On November 3rd, Hoboken makes a far-reaching choice: Do we keep moving forward with Mayor Dawn Zimmer as she addresses the problems of the past and begins to rebuild trust in government, or revert back to the failed practices, old school politics and well justified lack of trust of years past? The situation is critical.
Hoboken’s now paying the price for years of financial mismanagement which led to state monitoring. Our Fiscal Monitor and Director of Finance are very competent professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to get our books in order. But without the smoke and mirrors and abused “one-shot” budget items that we’ve long relied on, the impact on taxpayers has been brutal. We’re now in a precarious position, facing the need to deliver a responsible budget and to meet the benchmarks required to release ourselves from state supervision.
Adopting a successful city budget starts with completing union negotiations that are fair to both workers and those who pay the bills. Dawn Zimmer is the third mayor in five months to direct these negotiations and is ready to lead them to a successful conclusion. She recognizes the exemplary commitment of Hoboken’s municipal and public safety personnel, but also recognizes fiscal reality, and the stark economics forcing taxpayers out of Hoboken – both young and old.
Since taking office less than three months ago Dawn Zimmer has taken the lead in easing the city’s burden on the taxpayer. She cut her own salary 10 per cent and those of all Directors as well. She has ended longevity pay for the Director positions, a move which, down the road, can save tens of thousands of dollars. And Mayor Zimmer has a long track record of standing up to PILOT arrangements that are unfair and inequitable to a vast number of taxpayers. She has begun reorganizing government in an effort to produce efficiencies and lower the overall budget, and supports forensic audits to continue to uncover potential fraudulent activities.
Although it cannot be done overnight, the progress is transparent and beyond expectations in a short period of time. Mayor Zimmer’s approach is simple: no political games, hardnosed negotiations, transparency to the constituents and the truth on where we stand financially. Mayor Zimmer is the leader we need today, unafraid to expose and confront the ugly truths, and tackle our big problems head-on. Consider: In a few short months, Mayor Zimmer has steered through bizarre and unprecedented circumstances to get our city back on track and “into the black.” In my opinion, Mayor Zimmer deserves to finish this job, one started long before her responsibilities as Acting Mayor. As I see it, our city cannot afford anyone else at the helm.
Of course, we have the freedom to decide, however, I encourage you to join me in supporting Dawn Zimmer on Nov 3rd, and vote 11H (H for Hoboken) and Dawn Zimmer for Mayor.
5th Ward Councilman