In the midst of civil war between the Hudson County Democratic Organization shaping up for next year, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise discussed breaking ground on a new courthouse by 2020 and signed an executive order terminating a county deal with FedEx.
“We have a major commitment to meet: the construction of a new courthouse. It will require a major investment. Already just the acquisition of land for the courthouse has cost over $34 million dollars. Master planning costs will be over $4 million,” DeGise said at the Board of Chosen Freeholders Chambers at 567 Pavonia Ave.
DeGise continued that former Congressman Frank Guarini has donated property to get the project moving, with hopes of a groundbreaking in 2020 without significant tax increases at the county level.
Also during his succinct speech, which lasted less than 20 minutes, the county exec noted that Hudson County Schools of Technology Superintendent of Schools Frank Gargiulo will be retiring just before their new $154 million Secaucus facility opens in September.
To honors his decades of service in the school system, the new building will be named after him.
“This beautiful $154 million dollar facility is really the capstone on the career of our longtime Schools of Technology Superintendent, Frank Gargiulo,” DeGise exclaimed.
“As I mentioned, he will retire at the end of this school year. That is why I am so honored to announce that the new Hi Tech Campus will be named after Frank. It is a well-deserved honor, congratulations.”
Gargiulo is also the North Bergen Commissioner of the Department of Public Works under state Senator (D-32)/Mayor Nick Sacco, who along with U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8), is leading the charge to get DeGise re-elected in 2019.
DeGise did not mention what right now appears to be an inevitable HCDO split, as Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and state Senator (D-33)/Union Mayor Brian Stack lead the charge to oust him, during his speech, as he focused only on governmental issues.
At the tail end of his speech, DeGise surprised most guests on hand by saying he would be signing an executive order terminating the county’s agreement with FedEx since they continue to support the National Rifle Association after the Parkland, Florida massacre.
“We have spent more than $60,000 with FedEx over the last three years for delivery services. But we will stop using FedEx because they refuse to stop shipping guns and ammunition without responsible restrictions,” DeGise revealed.
“They have continued to refuse even after the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month. When it comes to gun safety, it’s time for everyone to pick a side in this fight. This County stands with our children, our parents and our teachers.”
Dignitaries in attendance included Freeholders Anthony Vainieri (D-8), Bill O’Dea (D-2), Anthony Romano (D-5), Al Cifelli (D-9), Kenny Kopacz (D-1) and Tilo Rivas (D-7), Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Jersey City Councilmen Rich Boggiano and Michael Yun, Former Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, ex-Jersey City Councilman Peter Brennan and Ben Lopez, former Assembly members Joan Quigley and Sean Connors, Jersey City Board of Education Trustee Amy DeGise, among many others.
DeGise’s full State of the County Address, which streamed live on our Facebook page, can be viewed below: