HOBOKEN – The issue of layoffs in Hoboken could rear its ugly head once more if the City Council doesn’t pass a parking agreement at a special Saturday meeting on Oct. 15 and a bond refinance agreement for the Midtown garage on Oct. 19, Mayor Dawn Zimmer told the council in a memo sent on Oct. 14.
“It is important that every City Council member fully understand the ramifications of these matters for our city, its residents and its employees,” Zimmer said in the Oct. 14 memo. “If the Parking Agreement, requiring 5 votes, and the bond refinance, requiring 6 votes, are not passed, then unfortunately the city will be forced to begin implementing layoffs immediately.”
Zimmer has called for a special meeting of the City Council for Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. to address the parking agreement.
Five votes are needed for the parking agreement to pass on Saturday morning, and six votes are necessary for the bond refinance to pass at the Wednesday council meeting. Zimmer currently has five allies on the council, meaning she needs to convince one of her council foes to vote for the bond ordinance.
The only issue on the agenda for Saturday is a vote on an ordinance “to authorize the leasing of municipal property in accordance with the ‘parking access agreement,” according to a memo from Zimmer to the clerk’s office. The agreement would essentially allow the new owners of Hoboken University Medical Center to use the city-owned parking garage for their employees.
The bond refinance agreement would change the status of the bonds for the Midtown garage from tax-exempt to taxable bonds, since the property will now be used by a for-profit entity, HUMC Holdco, which is in the process of purchasing the hospital from the city.
Zimmer said layoffs will happen if the council doesn’t vote to support the two measures.
“Yesterday we advised the Police Chief, Fire Chief and Public Safety union leaders that the city will be forced to do at least a 10 percent cut across the board for all employees, including Public Safety, if the council does not approve the refinancing of the Midtown garage bond or we cannot get favorable changes to the agreement that address the bond issue,” Zimmer said in a memo on Oct. 14. For more, keep reading HudsonReporter.com. -- Ray Smith