Giattino, Cricco-Powell support Bhalla’s plan to execute eminent domain on Union Dry Dock


Although they are squaring off in the November municipal elections, Hoboken Council President Jen Giattino and Cristen Cricco-Powell are both on board with Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s plan to execute eminent domain on Union Dry Dock.

Hoboken Council President Jen Giattino (left) and Cristen Cricco-Powell. Cricco-Powell photo via Team Bhalla campaign.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We cannot to go backwards to the industrial waterfront of my childhood. We must prevent New York Waterway from from constructing a refueling depot,” Cricco-Powell said in a statement.

“I ask the entire City Council to vote for Mayor Bhalla’s proposal to purchase the property by eminent domain at the Aug. 7 Council meeting. It’s our last best hope to do it.”

Cricco-Powell continued that she is on board with many many residents who wish to see the Union Dry Dock property remain part of an open green space plan.

At the end of 2017, in the heat of a 6-person mayoral contest, incumbent Dawn Zimmer had been pushing the council to vote on using eminent domain.

The first reading passed on October 4th of that year, but the second reading was not approved until about six weeks later, or eight days after the mayoral race where Bhalla was victorious.

According to Cricco-Powell, that vote was pushed due to politics and history cannot repeat itself this time around.

“This time it’s vital that Councilwoman Giattino and the rest of the Council get it right. This is about the future of our town and what we want Hoboken to be,” she added.

Giattino, first elected to the council in 2011, characterized herself as a “steadfast advocate” of Union Dry Dock and looks forward to voting yes on the measure in front of the council on Wednesday.

“Protecting our waterfront as open public space has been and still remains a top priority for me and I have been a steadfast advocate against the Union Dry Dock project for almost a decade. Immediately after I was elected to the City Council in 2011, I fought to have the location added to our Open Space Trust plan, despite lacking support from the administration at the time,” she said in her own statement.

“Our fight against plans for the Union Dry Dock has not been easy and we have relied on legal counsel to ensure we approach this matter in the most responsible way. I am committed to building a complete and public waterfront and looking forward to working with the mayor in this next step against the [New York Waterway] Union Dry Dock proposal.”

In March 2018, the council voted to acquire Union Dry Dock for $11.6 million, but they rescinded the city’s ability to use eminent domain the following month.

Bhalla called for the council to again attempt the eminent domain process in mid-June.

The battle over the property has pitted the city against NY Waterway in recent years, since they would prefer to use the waterfront site as a ferry refueling and maintenance station.

Their lawsuit against the city that hoped to allow them to circumvent local zoning and land use laws was dismissed one week ago, though that outcome was largely overshadowed by the fact that an attorney in the matter compared Hoboken police to the “gestapo.”

He later apologized for making such a comparison, noting that he has the utmost respect for law enforcement.

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  1. Cricco didn’t even know how to spell Union Dry Dock until the Ravi comm guy did it for her. Ravi is running all these people like a bunch of puppets. Where was Cricco in 2017? Silent and invisible like almost every one on Ravi’s ticket. Booorrrrinnnnng!

  2. Where was Cricco in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 when Giattino first joined the city and immediately began advocating for the city to acquire UDD. Obviously Cricco wasn’t involved, otherwise, she would know that Giattino pushed for this multiple times during her time on the council.

    Too bad Zimmer had zero interest. All those wasted years. Now Cricco is going to give the rest of us a history lesson. Very funny.

    • You are asking about Cricco’s activities as many as 8 years before she ran for council.

      Please provide the record of Giattino’s political involvement going back to 2003 – 8 years before she ran for council. You can leave out her role as a would-be Kasich delegate and her staunch support for Romney since she is now a democrat-of-convenience.

      • Sure, as soon as you provide of a record where she acted like she’d been involved in issues of interest that she’d never said a word about before she was running

  3. Bhalla’s team’s faux and politically convenient rhetoric is so transparent and disingenuous. Cricco didn’t even live in Hoboken when all the defending of the waterfront was happening. Cricco should be embarrassed by this quote. Will be interesting to see what else she feigns advocacy for.

  4. Wow. What a powerful tidbit of opposition research. Giattino, Fisher and DeFusco should do something about this given how important you think it is.

    The fact that Giattino genuinely thinks acquiring the UDD site is important makes the fact that she played politics with the issue even more inexcusable.

    I’m glad she’s following Mayor Bhalla’s lead now – it would be political suicide not to – but if she thought she could get elected mayor in 2021 by blocking him she’s already shown us what she would do.

  5. This series of tweets lays out the background known to Giattino, Fisher, DeFusco and the Fund for a better Waterfront be(Jim Vance) wheny delayed voting to give Mayor Zimmer the books she needed to even find out what what was going on in 2017:

    Shame on them and on all their enablers, including the Fund for a Better Waterfront (Jim Vance) who hypocritically put politics first instead of doing what they damn well knew was right.

    • Jim Vance has done more to contribute to this town than you ever did. You would have never fled here after 9/11 if it wasn’t for the waterfront Jim and the FBW worked so hard to build. Sinatra drive would look more like Battery Park City if it wasn’t for the FBW!
      Funny how you trash the FBW and Vance while your puppets Cricco and DeBenidetto claim to have supported them in 1984…when they were like 7 years old. Yeah sure.
      Keep trashing Vance, at least he served and fought in Vietnam, unlike you who lived a cushy trust fund kid life.
      He never made a dime or off this city….

      • Vance has a checkered history in Hoboken. His contributions as an issue advocate for the waterfront are real, as is are his noxious and hypocritical activities as a “political soldier” for people like Beth Mason and Mike DeFusco. When the chips were down he seems to have always put politics over policy and he has been known to be pretty nasty at times.

        Still, the contrast of his record to nasty faux reform folks without his record of actual accomplishment is pretty clear. Jim has real good in his record. Not so for sending other hypocrites who have little to no actual accomplishments to offset their toxicity.

        • Checkered is better than Shadowy
          Some may even say shadowy was close to corrupt history, but that’s just rumors. Just because someone drops out of a race last minute as she and her spouse are part of a quiet legal settlement with the last HHA Director is no reason to believe they are corrupt, but certainly begs the question. Zimmer was a master at spinning eco excuses as her reasons for all her actions.
          Who else could blame The Paris accord as a reason to quit trying for a third term?
          Brilliant excuse and gave her an out hoping nobody would follow up on her private sector job she landed.
          She hasn’t said boo about the Paris Accord since

    • Many questioned the evolvement, with good reason, the actions of some of the principles of FBW regarding the UDD and Hilton Hotel negotiations at the time and their close connections to the DeFusco campaign.
      At this point in time all sides of seem to be working together to back Mayor Bhalla’s strategy to acquire the UDD property for Hoboken.

      • The same could be said for Fisher, Giattino and DeFusco, whose record on the Hotel, UDD and Monarch are pretty much exactly the same as Jim Vance’s.

        They all own both the good and bad in their pasts, and the public ought to know the imvarnished truth about both sides of the coin. It’s about the facts, not about today’s political expediency.

        • If somebody’s planning board pal did a better job maybe this wouldn’t have happened?
          Dawn delivers for the Barry’s even when she didn’t mean to or did she?

        • Odd how the barn boys never bring up Vance’s Vote Hoboken colab with Mason . Or is it ?

          The constant psychotic personal attacks illustrates the character of the people Fisher and Giattino’s have surrounded themselves. Voters in November will find it hard to believe that a candidate is on the moral high road when they are knee deep in horse manure and sewage of their campaign supporters.

          • Dawn was a member of Vote Hoboken and she quit when Stan couldn’t control it. Vote Hoboken or Vote Stan? Pick your poison.
            At least Vote Hoboken knew when to quit. Time for STan to let Ravi be a big boy now.

          • Funny, I feel the same way about the Bhalla crew. Have you read the GA blog and the tone of her commenters? Looks like we got a serious case of pot & kettle going on.