A Halloween-themed mailer from Hoboken 4th Ward Council candidate Dana Wefer goes after the “scary” voting records of her opponents, Councilman Tim Occhipinti and ex-Assemblyman Ruben Ramos.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Wefer, the chair of the Hoboken Housing Authority, blamed Ramos for 10 years of “rubberstamping overspending” while on the City Council under Mayor David Roberts between July 1999 and July 2009.
During that time, a 70 percent municipal tax increase was imposed, something Wefer obviously hasn’t forgotten about.
She also accused Ramos of voting for “budget gimmicks,” as well as for, along with Occhipinti, obstructing the deal to save the Hoboken University Medical Center.
Wefer was even less kind to Occhipinti, who was elected to the council in November 2010, highlighting six measures he’s voted against on the council – which included voting no for Sandy repairs as well as for voting against a $5.5 million bond to keep HUMC open.
On a positive note, Wefer took credit for forcing Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33) out of the HHA (without mentioning his name) as well for recently bringing in a new executive director from out of state.
“Tim is trying very hard to portray as though he has been a responsible council person the entire time he’s been in office, but he hasn’t been. There have been a lot of votes that have been harmful to this city,” she said, adding that the same thing goes for Ramos.
Wefer has the endorsement of Mayor Dawn Zimmer heading into the November 3 throw down.
“There’s a very big difference when you look at what they’ve done and what I’ve done.”
Occhipinti, who coincidentally boasted Southwest Park coming to the ward in his latest mailer (as well as his ability to work with Zimmer), said Wefer’s mailer is disingenuous.
“Dana is attempting to distort my record with the references she used. There were substantial circumstances surrounding each vote. She is making it appear simplistic, however, each vote was very complex, as is often the case in the City of Hoboken,” he told Hudson County View over the phone.
“I’m focused on the improvement and quality of life in the residents of the 4th Ward. I’d also like to add the hospital garage bond was funded by surplus from the parking utility, that was not taxpayer money that was wasted. That was a surplus used to pay off debt.”
When asked to address Wefer’s criticisms regarding Southwest Park, Occhipinti seemed perplexed that would be a point of attack.
“The only thing I can think of is I didn’t support imminent domain for the park because the administration did not sufficiently negotiate with the property owner, but that is not voting against the Southwest Park. Again, she is distorting the facts and this sounds like a very desperate campaign effort.”
Ramos’ campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski said that he has “a strong record of delivering for Hoboken.”
“Ruben Ramos is proud of his strong record of delivering for Hoboken on important issues like upgrading public parks, providing flooding control solutions, reducing traffic and ensuring that residents have access to health care services,” he said in an email.
“Ruben is running a positive campaign because he knows that he can stand behind his impressive record as both a Councilman and Assemblyman along with his outstanding reputation among 4th Ward voters. In this election experience counts and results matter — that’s what we believe will propel Ruben to victory on Tuesday.”