Last week, the Reporter inadvertently misquoted Hoboken resident and former Parking Authority Director Donald Pellicano. At a City Council meeting on Feb. 4, Pellicano spoke before a vote on a bond issuance for parking facility improvements. Contrary to what was reported, Pellicano said, “If you own a car in this city, sell it.”

City retirement incentive program

An early retirement incentive program partially enacted by the city last year will most likely put another burden on the strained city budget to the tune of $4.2 million.
The program was enacted with a cost savings projection of roughly $11 million dollars in early 2008, but Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi said last week that she thinks those estimates were flawed.
“I have some reason to believe that everything was not 100 percent factored in,” Tripodi said last Friday.
She said she is still reviewing the situation, and many factors that must be taken into account, like the effect on social security payments and whether the city has already moved to fill the vacated positions.
The city had 24 employees enroll in the first phase of the offering last year, and they will continue to receive their incentive, which was spread out over five years. Another 14 employees who were ready to take advantage of the second phase of the offering by last December were headed off when state raised concerns about the plan. The second phase was not executed and those individuals did not receive any incentive.
Tripodi said she thinks there will be some savings to report after she reviews the information, but when asked if it would be enough to cover the $4.2 million bill sent by the state Division of Pensions this month, she said she did not know yet.

Cammarano announces for mayor

Hoboken City Councilman Peter Cammarano kicked off his mayoral run last week at an announcement ceremony on Washington Street. The election for mayor will take place in May.
Campaign allies, members of the press, and some local residents met at the Frozen Monkey Café Thursday to hear Cammarano lay out his broad outline of a campaign.
Cammarano re-iterated that this year’s state takeover of city finances was avoidable. He contended that the city would have been in better shape if the council had retained control of finances so they could have passed a budget with a much lower tax increase.
Cammarano said he will fill a three-member council-at-large slate to run with him in the coming weeks.
Early polls done by other candidates found little support for Cammarano and even left him out of some of their head-to-head questioning. Cammarano said he is not at all discouraged by those numbers, calling them “worthless data” so far ahead of the election.
His wife, Marita, and young daughter joined him for the announcement.
Cammarano said he will stop practicing law at the politically-connected firm of Genova, Burns, and Vernoia if he becomes full-time mayor.
Cammarano headed the 4th Ward campaign in 2007 for former City Councilman Christopher Campos. That contest between Campos and Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer was plagued by less-than-civil tactics, and Cammarano said last week that he couldn’t guarantee that this mayoral battle – his only opponent so far is Zimmer – would be free of mud.
“I am not going to cast the first stone,” he said. “But I’m not going into a street fight following the Marquis de Queensberry rules.”

Hospital ends free rides

Hoboken University Medical Center is cutting some non-essential services to keep the hospital budget from in line for the coming year. This comes on the heels of recent layoff announcements by hospital officials.
The first service to go will be free transportation for patients that costs the hospital $500,000 annually, officials said. The service was eliminated last week.
Patients in need of a ride are being referred to Hudson County’s Transcend senior transportation services or other city transportation services.
The hospital is also selling the vehicles they used to transport these patients.

Museum celebrates Lincoln

The Hoboken Historical Museum is bringing Frank Coburn, former curator and director of the museum at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., to the Shipyard Marina boathouse on the 13th Street pier on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 4 p.m., for a talk in honor of Lincoln’s birthday, which was Feb. 12.
The Tennessee museum is one of the largest collections of Lincolniana in the world, and for years Coburn has immersed himself in Lincoln’s writings.
For more information, call (201) 656-2240 or visit www.hobokenmuseum.org.

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group