During his campaign kickoff on Tuesday night, Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Dave Mello announced that he would be seeking re-election as an independent.
“I’ve been honored to be part of a team that has had a number of successes. Those successes included preventing Hoboken’s hospital from closing and an overwhelming amount of debt, crushing debt – being put on all of you folks here – if the hospital did close,” recalled Mello.
“We’ve been able to balance our city budget, going from a junk bond status to an A++ bond rating status and keeping, the municipal portion at least, the portion we have control of for taxes, flat for eight years now.”
Back in 2009, Mello was part of the Southwest Parks Coalition with Dawn Zimmer. Feeling that the groups voices weren’t being heard, they decided to seek office in the 2009 municipal elections and the rest is history.
To commemorate those days that jump started several political careers in the Mile Square City, Mello hosted his event at the Jackson Street home of John Gregorio, a pivotal member of the Southwest Parks Coalition.
Fast forward to 2017, where Zimmer is not seeking re-election and has thrown her support behind Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla (who was on the same 2009 ticket as Mello) – who formally opened his campaign headquarters on Tuesday night.
For now, Mello is a man without a country as he is currently running as a lone wolf, but he still has plenty of plans for the future of the Mile Square City if re-elected.
“There has to be more commercial space and less residential in new development because that’s strong for out taxpayers,” added Mello, who also stressed building larger units and attracting empty nesters.
Why seek a third term on the council? Mello said he needs to be the advocate on the board that is there for residents that live west of Willow Avenue.
“Many people have asked me why I would want to run for office again and my answer has always been the same: the issues of being an advocate, the issues demand we have a proven advocate running for office,” began Mello.
“And the elephant in the room at a lot of these meetings you might attend in the next few months is that the current council is not reflective enough of our current Hoboken community. I am the only council member who lives west of Garden Street and lives in market-rate housing.”
Mello further stated that the west side of Hoboken still needed effective representation and he feels he’s been doing that for the past eight years.
Other council-at-large candidates running as independents include North Hudson Sewerage Authority Kurt Gardiner, former Councilman Angelo Valente and Republican State Committeeman Joshua Einstein.
The Hoboken municipal elections are on November 7th.