Last year Hoboken faced fiscal revelations forcing municipal taxes up almost 80 per cent. Last June we experienced a heated and sometimes divisive Mayoral election which was decided by just 161 votes. Last July the winner in that election resigned his office – following his arrest for political corruption. When I stepped up to serve as Acting Mayor I knew full well there was a lot of work to do. Not only did we have a fiscal crisis to deal with, we also faced a crisis of trust.
From my first days as Acting Mayor, I’ve met with as many of our City workers as I could, to start to rebuild that trust. At the first City Council Meeting after I took office, I joined with my Council colleagues to fulfill a promise and transfer the power to make appointments to the Zoning Board from the Mayor to the City Council. This move greatly reduced a Mayor’s ability to improperly influence critically important land use decisions.
I’ve been working hard, in close cooperation with State Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi, to develop a budget that is honest, complete, gimmick-free, fully-funded and provides the most tax relief possible. Righting our fiscal ship is a difficult and ongoing process. As Ms. Tripodi has confirmed, we anticipate that the 2010 budget will include a tax cut.
If elected to a full-term as Mayor, I will continue to work my hardest to ensure that our government delivers to its citizens the quality of life they deserve in an efficient, cost effective way with as low a tax rate as possible.
Much has been accomplished in the past few months, but there is so much more to do. I ask for your vote on November 3rd. Together we can build a bright future for the City we all love.