As tensions rise, Hoboken officials hosting 2 ribbon cuttings for Southwest Park


Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer continues to have conflict with members of the city council as two members are hosting a Southwest Park ribbon cutting on Saturday, one day after Zimmer and other officials will host their event. Zimmer, Mello, Ramos

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Zimmer, County Executive Tom DeGise, as well as other county and state officials, are expected to attend an 11 a.m. ribbon cutting at Southwest Park, located at the corner of Jackson Street and Observer Highway.

However, Councilmen Dave Mello and Ruben Ramos were not satisfied with this arrangement, so they took it upon themselves to host their own ribbon cutting at Southwest Park at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

They will also be joined by Southwest Parks Coalition Co-Founder John Gregorio and referred to the event as the “real” ribbon cutting celebration in a media release.

In an email, Mello said that he felt this was necessary to maximize turnout.

“This was a community effort, that took over a decade to bring to fruition. To not hold this ribbon cutting on a weekend, when the maximum amount of our friends, neighbors, and fellow park advocates can attend with their children is simply wrong,” he said.

“This will be a celebration where ALL of Hoboken can come together and celebrate a success that everyone worked together to achieve.”

Ramos said over the phone that this was another example of the mayor showing she is unable to work with people, especially since he and Mello had said as recently as Wednesday evening’s council meeting that they wanted the ribbon cutting held in the evening or on the weekend.

Both Ramos and Mello are school teachers and are therefore unable to attend city functions during the day.

A city spokesman declined to address Mello and Ramos’ function in response to the mayor’s planned ribbon cutting ceremony.

Meanwhile, there will also be a Southwest Park opening celebration on Wednesday, September 27th from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The event will include balloon animals, music, food trucks and various other activities and entertainment.

The councilmen breaking rank from the mayor is nothing new, as they were two of the five council members who said they would not approve the new Suez Water deal proposed by the administration.

After a lengthy, heated debate, the agenda item was pulled from the September 6th agenda.

The city council passed the Southwest Park Redevelopment Plan in June after a dispute with Academy Bus over an acre of land.

Zimmer was previously recognized by local and state officials for her flood resiliency plans during a press conference at Southwest Park in May.

Southwest Park is collectively receiving $5 million from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust and the state Department of Environmental Protection, while the county also provided a $3 million grant to acquire the land.

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  1. I am so proud to have played a small part in helping to bring a much needed park to SW Hoboken. The intent of this weekend celebration is just that a celebration by and for the community. A tremendous thank you to everyone who made this wonderful urban space to come to life.

    As far as politics, many know I have been a supporting Dawn Zimmer for over a decade and if she had decide to stay in the race I would undoubtedly be working for her reelection. She is unfortunately not running again for office and I have made a personal decision to not support any slate in this election cycle. I am however, endorsing, supporting and working to reelect my friend, my neighbor, and a man who has been and will continue advocating for open space in all of Hoboken far more effectively than I Councilman at Large David Mello.

    Hope to see you on Saturday or if your schedules allow at all three dates to celebrate a great new park for Hoboken.

    • John G and others like him deserve a lot of credit for their longstanding efforts in support of the Southwest Park.

      It’s unfortunately very sad Mayor Zimmer is going out so badly with this obvious politically motivated action. This not long after the fiasco revealed with the $10,000,000 bill owed to Suez Water. She’s never answered how that happened on her watch. She never will.

      This is as Ruben Ramos says icing on the cake. It’s a sad way to end a good run on many fronts for Hoboken but power corrupts….

      Hoboken can use the consensus builder on the City Council to take Hoboken forward. Three time City Council President Jen Giattino is known and respected by her colleagues for her consensus building skills.

      Hoboken needs this now more than ever. #JenGiattinoForMayor #MostTrusted

        • Ironic that “Hoboken Baseball/Zomborg and the cast of Sybil’s Cave will knock a $5,000 stipend by Lenz… Is that to cover for Ravi Bhalla who is taking 10’s of thousands in free health benefits for his entire family through his 25,000 PT council job rather than Florio Perucci – a wealthy law firm with 3.6 million in public contracts? Or is it because Dawn Zimmer as a council person put her entire family on the city’s health benefits saving her wealthy husband’s renown diamond business 10’s of thousands in healthcare too? It’s funny if you changed the names around, The Bhalla/Zimmer team seems more like the an old guard team with each new revelation.

        • Yes, how could we. A Latino who doesn’t think exactly like us and own a beach house like us. Define racist and try not saying your name. I know, i know, you have a Latino friend that you hide somewhere.

