Following New York City’s lead, Hoboken 1st Ward council candidate Rafi Cordova is calling for the city to implement a rat czar to address their rodent issues.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“While the City has made attempts to address this problem, including the new containerized garbage ordinance, much more needs to be done,” Cordova, the chair of the city’s rent leveling and stabilization board, said in a statement.
“I believe we need a multifaceted approach to this issue that includes uniting public resources, businesses, and residents. That is exactly what my plan does.”
He postulates that health department employees have a wide range of duties that prevent them from honing in on rat control, therefore a rat czar would make sense since he or she would not have any other duties.
As he sees it, the rat czar would lead a task force that includes employees from the sanitation, health, zoning, and construction departments would walk the Mile Square City streets and issue violations for negligent property owners.
“Likewise, the rat czar would draw on expertise from the same departments about how to tackle the issue from each angle,” Cordova added.
He also calls for preventative measures that include composting, which would allow additional city funds to pay for an additional day of garbage and/or recycling pickup, a separate garbage contract through the Hoboken Business Alliance, and upgrading to larger city trash cans.
“Furthermore, the first time candidate wants to add city cameras to hold residents accountable for illegal dumping, employing the RATS dog service and purchasing SMART electronic rat traps,” Cordova added.
“In other cities, SMART rat traps are utilized to kill rats via electrocution and then collect and send data to the city. We should implement the use of these traps so we can collect precise data on the distribution of rat hot spots throughout the city and target those areas with multiple extermination efforts.”
Cordova, who has the endorsement of Mayor Ravi Bhalla and former 1st Ward Councilwoman Terry Castellano, is running in a three-way race against two staunch critics of the administration.
Paul Presinzano, who rolled out his rat control plan in July, and former Human Health and Services Director Leo Pellegrini will also be in the battle to succeed 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, who is not seeking re-election in the non-partisan November 7th election.
The Hoboken City Council approved new rules and regulations for containerized garbage and streateries at a special meeting on August 3rd.