Financial solutions for Hoboken, Part II

Dear Editor:

In continuation… in response to both Mayor Roberts, self-paid, full page ads in the July 13th and August 3rd issues of the Hoboken Reporter and the last two City Council meetings regarding our city’s current fiscal sickness.

Before City Hall considers placing all their cost reduction ideas into one staff and service downsizing basket, perhaps they should look through a fresh “lens” and consider some low hanging cost cutting measures as well as begin smarter spending. Here are two additional suggestions to my Part 1 letter to the editor and the community…

Situation 4: Employee benefit programs, which have become “entitlements” are costing this city and the taxpayers dearly.

Solution: Perhaps some tradeoffs could be negotiated regarding benefits, those of us in the private sector can’t bank nor carry over sick days year after year; these days simply expire, use or lose them. They are a privilege, not an entitlement.

Situation 5: Why do we continue to give our city away to developers? Why is the Mayor’s Office negotiating ridiculous 10+ year property tax incentive deals to developers?

Solution: If City Hall feels that Hoboken is not desirable enough for developers and that healthy profits can’t be realized then perhaps something is very wrong. At the very least, consider making changes similar to what is going on in parts of Jersey City and start offering 5 year tax incentive deals if any. On average same property homeownership is only 5-7 years; stop giving our town away for short term gains.

On the flip side, what is the city doing to smartly raise revenue. By this I don’t mean continual increases of licensing and permit fees or increasing of recycling fees to store owners or adding more parking meters in commercial areas as all of these are deterrents that will result in a negative impact for our city. Charge more to those who break the law, endanger our citizens and those that present a drain on city services.

Possible considerations:

1. When was the last time the city compared parking and moving violation ticket fines to those in neighboring New York City.

2. Consider deploying the ticketing agents at off-peak times, such as 11 p.m. or midnight Fri-Sun and again at 6 a.m. weekdays, all the motorists who illegally park their cars in crosswalks, within 25 ft. of the curbs, most likely would yield a significant increase in parking fine revenues to the city.

3. A sore point, but tough decisions in hard times, maybe it’s time for property revaluations, last done in 1988.

To our elected representatives, start being accountable, no more finger pointing, work as a team, starting making the tough but smart choices for the long term rather than more short term fixes and think through both the upside and downside to each of your cost cutting decisions; work to get Hoboken back on track to fiscal health.

Brian Wagner
Concerned resident/home owner


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