    • Oh Nancy
      Go take some more free photoshop classes at Union City Adult school– oh wait , you’re too immature to qualify

      Go stalk Matt your WWE dreamboat
      You’ve been following him so long, they’re gonna find you in a closet covered in his and DeFusco’s photos just like Lane had for Beth

      Stockholm Syndrome Avenger

    • Ravi is the only person who should be thanked for this park!
      Without him it would have never happened, he has been a 4th ward activist since he was in High School!
      In fact Ravi lived in the projects and is also a dreamer!
      He will save us from TV violence invading Hoboken, He will stop the wall! He will stop Trump!
      He will lead us all to Washington…. where he will use us to become a U.S. Senator after he pillages Hoboken

    • Mello is a good guy that actually was not afraid to think out of the box. History will show he was right on many issues. Dave Mello is the one that forced Dawn to pull the trigger on this park before the last election. Fact! This is why you have a park today, not just pretty drawings that mean nothing! He also worked with all his colleagues to get the votes to move it forward.

  2. Dawn hiding 10 million in SUEZ bills seems so reminiscent of Dave Roberts city shutdown and the 2008 state takeover

    Maybe if Stawn spent less time blogging and attacking Giatinno he could have used his inherent math skills to help his wife do a budget
    As Ravis escort to every meet and greet, Stawn enjoys taking over the events with his spitting rants and tangential stories and finger pointing.
    Ravi hasn’t needed a chaperone since he was a bachelor

  3. Nancy is a cancer upon Hoboken, the sooner she packs up and is outta here the better for us and even her family. She is being used by Ravi- they mock her ALL-THE-TIME…. Poor Poor Nancy… nobody will be her friend after this is over… poor poor crazy blogger . Too Bad, so so sad

    Maybe the Gross with take her to Vancouver with them when they move in January. Bye Nancy, Buh Bye Stan

  4. It’s very telling how the anti-Ravi and anti-Zimmer folks communicate / think. Immature personal attacks are the bread and butter of their statements while completely lacking in substance in logic or thought. The majority of attack statements are akin to elementary school playground name-calling. How about coming to the table why the candidate you support is better? What are some actual solutions? How about contributing vs. just complaining?

    • I made a mistake and voted for Zimmer. I did not do my homework on Dawn despite many warnings from neighbors. I should have not been tone deaf to the other candidate in the last election. I have not decided yet in this race but will certainly do more research and not blindly listen to Dawn’s people. How can you not pay a water bill deficit for 4 years and pretend that you did not know about it, than turn around and tell me that because you never received a formal bill, you don’t owe it but somehow you saved me $38 million dollars? Meanwhile my future water bill will go up over $75 million dollars. Define a shell game, ponzi, and typical politics. I expected more, and stop treating us like we are stupid and telling us that all the other candidates are evil and corrupt. Many of us here are well educated professionals. If any of us tried this at our job, we would be fired. Just be straight with us. We know a screw up when we see one.

  5. @Billy – yes you should definitely do your homework. Just like when HHA ex-Exec. Dir. Carmelo Garcia sued the city for ethnic cleansing (you know, not because of poorly managing the Housing Authority), until the judgement is made and Hoboken is found liable / is invoiced, the $1.2M he asked for doesn’t get recorded as a real (tangible) liability that needs to be paid (the suit was subsequently tossed by the courts). I can sue the Mayor / City / God for $10 Billion dollars, but until Hoboken actually has to pay for it, it doesn’t hit the books.

    Here, Suez never billed Hoboken. These were unbilled costs for bulk water usage and repairs (burst water pipes). The $8.35M figure is an estimate since nothing was actually communicated to the City. Municipal finance (like corporate finance) is much more complicated than your finances and mine (personal finance). While I won’t assert that I understand the reasons why Hoboken was unbilled, I would imagine during negotiations, they can act as leverage. It isn’t the Mayor’s fault the pipes have been bursting left and right. She has been fighting over development. She has been renegotiating a crap contract that strictly speaking, bends over Hoboken for decades while providing the former Mayor Anthony Russo (father of CURRENT Councilman Michael Russo, and convicted of accepting cash bribes for nearly his entire tenure as Mayor) and CURRENT Councilman Ruben Ramos (voted Yes as a Councilman then on the Amendment) in exchange for a $2.7M cash injection to plug a budget hole. Councilman at the time and then later Mayor David Roberts also voted Yes. No improvements in rate savings, no improvements in increasing allowances for repairs… WE CAN THANK THEM.

    If there isn’t a renegotiation, then yes, we can be on the hook for repayment of whatever the actual liability is/will be once Suez determines the amount and bills Hoboken. If there is a renegotiation, it can go away (actually just reallocated in some manner benefiting Suez – but not hurting Hoboken in one fell swoop). Suez is for profit, a business run for maximizing profit in exchange for providing a basic service.

    I find it interesting that Councilman Michael DeFusco had called for Councilman Ravinder Bhalla recuse himself from discussion of the Suez renegotiations while Councilmans Russo and Ramos can sit tight and wag the finger at the current Mayor for trying to put Hoboken in a better position than what they (or their father) voted FOR.

    Who Councilman Russo endorses for next Mayor:

    Who Councilman Ramos endorses for next Mayor:

    “Birds of a feather…” Something to consider.