Bhalla highlights Vision Zero, Suez and climate change in 1st Hoboken State of the City


Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla gave his first State of the City Address at the Stevens Institute of Technology last night, highlighted by Vision Zero, the city’s deal with Suez Water and addressing climate change.

One of the three biggest takeaways from Bhalla’s speech was that his administration will be launching what he described as one of his most important priorities of 2019: the Vision Zero campaign to reduce automobile-related injuries and deaths.

“Hoboken’s ambitious Vision Zero campaign will aim to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and injuries by the year 2030. This major goal is not something we can accomplish alone–it will require a collaborative approach that includes the input of residents and other key stakeholders. We must enact bold, safe streets’ policies so no one has to endure the experience of being put in harm’s way while crossing a street,” Bhalla said.

The second major initiative the administration will be pursuing in 2019 is the renegotiation of a deal with SUEZ Water in light of all the water main breaks that have been ongoing for years, but created major frustration for residents and commuters alike last year.

“I’m happy to announce that my administration is in the final stages [with] SUEZ Water that will provide for over $1.5 million in proactive water main replacements every year,” he said, proclaiming himself the “infrastructure mayor.”

“We are also directly investing an additional $10 million over a two-year span to replace the oldest water mains in our system, [and] over the next 15 years, our new deal will include $33 million in watermain infrastructure upgrades.”

And to top off the evening’s initiatives, Bhalla said his administration will be creating a framework for a Climate Action Plan that will eventually transform the Mile Square City’s municipal operations to become “net [carbon] zero by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2035, and for the City as a whole, to become net zero by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2050, with these standards exceeding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”

Bhalla noted that he hopes that the City council will join him in approving these new initiatives, particularly the new agreement with SUEZ Water.

In an interview after the speech, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher said she thought the mayor did an excellent job in his first address covering all the important issues important to Hoboken residents.

“For his first state of the city, I think he did a pretty good job, he hit on all of the important issues that we have been working on this past year,” she said, indicating that she is on board with Vision Zero and working out a deal with Suez.

“We’ve had a water contract for the last two-and-half decades that has been favorable to SUEZ. We should be in a situation where all of the revenues that our citizens are paying for water should come to the benefit of the city so that we can invest all that money. And effectively, this new contract is going to shift all of those revenues into the hands of the city of Hoboken, that’s what we have fought for. I think it’ll be a 9-0 vote on the Council,” Fisher said.

With that in mind, she still felt the mayor missed an opportunity by not specifically mentioning the entire council who have worked collaboratively with him on issues such as securing funding for the Hilton Hotel.

” … at the risk of sounding petty, I think it’s a shame that he really left out the contributions of the broader city council,” began Fisher.

“It was clearly on purpose, he left out five of us that he perceives as being his opponents, but nothing could be further from the truth. I can tell you that [Councilpersons] [Peter] Cunningham, [Jen] Giattino, [Mike] DeFusco, myself and [Ruben] Ramos, we work hard on so many issues.”

While Fisher said that she and the aforementioned council members want to continue to work with the mayor, she believes that the mayor could have demonstrated how he and the council actually work well together most of the time.

Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour, one of Bhalla’s running mates in 2017 who introduced him to the hundreds on hand prior to his speech, weighed in after Fisher.

“I think it’s difficult, when you sit through a council meeting I think your impression of the state of the city is one of a little bit of chaos. Oftentimes, there’s a lot of hard feelings and personal feelings [but] at the end of the day it’s our job to be professional, to make policies that are going to help everyday residents,” explained Jabbour.

“It’s not about scoring political points; I’m really hopeful that people are going to be able to put that to the side when it comes to these really major initiatives like Vision Zero [campaign] and the [SUEZ Water] contract,” said Jabbour.

“I think tonight was a really accurate depiction of where most everyday citizens in Hoboken feel like the city is going, I think people are very positive about the job Mayor Bhalla is doing, and I hope that the council takes away the understanding that that is the perspective of the larger community and maybe that will change the tenor of some of the conversations at the council meetings.”

The mayor’s entire State of the City streamed live on our Facebook page and can be viewed below:

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  1. Even though the statements about increasing the hours of the tenant advocate (we didn’t) and that the measly 200K from the Hilton project was solely because of Councilwoman Falco (she had nothing to do with it) I appreciate that the Mayor didn’t pretend to have any plans or initiatives to address affordability and displacement.

    • At least that beats the alleged wheeling and pay-to-play activity Ravi Bhalla does at his second job with the Republican law firm.

      Hope HCV and MSV do more follow-ups on those big stories that Ravi refuses to discuss. He must be held accountable!

      • What a shame it is that no one listens to doofuses except other doofuses and people who get a kick out of laughing at doofuses.

        Keep those “big” stories coming!! But you really should let one of the other more educated doofuses, or maybe even one of the “good government” doofus enabling councilpeople, do some editing before you post.

        Being incoherent isn’t a good look, even for a doofus.

        • Hey good morning Lindastan. while your boy Ravi remains in hiding from the earlier HCV and MSV stories on the allegations of his wheeling & pay-to-play scam, looks like there’s more violations trouble exposed.

          Duck and cover before someone asks Dawn why the hell did she back this for mayor? Yikes!

          • Except for the owner no one can find MSV. Last comment not written by the owner was 6 months ago. Why would anyone have to hide from it?

          • Ravi is hiding. Why is Ravi hiding? Why won’t Ravi answer about his strange Republic law firm second job and the cascade of tens of thousands in government contracts?

            Looks like HCV and MSV are the ones doing good journalism. Ravi Bhalla and his political operatives here are doing a Peter Cammarano imitation.

