Recently stating that he plans on being Hoboken’s “infrastructure mayor,” Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla is calling for upgrading and expanding bus routes, a new train station and making the ferry more affordable if elected.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Bhalla’s plan also talks about developing a 10-year infrastructure improvement plan within his first 90 days in office, completing the $230 million Rebuild by Design project, upgrading the sewer system and strengthening the city’s electrical grid.
â€œAs mayor, I will act to upgrade our aging infrastructure, fixing our water mains, roads, sewers and piers as well as providing regular maintenance,” Bhalla said in a statement.
Bhalla added that he wants to see the price of a ferry ride to New York City go down to $2.75, as well as pushing NJ Transit to add new 126 bus routes west of Clinton Street – also hoping to add more 126 buses exclusively for uptown Hoboken.
Arguably one of the more ambitious aspects of his plan is advocating for a new train station in the North End portion of Hoboken.
“In the years to come, the North End is likely to develop into a thriving new neighborhood focused on commercial development, retail and restaurants, creating a correlating need for public transit options for residents and commuters,” he added in the same statement.
“I am leading the fight for a new train station in this location, building on existing NJ Transit plans.”
Earlier this month, the veteran councilman received two major labor union endorsements: the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825 and the Laborers’ International Union of North America.
At this October 21st event, Mayor Zimmer said Bhalla “will be our infrastructure mayor,” a title that the councilman was happy to embrace at the podium a few moments later.
Critics of Bhalla’s candidacy have noted that a campaign commercial paid for by the Stronger Foundations Inc., a political Action Committee, begun running on Fox News over the weekend.
A closer look at the PAC shows that it is run by Christopher Lalevee, the brother of Greg Lalevee – who is the business manager of IUOE Local 825.
Furthermore, according to aÂ October 10th report filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Stronger Foundations, Inc. spent $11,400 on the Hoboken mayor’s race as of the aforementioned date.
The majority of that money, $9,400, went towards a poll done by the New York-based McLaughlin and Associates, and the other $2,000 being spent on MWW Group – an East Rutherford public relations firm that also does work for IUOE Local 825 and LIUNA New Jersey.
A representative from MWW did not return an email seeking comment about the commercial.
With all that in mind, Bhalla campaign spokesman Rob Horowitz said Bhalla’s vision is for “a new train station with similar amenities” to what is currently at the Lackawanna Terminal.
A joint project between NJ Transit and developer LCOR, which was approved by the council in December 2014, that aimsÂ to reinvent the Hoboken Terminal Rail Yards, “are not in any way related,” Horowitz said.
1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco recently filed an ethics complaint against Bhalla, a partner at Florio Perrucci Steinhardt and Fader, for the 2014 vote, alleging it was a conflict of interest since the firm has been a client of NJ Transit (which owns the rail yards).
The Bhalla campaign was quick to dismiss the complaint as “a desperate political stunt.”
The Hoboken municipal elections are on November 7th.
Getting tired of this in your face Soprano State pay to play scamming. Hoboken must stop Ravi Bhalla before his NJ Transit deal can happen.
Hoboken is not for sale Ravi!
Sold to the lady for $1000.
More interesting than the $1,000 in reported payments from the Giattino campaign would be any payments to him made by Tiffanie Fisher or that he received as a result if her fundraising efforts on her behalf.
What did Tiffany pay and when did she pay it? Maybe the City Council should form a special investigative committee with subpoena power to get to the bottom of this.
Oh Ravi, talk to your firm’s client NJ Transit now? You had 8 years
Selling out Hoboken to a NJ Transit PAC, no thanks Ravi.
There’s only one Reform candidate left: Jen Giattino.
Vote for Jen and her council ticket on November 7th.
Yeah, okay Reform Bonkers for Bhalla sellout.
First and foremost I am concerned that even discussing a new train station will lead to further discussion about destroying what little is left of Hoboken’s charm and character. The Zimmer Administration has allowed one historical structure after another to be ruined by failing to adhere to zoning laws, historic district laws and planning board rules. Bhalla has no real roots in this town so he has no real feel for any of the things that make Hoboken special. A new train station is a big mistake and Bhalla has to be stopped before his lack of appreciation further destroys our community.
Ravi working through Maggie Moran and he PAC client
Unless they confused her with a favorite bar, this woman is tide to some curious crap
M Public Affairs
“If Moran and Doherty have profited from Moranâ€™s business relationships with Belmar vendors and contractors since Doherty has been mayor or a councilman, Doherty should be prepared to answer for that during the next 9 weeks as he asks Monmouth County voters to trust him to be a freeholder. If they havenâ€™t profited from those relationships, they should tout their philanthropically and volunteerism as they endeavor to take over Monmouth Countyâ€™s government.