Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer released the results of a state police audit Monday, which calls for 46 to 56 police officers to lose their jobs and for the city to reevaluate the position of public safety director. The report also asked the city to consider extending the work hours of the officer and using civilians for certain functions within the police department.
The recommendation would be for 46 to 56 police officers to be cut, roughly one third of the force.
Because of budget issues, the city asked the state to do audits of the police and fire departments last year. Zimmer just received the final draft of the police audit.
The city and state-appointed fiscal monitor will now decide what, if anything, to do about the conclusions in the audit. The city is currently negotiating its police contract.
Gov freezes state UEZ funds
Gov. Christopher Christie has told municipalities that he intends to drain the Urban Enterprise Zone accounts to help balance the state budget. Normally, cities who have a state-designated UEZ get to charge 3.5 percent sales tax. Then, some of the tax from the zones is returned to Urban Enterprise Zone boards to be used to help clean streets, advertise local businesses, or even help pay the salary of police and fire people in those zones.
“It is our understanding that the governor has frozen expenditures and intends to use any uncommitted funds for the state budget,” said Bayonne City Business Administrator Terrence Malloy.
He said Bayonne is currently waiting to see how much the state will return to the city if any, after which the local board will have to determine what projects can be funded this year.
“We’re going to have to settle for what they give us and repriotorize the expenditure of the rest,” he said.
Jersey City has both a UEZ and an SID, a Special Improvement District. Hoboken lacks a UEZ. Several other area towns, like North Bergen, Union City, and West New York, have a UEZ.
Former JC council candidate Serrano charged with mail fraud
A federal grand jury on Thursday returned a superseding Indictment against former Jersey City council candidate Lori Serrano.
Serrano was one of the 44 people arrested on July 23 in the federal government public corruption and money laundering case. Serrano was charged with allegedly accepting $10,000 in bribes from government informant Solomon Dwek to use for her City Council campaign. Serrano pleaded not guilty to the first charge in December.
The superseding indictment adds a second charge of mail fraud, charging that Serrano allegedly concealed from her joint campaign committee that she had received $10,000 from Dwek, and allegedly used the money to pay for campaign and other personal expenses. It also alleges that Serrano did not disclose in her joint campaign committee’s ELEC report filed on April 22, 2009 that she had received $5,000 in cash from Dwek on or about March 30, 2009.
Judge remands River Road mall decision to freeholders
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mark Baber decided Friday that the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders should consider an appeal made my opponents of a proposed strip mall that would be carved into the
bottom of the Palisades hills on River Road.
Baber said that under state statutes, the freeholders have a responsibility to consider the activist group’s appeal and either render a decision, reject the appeal, or remand it to the Hudson County Planning Board, which approved the controversial project on June 17. They granted a hardship variance to the developers, Avak Properties and U&G Development.
He said that after the Coalition to Preserve the Palisades requested a public hearing with the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders as an aggrieved party to the board’s decision, the freeholders did nothing, not even passing a resolution to reject their hearing, which he said they were obligated under state law to do.
During the Friday hearing, Hudson County Freeholder Attorney Edward Florio said that he did not provide the board with counsel on that decision.
Baber said that the freeholders have 45 days from today consider the appeal, and then 30 days to render a decision.
However, the developers can continue to remove rocks until a new decision is made.
A lawsuit was filed by the CPPC on Oct.15, 2009 against the developers,
the Hudson County Planning Board, and the Chosen Freeholders.
The developers would like to build three stores - a Walgreen's, a Bank of America, and a coffee shop.
Jesse Jackson to give HCCC graduation speech
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Founder and President of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and one of the most famous leaders of America’s current civil rights movement, has been engaged to speak at the graduation of Hudson County Community College’s Class of 2010. The College’s Commencement exercises are scheduled to take place on the evening of Thursday, May 27, 2010 in the Prudential Hall at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ.
Child advocate volunteers needed
Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is currently in need of child advocates, who represent the interests of abused and neglected children in court.
CASA works through trained community volunteers to insure that services and assistance are made available to children while helping them find safe and permanent homes.
An Information session regarding the program and the role of its volunteers will be held on Tuesday, March 9 from 6 to 7 p.m. in Room # 901 at the Hudson County Administration Building at 595 Newark Avenue, Jersey City.
Hudson County has more than 750 children in foster care, many of whom were removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.
For more information, call (201) 795-9855, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.