        • Too late to edit those doofus emails costing Hoboken Housing Authority residents $750,000, eh Lindastan?

          Too bad we couldn’t edit the doofus out of you. Way to go handing them the bill!

    • Indie not so independent after all her girlfriends changed the rules to give her an appointment.
      Indie is also a frequent poster of that also Fishers anti-Bhalla hate blog.

      • Sorry to disappoint, while it was an idiotic opinion from corporation counsel suggesting that only the mayor can appoint board members (outside of the zoning board), that’s how it’s done in Hoboken. No one is on a board that the Mayor didn’t appoint. No rules changed.

        I am, however, curious, are you ignorant and uninformed about this….or just lying?

    • In Indie’s spare time, she hawks luxury condos for a Hoboken realtor. True. So how does Indie square her status as a Hoboken Fair Housing icon with selling luxury condos to wealthy people displacing poor and middle class Hoboken residents? One more: who is she, considering her collaboration with developers profiting off driving poor and middle class out of Hoboken, to throw shade on Falco? Sure Vanessa Falco did request the $200K Fair Housing give ba k which Indie calls “measly.” Better than nothing. Better than being a phony who hawks Hoboken condos to rich people while scolding the admin that they aren’t doing enough for dispaced residents. What a phony.

  2. Fisher saying “At the risk of sounding petty…” and then going on to say something extremely petty is par for the course for this nasty woman. JUST LAST WEEK she provided a statement on here basically insinuating that the mayor had committed pay-to-play violations. It took a lot of class for the mayor to not single her and the other council members out in his address for being the liars and obstructionists that they clearly are. I’m glad we have a mayor that can rise above the petty politics and just get things done.

    • You highly paid, frankly overpaid operatives in the mayor’s office are the biggest babies in the Mile Square City. What has been obstructed in Hoboken? I’ve seen nothing obstructed at all in the past year. Almost everything before the City Council is passed.

      The council should examine further Ravi Bhalla’s shady second job! Now there’s almost $100,000 going from Hudson County to Ravi’s Republican law firm. Holy Cow that reeks like wheeling and pay-to-play!

      Someone call the FBI!

    • So sad that little Jenny the Republican ballerina from the brownstones got her upper middle class privileged feelings hurt. She may turn back into a Republican.

    • At risk of sounding petty. When don’t they sound petty ?

      Councilwoman couldn’t even win her own Ward when she tried to run for Mayor. the blamed everyone but herself for her humiliating fail.

    • You have an interesting view of what “class” means. Fisher’s statement in its entirety showed awareness of the tragic politics at play that our city is dealing with and she went so far to say she shares the blame. She also gave credit where it was due in complimenting Bhalla’s speech. But Bhalla’s own petty strategy of not having the names of his opponents even spoken out loud is truly class LESS. If he had any class at all, he would raise his head high and not fall to such low level politics.

      • you don’t have to take criticism from anyone ever! all these people who say you are a thin-skinned crybaby will be singing a different tune when you are our next mayor. all the sudden everyone be saying how inspiring it is to be led by a thin-skinned crybaby. to the victor goes the hankies!

        • If you’re making criticism, can Ravi’s operatives in the mayor’s office at least try to do with something of substance and coherent? That’s asking a lot of the entitled little weenies they are. Good grief, these people are stupid. They are the crybabies along with Ravi’s paid political operative. Totally juvenile.

          • What happened to your ethics complaint against Defusco. His VERIFIABLE story gets worse every day, but all you want to talk about are conspiracies. Was that coherent enough, hypocrite?

  3. I think it was a good State of The City, I’m not looking for him to fail. If he fails Hoboken fails. The city council supports most of the Mayor’s agendas.
    Nobody can deny that since he’s been Mayor, Washington Street moved so much faster after he cracked the whip on the contractors.

      • What’s wrong with hoping the mayor succeeds to the extent that it’s good for the city when someone is a tax payer and lives with the consequences? Unless you’re a rich Hudson Street matron, you can’t afford to hope the city fails for purely political reasons.

      • What could be doofier than the real doofus of Hoboken reprimanding Tony Soares, a guy with some real political saavy when he’s thinking straight, for not acting like a doofus! Tony is alot smarter than you are doofus – you should be watching him and taking notes. But you’re too much of a doofus to see that.

        • Dawn needs to shake some sense into you Lindastan. You’re not helping with all Ravi’s money scams. If you would only stick to being a doofus and get your trans medication fixed.

    • Dawn Zimmer got the job started in lower Hoboken and Ravi Bhalla got the Washington St. project completed to 11th Street. It will come in way past the deadline and way over budget! It’s still not done!

      Businesses are getting crushed!

  4. Anyone else notice that when city hall closed early yesterday (any excuse, I guess) all of the attack dog comments dried up? Could the mayor’s multiple 6-figure assistants be posting anonymously when they are supposed to be serving the public?

    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    What a misuse of taxpayer dollars. I hope the city council goes to town on the 500K salary budget being thrown at political operatives in the mayor’s office. Chop, chop, chop.

    • Hope the City Council takes an ax
      And give Ravi’s paid political operatives forty whacks
      When they’re done and the public sees what they have done
      Give Ravi forty-one.

      For Crazy Sybil and her bleating crew; that’s called political humor.
      Call them a Whackbulance!

  5. The only vision Bhalla has is on higher office
    He has ZERO ideas, ZERO concern for local problems, ZERO respect for us BnR’s and ZERO energy.
    The con job should take his hemp bags and bike path down to Trenton or Washington D.C.

    The only trees Bhalla really cares about are money trees.