Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dave Mello on Hoboken's SW Park

Here is a note from At Large Councilman Dave Mello on progress with respect to the Southwest Park in Hoboken......

Dear Hoboken Friends and Neighbors,

I am very pleased to announce that the City officially requested that $3,000,000 of open space acquisition money, which Hoboken had previously received from Hudson County's Open Space Trust Fund, be reprogrammed to our southwest neighborhood this afternoon. This means that, if approved by the County, our City will have $3,000,000 in additional funding available to make a southwest park a reality.

Last night, our City Council had a healthy debate over how best to show the Council's resolve to purchase parkland in the southwest. I'm proud to say that we affirmatively voted to show that determination, by passing a resolution demonstrating this Council's commitment to provide the administration with all the tools necessary to hold productive, good-faith negotiations with southwest property owners. I'd like to thank my council colleagues who joined me in voting to support this resolution, and additionally thank all of my colleagues for engaging in a healthy, thoughtful debate on the issue.

In addition to a $20,000,000 bonding commitment, which the Council made months ago for park space acquisition, this $3,000,000 will further provide the administration with a significant funding source as they negotiate with property owners in the southwest for land acquisition. Please be assured, I will always advocate that the administration only make offers on property that are fiscally responsible offers for our taxpayers. I have full faith that our administration will continue to demonstrate such responsibility as they go on with negotiations. Park space acquisition is a must for our community, particularly in the southwest. However, we will not unjustly enrich property owners, at the expense of our taxpayers, as we pursue this highly needed public benefit.

The fight for the creation of a southwest park has been a long, ongoing effort. Hoboken took a big step toward winning this fight by passing the resolution that the Council did last night, and by the administration's request that these acquisition funds be reprogrammed to the southwest today. The creation of a southwest park is a massive goal for Hoboken, but one that we will successfully achieve by working together.

- Dave Mello
Hoboken City Councilman at Large ◦