Hoboken Ward 4 Councilman Tim Occhipinti took aim at the council track record of old adversary Ruben Ramos while explaining why he’s seeking re-election, though the Ramos campaign seemed unimpressed by his remarks.
First elected to the seat in November 2010, Occhipinti said he’s seeking another term because there are long-term projects he wants to see completed, such as road and park improvements.
Occhipinti also said he was happy to be a part of other quality of life improvements such as a new traffic light near Paterson Avenue and Jackson Street with the latter also recently getting paved.
The councilman added there are some other unique issues in the fourth ward that need to be remedied.
Additionally, the incumbent was asked how he felt being involved in another three-way dance as he seeks elected office.
Back when he sought the mayor’s seat in November 2013, he ran against Dawn Zimmer and Ramos.
Of course Zimmer won re-election, but Occhipinti and Ramos meet in another grudge match, this time with the Zimmer-endorsed Wefer in the middle of the fray.
Ramos, who was born and raised in Hoboken, faired well in the 4th Ward though, getting 1,034 votes to Occhipinti’s 481.
Occhipinti opted not to get into the particulars of the 2013 race, but instead pointed to his ability to work alongside Zimmer, as well as what he believes is a very poor council track record for Ramos.
Mike Makarski, the campaign manager for Ramos, said Occhipinti already sounds “desperate.”
“Mr. Occhipinti can lob all the accusations he wants. That is what desperate campaigns and candidates do,” Makarski said in an email.
“The facts are clear. The voters of the 4th Ward have time and time again voted for Ruben Ramos to represent their interests, because he understands the community he grew up in. That is why Ruben is running, to correct the previous four years of failure.”
When reached via text message, Wefer said it would be nice if Occhipinti took an interest in the housing authority on an everyday basis, as opposed to just during campaign season.
“It’s nice that the 4th Ward councilman has finally taken an interest in the housing authority. Perhaps if he came around more than just election time he’d be aware of the tremendous progress that has been made in turning around a multimillion dollar deficit,” she said.
Wefer also pointed to the installation of generators and fixing door locks as examples of progress at the HHA, also calling incoming executive director Marc Recko “extraordinarily well-qualified, … who will run the HHA professionally for the first time in its history.”