Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mayor Zimmer Endorsed Candidates Support Parks Plan

Here is a joint press release from the coalition of City Council candidates on open space and tonight's City Council meeting...


In anticipation of tomorrow's City Council meeting, the 6 candidates running with Mayor Zimmer's endorsement have come out strong for her Parks plan.

"The people of Hoboken want more parks, they need more parks, and there is no excuse for standing in the way of the Mayor's $20M parks proposal," said 1st Ward Candidate Eric Kurta. In Hoboken's first State of the City address, Mayor Dawn Zimmer outlined an ambitious plan to acquire more park space with a concentration on the underserved western neighborhoods through bonding, but Councilmembers Theresa Castellano, Mike Russo, Tim Occhipinti, and Nino Giacchi voted against it.

The dissenting councilmembers have been claiming there are leftover funds that need to be returned to taxpayers, a claim which seems hypocritical considering the need for additional park space. "So long as kids have to practice soccer at night, we need more parks and playing fields for our children" said 2nd ward candidate Tom Greaney. "We need to ensure that all residents of Hoboken have access to open space and are able to enjoy our city". "Parks are an important quality of life issue for Hoboken residents. Making the city more family friendly is part of the reason I'm running," said 6th Ward Candidate Jennifer Giattino.

"The City Council behaved like a circus at the last meeting. Trying to table the bill so that the majority could wait on their poll results shows a lack of real leadership and vision," said 3rd Ward candidate Greg Lincoln.

The bond ordinance comes up for another vote at Wednesday's council meeting, and council majority members have indicated they will switch their votes to pass it. "I am glad the Mayor's Parks plan will pass, but if our councilmembers had been more knowledgeable about the law and their responsibilities, they would have supported the ordinance from the beginning," said 4th Ward candidate Rami Pinchevsky.

The ordinance passed the first reading, but not with the 6 votes necessary to pass it at tomorrow's second reading. Mayor Zimmer recently met with the council majority to talk about her proposed Parks ordinance. "I spoke to them about what the law requires for bonding and the legislation as it was proposed. When they realized that this ordinance was a necessary step before specific park sites could be brought before the council, they came around," said Mayor Zimmer. ◦