I am writing in response to a recent letter in your paper attacking Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer as a failure.
What has changed since Mayor Zimmer took office? Everything has changed!
Four years ago, Dawn Zimmer narrowly lost her bid for mayor against Peter J. Cammarano by 161 votes. Cammarano was arrested by the FBI for corruption and money laundering, pled guilty and was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison. He was only mayor for 31 days. It was a local and a national disgrace. Ms. Zimmer was sworn in as Hoboken’s first female mayor on November 6, 2009 after winning a special election to fill the remainder of Cammarano’s term. Compared to Cammarano, Dawn Zimmer is a hero. That, for starters, is a huge change!
Dawn Zimmer has been a breath of fresh air against the pollution of corruption and “old guard” politicians in our city, county and state that I have witnessed since moving to Hoboken in 1990. It’s not an easy job and she’s not perfect, but I have been very impressed with Mayor Zimmer, especially with her leadership during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
What have been described as “useless robo calls” to residents provided me and my neighbors with helpful information in advance of these storms, allowing us to prepare, move our cars to higher ground and/or evacuate. These phone messages, along with Hoboken’s presence on hobokennj.org, Nixle, Facebook and Twitter are all part of living in the modern era. With Sandy, our city suffered a disaster unlike any other. Some residents and businesses are still suffering from the aftereffects, but I sincerely believe that Mayor Zimmer had our backs before, during and after the storm and continues to do all she can to help those in need.
Mayor Zimmer was an outstanding voice for Hoboken during a time of crisis and helped bring national attention not only to our city but to all of New Jersey, and she continues to do so. She was recently among a panel of experts featured on PBS’ Superstorm Sandy: A Live Town Hall, and often appears in News 12 segments. I don’t see this as using the media to “disguise a lackluster tenure”. I see this as doing her job. The local and national media seek her out because she’s the mayor of Hoboken. She’s smart and knows what she’s talking about. She brings national attention and credibility to our city and to our state, as evidenced by recent visits by Governor Christie, President Obama, and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
I am a very positive, optimistic person by nature. Some people are not and choose to focus on the negative. But there’s always hope that the divisions in our city government can put aside their differences and work together. I believe that what we have in common is that we love Hoboken and want the best for our city.