Financial solutions for Hoboken, Part 1

Dear Editor:

In response to both Mayor Roberts, self-paid, full page ads July 13 and August 3 issues of the Hoboken Reporter and the proceedings of the last two City Council meetings.

Regarding our city’s current fiscal sickness, we the residents need to be much more vocal and hold our elected representatives accountable since they can’t be trusted to run our city. With the wings of our City Council recently clipped, with the Council and the Mayor’s office under the watchful eye and guidance of NJ’s Department of Community Affairs can we be hopeful or trusting that “they” collectively will do right by us or will there be more reckless decisions made. Will life in Hoboken be challenged, will Hoboken’s once great reputation be restored, and will our property values be affected? Many questions on residents’ minds.

Alarming and even reckless is the initial step City Hall took sending letters to city workers whose jobs are at risk. Sounds pretty caulis, downsizing plans across all areas of city services. Perhaps our elected leaders should consider the downside of such actions. Perhaps Hoboken is over staffed, all departments should first be examined and a downside analysis of staff reductions conducted.

Before City Hall considers placing all their cost reduction ideas into one basket, perhaps they should look through a fresh “lens” and look at the whole picture.

Here are three suggestions in this Part 1 of a Part 2 letter:

Situation 1: Did we really need the new fleet of police SUV cruisers? Didn’t Hoboken recently replace the old fleet of white cruisers 3-4 years ago? Did they consider the cost implications of these vehicles, maintenance and insurance, not to mention the added gas consumption costs.

Solution: Cost friendly and environmentally friendly modes of safe transport such as: electric carts – similar to those used by the Transit police at NY Penn Station, same type of motorized carts the parking utility use, bicycles and more foot patrols.

Situation 2: The same applies to the Office of Construction, building inspectors, why should the taxpayers pay for automobiles for the city’s building inspectors?

Solution: Implement similar modes of replacement transport plus good ole healthy foot as well as NJ Transit who provides wonderful bus service in Hoboken.

Situation 3: Tough choices need to be made, rather than downright layoffs; perhaps the city negotiates contract changes with the unions in an effort towards retaining as many jobs as possible.

Solution: Concessions in benefits, perhaps city workers, like those of us in the private sector, help cover the cost of healthcare premiums, renegotiate with health insurance carrier(s) to adjust co-pay levels and prescription drug coverage. Smart tradeoffs could help retain more jobs and preserve a positive level of city services.

See a future issue for two more solutions to share with our City Council and Mayor.

Brian Wagner
Concerned resident/home owner


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