Hoboken is a wonderful city of diversity and contrasts. We are life-long residents and newcomers, white collar and blue collar workers, tenants and property owners. For the most part, we live peacefully in a mile square city on the waterfront.
As I have stated many times, I have and I will meet with representatives of all responsible community groups to share their ideas and concepts as we broaden our mission of making Hoboken an even more wonderful place to live. This is especially important today as we embark on our first Master Plan in 16 years. This Master plan is more than a development map for our city, but an economic plan to guide all aspects of municipal strategy. Public input is paramount in the development of this plan.
Therefore, I was dismayed to learn this week that Councilman Tony Soares was running to the media in an attempt to discredit inclusionary government by characterizing a meeting I had with the Mile Square Taxpayers Association as "a slap in the face to the citizen participation Mayor Roberts promised."
The ex-council president, in his statement, describes his personal objection to this group, implies that they will have preferential treatment in the implementation of a new Master Plan and suggests I should "come clean" about a shift in planning policy.
Mr. Soares is completely misguided in his characterization of this organization's ability to shape political influence, and presents a twisted spin on my desire to meet with diverse community groups simply to suit his own political agenda. In pursuing input on the Master Plan, why doesn't Mr. Soares issue statements on meetings with Hoboken Common Sense, the Hoboken Family Alliance, Fund a Better Waterfront, St. Mary Hospital, the Hoboken Clergy Coalition, the YMCA, representatives of public and private schools, not to mention scores of individuals seeking a voice in government.
I am surprised and saddened that Mr. Soares would "cherry pick" from the list of community groups who I met with to bolster his opposition of my administration through a self-serving public relations campaign. I do not necessarily agree with, but I am committed to listening to all voices. As we prepare the Master Plan, we have already had one community meeting, to which the Mile Square Taxpayers Association, as well as over a dozen other community groups, were invited. We are going to be listening to seniors, to young adults, to renters and property owners.
In early September we will hold a meeting for the members of the Chamber of Commerce.
The Master Plan process is slow, as to ensure complete community input. I am disappointed that Mr. Soares sees fit to place his agenda over that of all the citizens of Hoboken.
Mayor David Roberts