Weeks ago 6th Ward City Council candidate Carmelo Garcia wrote a letter in this space in which he devoted an entire paragraph to complaining about the City’s high litigation costs, implying that those costs were somehow the “fault” of Mayor Zimmer and incumbent Councilwoman Jen Giattino. I have lived in the 6th Ward for 10 years and keep a close eye on where my tax dollars are spent. Mr. Garcia did not write a word about why those litigations were necessary. For example, much of the legal expense relates to the City’s efforts to compel developers to deliver the community benefits that they promised in exchange for their approvals.
For example, the City has actively fought against the Monarch development project proposed by the Applied Companies, who have failed to honor their promise to build public tennis courts on a pier where they now want to build a residential high-rise. But Mr. Garcia’s most egregious omission is the lawsuit he himself is prosecuting against the City of Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer and her husband, among others. Mr. Garcia claims that he is the victim of “ethnic cleansing,” seemingly equating the market driven process of “gentrification” with mass murder. If Mr. Garcia were really concerned with the cost of litigation to Hoboken taxpayers, he could easily address the problem by withdrawing his lawsuit and reimbursing the taxpayers for the reportedly $150,000 cost incurred by the City in defending against this absurd claim.