The ongoing battle over the proposed Monarch development in The Shipyard has become less a debate over the merits of the project and more a disheartening reminder that local politics hasn’t changed at all. The administration that was supposed to usher in a new era of honesty, transparency and integrity has instead adopted a strategy of selectively sidestepping local ordinances, deliberately disregarding court rulings and needlessly spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on outside legal fees. Sound familiar?
Now we find ourselves embattled in yet another lawsuit leading Mayor Zimmer to successfully petition the City Council for an additional $100,000 to fight the development which, according to a recent article in the Hoboken Reporter, brings the total amount promised to one law firm to $340,000. That number is likely a fraction of what has been spent in total.
With that in mind, my questions are simple:
1. Why hasn’t the City followed its own ordinances and legal procedures with respect to this proposed development?
2. How much of our taxpayer dollars have been spent in total fighting this development which apparently has the law on its side?
3. Does Mayor Zimmer have an open-ended checkbook to challenge Monarch?
This is not a question of supporting or opposing this particular development, but a reasonable inquiry of the administration’s tactics. Let’s hope that we haven’t become so desensitized to the questionable actions of our political leaders that we’re willing to look the other way, even if we support the cause. Otherwise, it’s just business as usual in Hoboken.