When I was elected to the school board in April, it was because the voters of Hoboken believed that I was ready, willing and able to change the culture of cronyism, overspending and mediocre results that had overtaken our school system.
The voters understood that I wasn't a lawyer, but that I was capable of working with my fellow Kids First members on the board to hire one of the best education lawyers in the state to analyze the bloated contracts that have been handed out over the years. They knew I wouldn't just say yes to union demands; they knew I would want serious givebacks. They knew I wouldn't continue to allow our administrators to get away with "good enough" when the goal should be excellence.
I am asking the voters who elected me and the Kids First team in a landslide to vote for Dawn Zimmer for mayor. She has that same backbone and desire to put Hoboken on the path to fiscal responsibility and honest government. She has the intestinal fortitude to say what her opponent won't: 80 percent of the city's budget goes to personnel and the only way to cut the budget is to cut jobs and benefits. She doesn't pretend that there aren't major problems on the horizon with the city-owned Hoboken University Medical Center. She understands that boneheaded moves such as spending millions of dollars to buy 1600 Park Ave. to use for playing fields, and then letting the land lay vacant for years and years, only makes people cynical about our politicians.
To be sure, we don't see eye to eye on every issue. But on the most important issue we firmly agree: Hoboken desperately needs a mayor with the guts to speak the truth.
Like Dawn, I didn't grow up here, but we each have two kids who are Hoboken through and through. We've chosen to make our home in this wonderful city and we've chosen to spend a considerable amount of each and every day fighting to make it a better place for everyone who lives here. Some people see us as "militant moms" who don't know our place. We've been told over and over to leave the heavy lifting to the good-old boys down at City Hall.
Well, no more. They've had their chance. I expect the voters of Hoboken to hold the Kids First team to their campaign vow to provide our students with better schools and to do it for much less money. As a voter, I intend to hold Dawn to her promise to ignore the special interests and do what's right for all the people of Hoboken. And to do it for much less money.