As community members in the city of Hoboken and as citizens of this nation, we are at a very critical juncture in the evolution of democracy.
A few years ago, when Hurricane Katrina struck, the response of the federal government was slow and ineffective. They seemed remarkably indifferent while the bodies of innocent men, women and children were floating in the streets of New Orleans. This week the same federal government, with trillions of taxpayer dollars, came swiftly to the rescue of financial institutions that failed as a result of their own mismanagement and greed. Something is wrong.
When individuals inside City Hall can conduct their personal business without regard for the same ordinance, regulation and process that the rest of us are subject to, something is wrong.
When affordable housing units are made available only to those in the employ of the city and not to other deserving Hoboken families who otherwise qualify, something is wrong.
These are indications of a government that benefits the few at the expense of the many. These sorts of things did not start with Mayor Roberts – although he seems to have perfected the art. They are systemic problems that have for too long been a part of the culture of government. And, they are merely the tip of the iceberg. At this defining moment in time, with unprecedented prices at the gas pump and grocery store, the diminishing equity in our homes and the plummeting value of our savings, we can no longer tolerate favoritism and government excess. The hard earned dollars of taxpayers that fill the coffers of government must be treated with reverence.
I am appealing to the Mayor, the council, the DCA, God, the Mafia, and the Dalai Lama, anyone with the capacity to influence Hoboken’s fiscal health. The time has come to use your full powers to purge our great city of special interests, cronyism, greed, excess and mismanagement – and start us on the pathway to a new model of democratic government. It is, after all, what you are supposed to be doing.