More layoff news: Ramos and Lombardi speak out

HOBOKEN — Assemblyman Ruben J. Ramos Jr. (D – Hoboken) sent a letter on Sept. 17 to Mayor Dawn Zimmer in opposition of the current plan to layoff 18 police officers and demote 19 senior officers.
“Every decision has its consequences and ramifications. I must commend you for your tough stance on this issue, as I know this is not a decision any executive wants to make. However, I fear this decision may have been made in haste,” Ramos said in the letter to Zimmer.
Ramos writes that because the city has a surplus, the cuts cannot be justified by a fiscal emergency. Ramos also believes discussions on a reduction in the police force should not have been entertained until after the results of the 2010 census are reviewed. He also said Hoboken is a “unique municipality” with regard to the inter-state tunnels and public transportation hubs, which could lead to a fluctuation in population at any time.
“As stated in the opening of this correspondence, my aim for writing was practical. Consequently, I encourage you to maintain discussion with both the Police Chief and representatives of the police union in order to work for the well being of our residents,” Ramos said.
Hoboken PBA President Vince Lombardi said on Friday morning that the decision is now up to the mayor.
“If she wants to resolve this without the threat of affecting public safety, the PBA is open to listen and sit down with the city,” Lombardi said.
Lombardi stated that he was counting on Michael Lenz, an ally of Zimmer, to vote against the layoffs because “the people who are really going to suffer are those in the fourth ward.”
Lenz said at the meeting on Wednesday, “We still can keep talking and come to a better place. Nobody here doesn’t appreciate cops.”
The police layoffs are effective Sept. 24.

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