that would authorize eminent domain to acquire two parcels of park land in the fifth and third wards. The ordinance would likely allow the city to use the prospect of eminent domain as a negotiation tool.
The city will also move forward in their attempts to acquire parkland in both the 5th Ward (the northwest section of town) and the 3rd Ward (the center of the west side of town).
The administration would like to acquire the former Henkel/Cognis chemical plant in the northwest section, and the former Pino towing yard.
The ordinance is part of an ongoing measure to acquire park land. An ordinance was adopted in a 5-4 vote at the June 6 meeting that enabled the council to utilize eminent domain to acquire a roughly one-acre stretch of park land in the southwest or fourth ward.
To watch the meeting live here at hudsonreporter.com, click below. For followup coverage, as always, keep watching this site and see this weekend's Hoboken Reporter newspaper. To comment, leave comments at the end of the story or email letters to editorial@Hudsonreporter.com; make sure your phone number and address are included for verification purposes. -Stephen LaMarca
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