This past weekend marked my son's last "home" travel soccer game. It led me to reminisce about the past few years. For those who don't know, older Hoboken kids play their "home" games in Weehawken (thanks to the generosity of Mayor Turner). We play there because Hoboken does not have the field space to accommodate these games. It has been almost 4 years since Sinatra field collapsed; that's 4 full seasons for a 14 year old who won't get that time back. 1600 Park was touted by Mayor Zimmer in her State of the City Address in 2011 as the “next big park to come online.”
Now the Mayor is asking the Council to approve change orders because the lights are going to cost more due to proximity to water and gas lines. It is inexcusable that this problem is just coming to light now. If they had been constructing the park while waiting for the traffic signal, perhaps it would have been ready to open as soon as the traffic light is operational. We have waited 2 years, and the Park is not ready.
Elysian Park has received Open Space funding from the State with the help of Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr. for upgrades, but other than two community meetings there has been no action to get the work underway. Our kids are waiting for the basketball court to be leveled and upgraded, and dog owners are waiting for the drain in the dog run to be fixed. Summer break is already starting, and the Park is not ready.
After a year of an opaque process, the Zimmer Administration must now make a higher offer for land in southwest Hoboken for the long-promised 4th Ward park. Last year, politicians and activists warned the public that Mayor Zimmer was handling the negotiations poorly, and most likely the City would end up unnecessarily paying much more for park land. Mayor Zimmer went ahead with her own agenda, putting the taxpayer on the hook for more legal expenses and a much higher purchase price for one block of land. For a Mayor who claims to be transparent, she has not provided the public with any information regarding the true cost of Block 12 which is less than one acre; not even close to the contiguous 6-acre “SW6” park that then Councilwoman and now Mayor Zimmer has promised for six(!) years.
Continued flooding remains a pervasive quality of life issue. I expect we will make some headway here as Assemblyman Ramos introduced legislation for the funding of the 2nd flood pump. Mayor Zimmer neglected to mention this in her recent letter. Perhaps she was too busy this week.
Candidate, City Council At Large