Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher said “there’s so much more to do” for the Mile Square City at her campaign kickoff last night, giving her thoughts on the future of the Monarch project and Union Dry Dock.
“We accomplished a lot during my first term: a couple of the major priorities of 2nd Ward residents, as well as the rest of Hoboken – things like Washington Street and infrastructure, we completed Washington Street,” Fisher said at the Madison Bar & Grill.
“We completed a new contract with Suez that will not only improve our water and infrastructure, but also saves taxpayers $30 million, which is huge … but I just still think there’s so much more to do.”
Fisher continued that smart, responsible development is necessary so that issues such as overcrowding, pedestrian safety and student enrollment in the Hoboken schools aren’t forgotten.
While the filing deadline is still many weeks away, Fisher currently faces a challenger in Nora Martinez DeBenedetto.
Recently, she distributed campaign literature that expressed concern over the fact that Fisher cannot vote on the Monarch project, a controversial waterfront project that has been tied up in litigation for many years and currently awaits a hearing from the New Jersey Supreme Court.
Fisher weighed in on what the future may potentially hold for the two, 11-story towers and what the best possible outcome for Hoboken could be.
“In the first instance, I actually find it very funny because I’ve been very transparent from the very beginning on my role on Monarch. I was the lead private individual fighting the Monarch since 2011 and I continue to fight and I continue to advocate and I always will,” she stated.
The councilwoman reflected that a unanimous 2016 council vote shot down a settlement with developer Shipyard Associates that would’ve stoped the Monarch project, but also would’ve added 79 units to 800 Monroe St.
“It really pitted two areas of Hoboken against each other,” she explained, noting that a new settlement will protect the waterfront and create a development at the Department of Public Works site.
“We need to have an 8-0 vote on any project like that and I’m confident that we’ll be able to get one,” she added.
Finally, on the subject of Union Dry Dock, New York Waterway is currently tied up in litigation with the city to use the waterfront property as a ferry maintenance and refueling station as Mayor Ravi Bhalla has called for a new eminent domain process.
Fisher stated that former Mayor Dawn Zimmer should’ve made Union Dry Dock a higher priority, commending Bhalla for trying his best to negotiate with Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and his office to preserve the land.
“We really missed our opportunity under our prior mayor, it wasn’t her priority, I appreciate all the efforts that Mayor Bhalla has made to make this a priority for our community – the efforts that he’s made with Trenton, with Gov. Murphy,” she continued.
“We’re in a tough spot so I would like to see the fight continue. With that said, I also don’t want to miss the opportunity to make sure that if something ends up happening on that site that’s not what we want, we at least make sure that it reflects the best possible outcome for the residents of Hoboken.”
During the short program that was less than 10 minutes, the councilwoman was introduced by her father Dave and was well received by the crowd of about 50 people.
Dignitaries in attendance included Council members Jen Giattino, Mike DeFusco, Ruben Ramos and Vanessa Falco, Hoboken Housing Authority Chair Dave Mello, former Council President Carol Marsh, ex-Board of Education Trustee Irene Sobolov, former HHA Chair Dave Denning, Hola Charter School Co-Founder Barbara Martinez, North Hudson Sewerage Authority Commissioner Kurt Gardiner, Bonnie Murray, who ran against Fisher in 2015, among others.