As the most dynamic section of Hoboken, The Fourth Ward is a wonderfully diverse area. Our residents have stories that date back to the great depression and as a recent as yesterday’s newborn. The challenges we face in improving the quality of life for seniors, HHA residents, children and newcomers are not new. In fact, our neighborhood has had a long history of neglect and selfish political deal making that has compromised our prospects for growth and development in the best interest of our residents.
Today, Hoboken’s Fourth Ward is a better place to live, play and do business. Under my leadership and through my advocacy efforts, streets that haven’t been paved in 20 years have now been paved. We have received funding for a streetscape project that was completed at the request of the original southwest parks coalition, and traffic-calming devices have been added to help provide greater safety for our area of town. Yet, we still haven’t received parity with the other wards.
In order to truly transform our neighborhood into a destination place, we must take a comprehensive approach to the future of development. As the Councilman of the Fourth Ward, it has been my position that Hoboken should not be developed through the use of variances, but through ordinance. Working together we can address the issues related to traffic, flooding, lack of adequate park space, lack of affordable housing and our need for retail opportunities. The Southwest Redevelopment Plan represents our best opportunity to address these issues in a manner that looks toward the future without burdening our residents with debt they cannot bear. By simply working together we could improve the plan. To oppose something and propose nothing may be savvy campaigning, but it’s irresponsible leadership.
At my request, the City Council has twice voted to table adoption of this plan to ensure that all of our neighbor’s recommendations are considered. After receiving a call from the President of the Southwest Parks coalition, we have agreed to meet with the organization and its planners to strengthen the language and ensure that the plan is right for all of us.
Once adopted the Plan will thoughtfully and comprehensively addresses storm water issues, affordable housing, circulation and streetscape improvements, green and environmentally friendly design, as well as a 4-acre park that will provide a sustainable positive impact for our neighborhood. Most importantly, the plan will be paid for by developers, not taxpayers.
Our community needs the kind of leadership that understands politics, process, and procedure. I have demonstrated a proven ability to get projects funded without burdening the taxpayers, deal with the myriad institutions necessary to complete a project of this magnitude, and see issues through to Council approval. Criticism is the easy, but it has never been a viable solution. On May 8th, I ask the residents to vote 1A.
Very truly yours,