At fundraiser, Bhalla vows to protect Hoboken from developers if elected mayor


Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla vowed to protect the Mile Square City from developers if elected mayor during a fundraiser at City Bistro last night.


“Even though we’ve made a lot of progress, I firmly believe and submit to you Hoboken’s best days are yet to come. That fact excited me and it also concerns me,” Bhalla said in front of a crowd of about 100 supporters.

” … We’re the fourth most densely populated city in the country. And there are certain portions of Hoboken that are still undeveloped: tremendous pressure is being place on government officials to, I would submit, overdevelop Hoboken.”

“When I’m at the other side of the table with a developer, you’ll get an honest broker: you’ll get someone whose taken an oath to represent the citizens of the City of Hoboken – not the interests of the developers,” exclaimed Bhalla.

Back in June, Zimmer simultaneously announced she would not seek a third term and that she would be endorsing Bhalla to succeed her.

While Zimmer’s reform fraction has fractured in light of Council President Jen Giattino’s mayoral run, she made it a point to reiterate Bhalla’s team, which consists of Councilman-at-Large James Doyle, John Allen, and Emily Jabbour, is clearly the best choice for Hoboken.

“I think there’s been a little bit of [a mindset] like ‘the reformers are all the same.’ They’re not all the same. Okay, so this is a team that’s really committed to following through on the things that I think are really important for Hoboken.”

The incumbent credited her two-time running mate for helping to develop the Southwest Park and push the $230 million Rebuild by Design project forward.

Additionally, Doyle, who characterized both himself and Bhalla as “liberal progressive,” said his council colleague’s electability and proven track record made him the best choice for him to support.

Allen, who was elected as a Hoboken Democratic Committeeman in June, also offered heavy praise for Bhalla.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I think Hoboken is so lucky to have a candidate as qualified, as committed, as intelligent and as compassionate as Ravi,” Allen said, ending his thought by shaking Bhalla’s hand.

The anchor of the ticket, Emily Jabbour, who founded the Hudson County chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, also expressed why she felts she was a good fit for team Bhalla.

“I want you to know that I’m a person of action. I’m not going to stand on the sidelines, I’m not going to just go along with things, I want to be a part of the change – and I want to lead that change,” Jabbour said.

“And I think my voice, as a woman and as a mom, is an important one. I think that needs to be part of this conversation and I’m incredibly grateful that this team agrees and I’m thankful for the chance to show that.”

Vijay Chaudhuri, Zimmer’s former chief of staff and Bhalla’s new campaign manager, said the slate raised $65,000 at the event.

Other dignitaries in attendance included East Orange Mayor Lester Taylor, former Hoboken Housing Authority Chair Jake Stuiver and HHA Commissioner Hovie Forman.

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  1. Ravi absolutely did stand up to developers. He stood up for Frank “Pupie” Raia to get another five year term on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority against well known Hoboken reformer Kurt Gardiner. After that effort collapsed, he voted for Gardiner in the landslide vote and then lectured him after with obvious bitterness Pupie had been routed.

    He followed up by voting for the monster development for Larry Bijou at 8th and Jackson. The cost to Hoboken is incalculable. Putting aside the ridiculous PILOT ripping off Hoboken taxpayers for decades, it’s going to turn the entire west side of Hoboken into a traffic nightmare every day of the week.

    Thanks Ravi!

    Jen Giattino led the votes against both of these insufferable development votes. Thank you Jen!!

    • In hindsight, Frank Raia, though ethically compromised is more mentally stable than Kurt Gardiner, so 6 of one, a half dozen of the other.

      Jen and Ravi have a nearly identical voting record, though Ravi and Doyle voted down the 24-story hotel redevelopment plan because of its excessive height. Jen voted “Yes”. As for the PILOT, there are at least two POVs on whether it’s merits outweigh it’s negatives. The City promised to cover any lost tax revenue from the schools. The decsion to grant a PILOT in exchange for open space with smenities like a sports center, is a reasonable debate. No one should be demonized for their vote. Jen has very little to run on, so her people are attacking Bhalla instead of putting forth how they will achieve whatever their vision is.

      • I want to thank Nancy Pincus for her cucarachas support for best developer in Hoboken, Frank Raia. Who knew she’d wake up and see the light? It’s a great day for Frank Raia and Hoboken.

        My pal Larry got the best Hoboken developer deal of all time. Frank Raia deserved the best developer deal in Hoboken. None of these developers have done as much for Hoboken as Frank Raia.

        Frank Raia is the best developer ever in Hoboken. Even Nancy Pincus, the toxic avenger for Ravi Bhalla agrees.

        I’ll take a 35 year PILOT and build a basketball court for Hoboken. Just give Frank Raia another chance and I’ll spend a few bucks to make tens of millions like Larry. His investors and their families and grandkids are set for life. It should have been Frank Raia getting that mega development deal!

        Schools are getting ripped off on Larry’s PILOT. City Hall cut them short with a non-binding “deal.” Hoboken schools won’t see a red cent. Give me a chance to rip off Hoboken schools and get rich too. Ravi let’s talk again next week.

        Developers know the door and phone lines are open with my candidate Mike DeFusco and Ravi Bhalla. Everyone knows Ravi was burning up the phone lines begging all of us and our people for money. Either way, it’s a win win for us.

        As long as we keep Jen Giattino from becoming mayor, we’re all good.

        • I really don’t know why you are discussing a “Nancy Pincus” but certainly you appear to be mentally unstable, and unfit for any elected office! I mean, lurking around, attacking a named person for some assumed identity! I guess Hoboken dodged a bullet when Kurt Gardiner suspended his At-Large Council candidacy! Phew.

          • How many of you are there talking to yourself Nancy?

            How many of Ravi Bhalla’s conflicts of interest can you ignore? That only works where you control the discussion on your Bonkers for Bhalla website but no where else.

            The Hoboken public may not be so willing to be hoodwinked.

  2. The Zimmer Administration has supported more height and density variances than any administration in the past 25 years. This isn’t fiction. It is backed up by public record. The reality is that fewer than a handful of favored developers benefited from the generosity of the so called “Reformers”. Ravi voted for his share of disastrous projects and so did Jen. Look around you, folks. There are high risers going up everywhere and the result will haunt this town for generations to come Nobody, not Jen and not Ravi, is in a position to point fingers when it comes to over development.The character of Hoboken has been destroyed over the past 7 years as glass front homes were approved adjacent to existing brownstones, multi colored facades were approved in Historic Districts and there has been an utter disregard for preservation. The self proclaimed reformers have been reckless when it comes to development and now they are pointing fingers at each other. This is what happens when a handful (or fewer) of greedy developers own City Hall.

  3. All John P2P ever does is thank Ravi for the opportunity to be on his ticket– what has he ever done for this town
    He was here a year before he started shopping himself around on behalf of his statewide pay to play law firms – trying to wedge himself onto the planning board

    Where did Ravi meet Johnny anyway?

    That guy will be sharing a Uhaul with Ravi the day after they lose and take their wares to Bergen County or another Pay to Play cesspool

  4. Boy the jobseekers never seem to be in short supply at a Bhalla event
    Look who’s popped up at Ravi’s latest shindig…
    The town self announced historic “expert” and registered snob.
    Guess rebuild by design doesn’t pay enough and needs that library directorship too

  5. oy vey, could not have said it better myself. In many respects Jen and Ravi are cut from the same cloth. Team Zimmer has always relied upon the illusion that a lie repeated enough times is the truth.

  6. Oh look, Ravi is protecting us from developers, that’s nice, but he’s not protecting his ELEC account from them is he?
    His fundraiser had a developer there and the word is his telethon last of calls to developers, vendors and local architects was epic… “Don’t worry I’m really pro development” Shhhh… don’t tell anyone. If you do you’ll get an email from my lawyer ….

    • Ah, that’s a lot of BS. 1 developer out of 100+ guests- that’s 1%. Whole lotta Hoboken residents there! Yea!

      Tell us what % of developers and vendors attend DeFusco’s “luv ur money” parties? 50%? 80%? Funny how DeFusco called the Mayor’s donors in the winter and told them he wasn’t running for mayor! What about DeFusco’s Independent Expenditure account? The sound of developer money goes swish swish swish.

      • You do more damage to Bhalla/Grossbard team or any ticket than even Beth Mason and Bajardi could. Pincus is the New Klaussen, Bajardi and HudsonShark rolled into one big hairball.

        Keep the posts coming Hairball, you do a great service to those running against Bhalla/Grossbard and the P2P fan club. Hope you watch cable TV. Stay tuned – get some popcorn