Even though we’ve hopefully seen the last of this winter’s snow, it’s still heartening to see our mayor throw us a bone and speak of a “new approach” to snow removal. Of course given the administration’s late winter change in their community email messages (hoisting more of the responsibility of snow removal to the backs of residents) this “new approach” may not be to anyone’s liking outside City Hall.
Perhaps this strategy of officially relieving City Hall from any snow removal responsibilities, coupled with the recent salary increase for the director of environmental services (ES) is simply a plan to better attract the sixth ES director since Mayor Zimmer took office. Or perhaps Leo Pellegrini is tired of looking after both human services and environmental services after two years. Hard to say given the mayor’s amateurish management style and ability to only deal with one matter at a time. We never heard snow removal issues during previous administrations, but that was before political expediency replaced public service.
I digress, what about the ES director? In October 2009, PSE&G saddled Hoboken (and the rest of northern NJ) with new streetlights that meet no lighting standard whatsoever and left our streets and sidewalks increasingly less visible and safe at night.
Using Hoboken streetlight inventory documents from PSE&G (courtesy of Director John Pope before Zimmer replaced him), I was able to develop a plan that would significantly improve Hoboken’s street lighting at one third the current cost. I’ve attempted to review the plan countless times to the various ES directors, council members, the council public safety committee, even the mayor since 2009 but the Administration has barely been able to give lip service to this outreach.
I appreciate that the administration has involved me in the initial studies to improve Washington Street’s horrible street lighting after dismissing this years ago that a fix would be prohibitively expensive. We’ll see how that goes but meanwhile the lighting in the other 90 percent of Hoboken remains poor due to the administration’s inaction. Snow removal is over, they should be ready for the next task.