In Hoboken’s 2nd Ward, Martinez-Debenedetto reveals open space waterfront plan


In Hoboken’s 2nd Ward council race, challenger Nora Martinez-Debenedetto has revealed her open space waterfront plan, though incumbent Tiffanie Fisher says the plan is not feasible.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I have a detailed plan to build out open space at both the Monarch property and at Union Dry Dock,” Martinez-Debenedetto said in a statement.

“As Councilwoman, working constructively with Mayor Bhalla and my Council colleagues, I will turn this plan into a reality, protecting our waterfront for all of us to enjoy.”

Her plan includes pushing for open space on both the Union Dry Dock and Monarch properties, the Monarch developer pays the bulk of the rehab and buildout costs and securing state and FEMA funds to ensure flood mitigation at Union Dry Dock.

“I am the only candidate who is actually eligible to vote on a potential Monarch deal, which is arguably the most consequential vote affecting 2nd Warders next year. (Unfortunately, the incumbent has a conflict and must recuse herself from voting on this important matter),” the challenger stated.

While Fisher said that all sounds good, it’s not realistic and would likely cost the the city millions of dollars.

“I don’t think my opponent fully understands how the transfer of land rights works. If the trade includes using excess value from the development of the DPW site to build out of her proposed $50 million park, that is not a community give back, but rather dollars the city is forgoing that could be used for many priorities,” she responded.

“This is the perfect example of why Hoboken needs a representative that has significant financial and real estate experience, one who is always looking out for Hoboken taxpayers and one who has been in the fight for our waterfront for years. My opponent is completely new to this subject. I am the candidate for 2nd Ward Council with the most proven record of fiscal responsibility and fighting to preserve our waterfront as open space.”

Team Bhalla spokesman Rob Horowitz hit back, claiming that Fisher is the one that doesn’t understand redevelopment agreements.

“Any redevelopment agreement can potentially include community givebacks, period. It shows that either Ms. Fisher doesn’t understand redevelopment agreements or doesn’t want the Monarch property as public open space,” he said.

“If she would rather two large skyscrapers instead of open space on our waterfront, she should state that. Either way, she’s playing politics at the hand of a critical issue in which she is recused from voting.”

The city recently made a $13.1 million offer to New York Waterway in the latest round in their battle over Union Dry Dock, following approval from the council.

NY Waterway continues to push to turn the site into a ferry maintenance and refueling facility and the matter is expected to head to court yet again.

Meanwhile, the Monarch agreement would transfer the development area to the city and pave way for the redevelopment of the Department of Public Works garage site.

The DPW garage is located at 256 Observer Highway, and along with providing a full renovation of the facility, the Applied Development Company would also agree to building 4,000 square feet of retail along the thoroughfare, as well as 264,000-square-foot transit-oriented rental building – which would dedicate at least 11 percent of their units to affordable housing.

However, the whole development would only be made possible once the terms of a redevelopment agreement is approved by the council at date to be determined.

Out of nowhere, 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco unexpectedly entered the fray as well, stating that he also opposes the concept too, since it “proposes stripping our neighborhood of essential community givebacks from the project.”


Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new information.

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  1. Boy that guy standing in for Ravi’s candidates sure is busy up there in Providence.
    More pie-in-the-sky BS from the people who sell you 300 foot towers for Ravi’s PAC pals.

  2. Is this serious?
    A food blogger and Art teacher can make this statement: ““I don’t think my opponent fully understands how the transfer of land rights works. If the trade includes using excess value from the development ” ???

    Earth to the food blogger Nora, Ms Fisher is a multi millionaire from being a CEO in real estate.
    What’s your experience?

  3. I wonder if Team Bhalla is hard at work with this season’s version of a self-inflicted attack with midnight flyers to garner a sympathy vote and faux outrage?
    Ravi loves exploiting his victimhood

    • Many people have always believed that that racist smear flyer against Bhalla came from the DeFusco team.
      The rather overblown theatrics from Michael DeFusco have been likened to OJ say he was going find the real killer of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Rod Goldman.

      Like Simpson, Defusco claimed he was the real victim.

      For the record OJ did it.

    • Are more Jen Terror Flyers on the way? Probably so! Rain man already warned us that there is no police report exonerating Jen which means Jen is probably guilty! She’s doing it to garner a sympathy faux and generate faux outrage. Jen loves exploiting her victimhood. Just ask Rain man!

  4. Pier c cost 30 million. As a resident of Hudson Tea, I’m happy to see it cleaned up and create a simple natural estuary and walkway.
    Nora has no idea how public money works.

  5. Nora either hasn’t read the agreement to agree which was actually a publicity stunt pulled by the mayor or, she being dishonest with the residents of the second ward to pander for our votes. The land swap appraises the waterfront property at the current value which includes the right to build 2 towers on the waterfront. The municipal garage is valued as is. We may end up giving Applied our land and owing them money too. Plus, we may end up on the hook to build the waterfront walkway which is required by the state.

    A lot of negotiation needs to happen on this campaign season Monarch stunt and there are 8 votes on the council even if Tiffanie recuses. We need a council representative that has more fiscal knowledge and responsibility than Nora is showing is showing here. I want a public walkway, but I don’t want my taxes to soar while getting it. That’s why I’ll be voting for Tiffanie and I pray she wins.

    • Hope the pier gets developed into open space.
      It will be good for Hoboken and at the same time profitable for Councilwoman Fisher as she owns two condos directly facing the pier. Which is why she has thad to recuse herself from anything to do with the project.

    • More proof that Ravi’s slate is lacking the necessary experience and is unfit for office. As a citizen, would you rather have facing off with the developers, their high priced bean counters and slick presentations: someone who has an advanced degree in finance & was the CFO of a real estate company, OR….someone who is best known for making cream of asparagus soup recipe posts. Or perhaps we can lean on documentary producer’s background to swim with the sharks that are the developers in Hoboken! No wonder why unions backed who they did – it’s plainly obvious who is totally outgunned, would be pushed around, and would be a rubber stamp for a mayor who is incompetent and mayoral staff that is equally inept.

      So yes, let’s bring in the elementary school art teacher. I’m sure we will all be served well.

      • is that they could end up like Defusco and chase every union and developer dollar he sees while sucking up to county bosses like Nick Sacco?

        What are your thoughts on Giatino’s professional resume when she became a council member?

      • They would have kept her after the merger. But they didn’t. Gave her a big severance package and the soft boot. She’s overrated. CFOs are a dime a dozen. Shes a lousy politician too.

        • Yea as opposed to the politically connected art teacher in a religious school ( can mean not certified )
          Nora and her husband are a public payroll team…

        • I have no idea if she was ‘great’ (all sorts of things happen in mergers), but a couple of decades in real estate and reaching the c-level is a couple of decades in real estate and reaching the c-level more than her opponent has, even if there’s less meatloaf recipes.

          As for Jen G, if I were commenting on her when she was running then I would have said the same thing. That said, she is/was a realtor in town. While that is a paper-thin qualification, it’s probably more relevant experience than 3 or more of the candidates on Ravi’s slate currently have.

          • I think some clarification is needed here re Fisher’s background in the interest of accuracy. The following is based on my review of publicly available documents, together with some speculation based on my understanding of how the world of IPO’s works. It’s my educated opinion not proven fact

            Ms. Fisher was not let go as part of a merger. That is inaccurate Indeed, she was kept on when her firm was acquired, considered a key employee who would help take the company public in an anticipated IPO.

            She resigned in the immediate run up to her firm going public in the IPO, shortly after it was announced that the firm would be bringing in a CEO from the outside, and would not be promoting from within (ie Fisher was not offered the promotion she likely wanted.)

            It is highly unusual for a CFO to resign in the run-up to an IPO, because doing so can sabotage the whole transaction. It appears to me (opinion not fact) like Fisher was angry at being passed over as CEO, and used her ability to sabotage the deal as leverage to extract a far more favorable severance deal than she would have received at any other time based on the terms of her contract.

            On the one hand, you could argue that Fisher showed herself to be a strong negotiator using her fleeting moment of leverage to get as much money as she could.

            On the other hand, you could argue that her actions were cutthroat and unethical, basically using the moment to extract a lucrative separation payment she was not contractually entitled to.

            Since then she has either not been offered a high level private sector job, or has chosen not to take one and to pursue a political career instead.

            It is certainly possible that potential employers would view her resignation in the run-up to an IPO as sufficiently off putting so as to make it difficult for her be hired again at a comparable level to where she undoubtedly believes she belongs.

            Again – this analysis is my own, based on my reading of the public record. Those interested should review the public record on their own and form their own conclusions.

          • Fisher’s firm was acquired. She was needed in the transition for a period of time. That she expected a promotion to CEO is 100% speculation. They chose to fill her CFO position from outside and there was no place to go but down. That is the soft boot. A Hobson’s Choice. They filled her position, she chose to walk with a generous severance package.

          • Fisher has a gift for putting lipstick on a pig. The pig is typically her narcissism or self-interest. That’s the common denominator between professional and political Tiff.

  6. Bhalla’s bile blogger and cave dweller Nancy was denounced by the LGBT Caucus and NJ Jewish groups
    Now what will it take for TEAM BHALLA to finally denounce her?
    They stick with her like Pence sticks with Trump

    Same bed, same flea dirt!

  7. Speaking of pigs… do you have a recipe for Roast Pork?
    Ravi likes to promise developers things the public won’t allow
    When pigs fly maybe Ravi will be re-elected

  8. Wow Linda you look up Tiffany’s resume?
    Too bad she never dug a little unto expired diamond cuts patents and daddy’s trust fund failure
    TransStan loves you and the way you’ve allowed Ravi to undo Dawns reform

    • Leaving aside the rest of your nonsense, Ms. Fisher is an elected official running for re-election and her business background is widely touted by her and by her supporters as the reason she is more qualified than her opponent. In this thread, anonymous commenters have repeatedly made patronizing and insulting references to her opponent’s background while bragging about Ms. Fisher’s.

      Anybody who thinks a member of the public who looks up Ms. Fisher’s actual work history in public filings to learn the truth is “stalking” her is an idiot. Or maybe more accurately, a Doofus.

      Ms. Fisher should be grateful. While in my opinion the chronology and facts surrounding her resignation raise serious questions about her ethics (though far more serious questions of ethics and competence are raised by her record as a Councilwoman), she was clearly not fired as some have incorrectly claimed. She should be pleased that mis-impression has been cleared up.

      • Anyone standing on high after that embarrassing display by ” Mrs Milano” has no business lecturing anyone.
        It used to be that Rob and Stan could make a silk purse out of a Dawn Zimmer, but now… wow. Poor Migdalia, I guess she had to do it to keep her boss Bhalla happy…

  9. Sadly Ms Martinez DEBENIDETTO of Cigar shop and Russo Civic Assoc/Anthony Russo BFF hall of fame has no clue about finances.
    Stick to finger painting with kids…