Hoboken mayoral hopeful DeFusco announces plan for new high school complex


Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman/mayoral hopeful Mike DeFusco is calling for a “state of the art” high school complex to be built in the northern end of the Mile Square City.


“Every child in Hoboken deserves access to a top-notch public education, and as Mayor I will make it one of my first priorities to begin planning for a new, state-of-the-art High School complex in the Northern redevelopment area, above 14th Street,” DeFusco said in a video posted on his YouTube page on August 11th.

“We need to think big and make sure families see that we are investing in the future and giving their children everything they need to be successful.”

Also in the video, DeFusco added that “an excellent public education is the yardstick by which great cities are measured,” vowing to working with the public school district to put Hoboken into this conversation.

“While the City government is not directly responsible for our schools, the Mayor and Council are the sole land use authorities and can author redevelopment plans and negotiate for land,” the candidate said.

“We must provide the leadership and set the tone to help advancements like this happen. Working with county, state and federal agencies and fostering public/private partnerships can bring funding opportunities to help defray costs.”

If we chart the right course, I’m confident our superintendent and school board will take the opportunity to do what is best for our students,” he added.

DeFusco isn’t the first Hoboken mayoral candidate to discuss policy initiatives ahead of what will inevitably be contentious campaign leading up to the November 7th election.

At a fundraiser last month, Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) also expressed an interest in partnering with the Stevens Institute of Technology to build a new Hoboken school, while Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla unveiled a recreation program agenda last week.

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  1. This is beyond pie in the sky. It wreaks of Carmelo Garcia’s Vision 20/20 “plan” which was all talk and no details (aside from the obvious sweetheart development implications).

    The truth is that the Mayor has no legal authority to “bring a school” to their municipality because that process is controlled by the school district and not City Hall. I would be keen to learn how Mike’s conversations with the school district are going (if they have even begun). Does Mike understand that the Hoboken School District answers to the State of NJ, not City Hall?

    I’m sure Mike has a smoothly rehearsed and vague answer to all this, but no hard numbers. Just huge empty promises that he would blame other for when they fail.

    Have a conversation here first Mike. And then report back to us with some hard numbers. http://www.hoboken.k12.nj.us/central_office/office_of_the_superintendent

  2. Derek is right.

    DeFusco’s “plan” is cynical pandering for votes, making promises to “bring a new high school to Hoboken” that he doesn’t have the legal authority to deliver.

    Unless DeFusco thinks the mayor controls the Hoboken School District (and not the New Jersey Dept of Education), then his plan is a con job, and he is a lying con artist.

    It is the Hoboken School District that applies to the NJDOE for the construction of a new high school, not City Hall. If the state does approve the construction of the new school, the school district must put up a referendum for a public vote to approve any construction costs. Not City Hall.

    Therefore, Mike Defusco, as mayor, has NO LEGAL AUTHORITY to bring a new school to Hoboken. None. His dishonesty (or ignorance of the law) in peddling empty promises that he “plans to bring a new high school to Hoboken” proves he is manifestly unfit to for the office of mayor.


  3. DeFusco really is clueless. Even the Board of Education has it’s hands tied when it comes to building a new school. As a district which fell under Abbott regulations, only the NJ Department of Education and the Schools Development Authority are able to approve new school construction. City Hall has absolutely no jurisdiction over the School District. Only a moron would lay out a plan that has no legal standing. I guess that makes DeFusco a moron.

  4. Oy Vey (Nancy) and Derek — you are both clueless and political hacks. Do you realize the mayor and city council are the sole land use authorities of the City? School board can’t negotiate land use deals, that’s the mayor. The school board can’t even sell land without the consent of the municipality. This election is about leadership and the broken promises of Zimmer/Bhalla that have (almost) produced an 8/10 an acre park while our city’s infrastructure fails