I have always viewed an endorsement as an act of self aggrandizement. After all who am I to tell anyone who to vote for? But we will get to that. First let me backup and mention that I was all set to run as an independent candidate for freeholder this June. This year’s $8,000,000.00 tax increase will do that to you.
While I have run for local office without my employer’s input, I decided to mention my plans to enter county politics. Now, I work for a small firm that is aggressively perusing contracts and partnerships on both sided of the river and I reached the horns of a dilemma when my employer strongly suggested that my candidacy might not be in his best interest while my children assured me of their need for my continued employment. So, for this would be candidate, discretion was removing my name from the June 3, 2014 ballot.
Since withdrawing I have spoken to both Phil Cohen and Anthony Romano about the issues this election presents. Phil states that he is on the county line and is endorsed by both Mayors Zimmer and Fulop. Phil sees the county budget as bloated and in need of “reform” through a top to bottom performance audit. When speaking of the city property revaluation, Phil sees it as a positive, comparing it to the progressive Income tax system. He goes on to alluded to the wealth of Hoboken property owner which the revaluation demonstrates.
Romano, pines for the comfort of the county line, sees the county budget as somewhat prudent but not worth his vote, views the county tax rate as an inherent problem with the state equalization formula which this years revaluation exacerbated. He also speaks of his achievements in obtaining funding for Hoboken projects, most notably $3,000,000.00 for South West Park.
Phil, speaks of this year’s 15 percent county tax increase, bringing Hoboken’s tax liability to close to $60,000,000.00, as if it occurred in a vacuum; not a direct result of the city’s tax revaluation. Romano suggests unheeded conversations he initiated with Mayor Zimmer concerning the consequence of the revaluation.
Phil’s acceptance of the “revaluation” is unsettling. Sure it must be done by state statue, but usually it is the product of a court order. No city voluntarily “revals”, in fact no other Hudson County city has “revaled” within the last six year. Upon reviewing the effects on Hoboken’s, Jersey City, indefinitely postponed plans for that city’s revaluation.
Romano alleges multiple attempts to change the funding formula were stymied by divergent interests and implies that no Zimmer surrogate can cure the tax increase brought on by the revaluation. Phil has yet to grasp that Hoboken is liable for a fixed 20 percent of the county budget, therefore his auditor would have to find $40,000,000.00 in savings to negate this year’s $8,000,000.00 tax increase.
Romano, is raging against the machine that made him. Cohen is following a path set by the master of ceremony of Zimmer’s first inauguration.
Romano has done a credible job as freeholder and when elected has more to prove. So for what it’s worth, I am giving my vote to Anthony Romano.
Thank you for your many courtesies,