Occhipinti is backed on the slate by council candidates Frank Raia, a local businessman and commissioner for the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, Peter Biancamano, a school board member, and Britney Montgomery-Cook, a special education teacher.
According to an advertisement placed in last weekend’s Hoboken Reporter, the slate is attempting to unite old and new residents to a common goal of improving the city.
“Hoboken’s current political climate is too divided and detrimental to our city,” says the ad. “Whether you were lucky enough to be born here or smart enough to move here, it’s time to come together as one Hoboken and end this tale of two cities.”
Several of the slate’s ideas, namely installing three flood pumps to curb flooding, have already been voiced by the Zimmer and Ramos campaigns, although the slate did announce several ideas that were unique to election season thus far. These included posting the city’s budgets online well before adoption in an effort to increase transparency, and appointing a “taxpayers’ watchdog” to analyze Board of Ed. and county budgets. The campaign did not say whether the person would be part time or full time.
The slate also said it planned to improve quality of life by repairing broken street lights, cleaning sidewalks, and resurfacing roads throughout town damaged by potholes.
Recently, opponent Ruben Ramos criticized Occhipinti, saying that the councilman is complicit in the type of City Hall stagnancy that inspired Ramos’ campaign.
“I don’t think that Councilman Occhipinti’s record on the council, that he’s only compiled over three years, is much to speak of,” he said a few weeks ago, also naming Zimmer in his condemnation of city hall’s alleged deadlock. “Nothing is progressing in City Hall, and they’re both part of the problem.”
Zimmer recently avoided criticizing Occhipinti, and touted her own slate, which is made up of incumbent council members David Mello and Ravi Bhalla, and newcomer Jim Doyle.
“I am proud of my administration's accomplishments on parks, cutting taxes, saving our hospital and restoring integrity to City Hall,” she said in a statement. “This is only the beginning of what voters can expect from Jim Doyle, Ravi Bhalla, David Mello and me as we continue to lead Hoboken forward." – Dean DeChiaro