Wednesday night’s City Council meeting demonstrated the raw emotions breaking our City apart. A concerned resident, Donna Antonucci, had her attempt to express her ideas quickly deteriorate into a shouting match with Councilwoman La Bruno. I appreciate that Councilwoman LaBruno publicly apologized. But I hope that in the future our Council President will step in sooner to ensure that discussions stay civil and proceed in an orderly way. Ms. Antonucci should not have been asked to leave the Council Chambers.
It is the City Council’s responsibility to listen to ideas and positions from all sides, and then make the most informed decisions possible. Perhaps, the Chair of the Public Safety committee should follow Councilman Ramos’s lead on Church Towers, and hold productive subcommittee meetings where both sides can discuss the issues face to face sitting together at a table.
Hoboken cannot allow this crisis to rip our town apart. As we reflect on Wednesday night’s meeting, we must all work to move beyond our own self interest. We’ve got to think about this crisis as a fire in our City. Just as we volunteer, donate or work our hardest as public safety officials to help victims in a disaster without thinking twice, we each have to give of ourselves to get through this financial disaster. We all have to give up something to get through this crisis.
Hoboken taxpayers from the born and raised to the newcomers have all sacrificed with the 84 percent tax increase. This tax increase strikes everyone and we all must work together to reduce the tax burden.
Hopefully at the February 4th Council meeting, the City Council will pass the measures I introduced earlier this month to reduce our Council salaries, the mayor’s salary and directors salaries to establish premium health insurance co-pays for the City Council. We must tighten our belts to get through this crisis. Instead of attacking and blaming one another, we elected and city officials have to ask ourselves what we can give up to help Hoboken not only survive, but thrive. This town’s a gem, as one member of the public stated. Now let’s all do what we can to protect our gem and make it shine.
4th Ward Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer