LETTER: Feedback is welcomed for Hoboken’s Rebuild by Design, council pres. says

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In a letter to the editor, Hoboken City Council President Ravi Bhalla says Hoboken’s elected officials welcome community feedback in the Rebuild by Design process – especially since state and federal entities will ultimately make the final decision on the plan. Ravi Bhalla

The Rebuild by Design process has been the topic of much debate in our community, and while we’ve seen vocal opposition to certain concepts, I am excited to see so many residents get involved and take an interest in this monumental opportunity.

As many of you may be aware, through the advocacy efforts of Mayor Zimmer, last year Hoboken was awarded $230 million in federal funding to implement a plan to keep our city safe from the massive flooding we have seen in the past, including the terrible damage stemming from Hurricane Sandy.

It is important to note that the State of New Jersey and federal government, not the city council or the mayor, will make the final decision on this plan.  This is why we need residents to be involved in the process and make their voices heard.

For the past several months, I have served as co-chair of a Citizens Advisory Group (CAG), which is comprised of dedicated local residents who want to ensure the needs of the community are met as we work toward a very important decision about how to utilize these funds.

Residents have expressed frustration about the idea of flood “walls” in neighborhoods and along our waterfront, which is included in the proposed concepts. I share this frustration and anger regarding some of the concepts being presented – particularly the ones that would negatively impact our treasured waterfront or brownstone neighborhoods.

However, the selection process legally requires a certain number of potential concepts to be presented, and then it is up to us to decide which ones are feasible starting points and which ones we consider to be “non-starters.”

This process is a critical means for the community to rally together and make our voices heard.  Information is available by searching for “Rebuild by Design – Hudson River” on NJ.gov.

Please join in and review the concepts! If you have feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me at councilmanbhalla@gmail.com. I would be happy to discuss these with you and keep you informed of the progress of the Citizens Advisory Group.

If we all work together for the greater good of our City, we can make this seemingly omnipresent threat of flooding an issue of the past.

Ravinder S. Bhalla
Hoboken City Council President
Councilman-at-Large

5 COMMENTS

  1. This issue is going to be the downfall of the Zimmer Administration, including the Council President. The “not in my backyard” mentality of the residents will find the Zimmer Team under fire more and more. The fact is that Hoboken floods and it will continue to flood. The smart thing to do would be to first stop the massive amounts of development that this team has allowed to take place on the western side of town. For a group that was elected as an anti-development group, they have failed miserably. Sure, a select few developers (ok, one select developer in particular) have made tons of money thanks to Zimmer, but the rest of us will pay dearly for her epic failure for years to come. Second, the Zimmer mob has to stop giving away height and density rewards to get what the see as reasonable compromises to solutions. The Neuman Leather building is a prime example as is the huge building near the tracks on 10th st.
    The are slowly, but surely building a wall around the city.Give backs from developers mean nothing if they diminish the overall quality of life in the city. What do the residents of the town really get in return for the density? NOTHING! A few artists and craftspeople may get to stay for a bit, but history has shown that in the longterm, they will be forced out by higher rents, poor services or worse. Gentrification knows no moral boundaries. So now it’s up to the residents, the average Joe’s and Jane’s to put an end to the madness that has been nothing more than a wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing.These are not Reformers. They are opportunists preying on the emotions of people who want to believe that they are working for the good of the town. The Council President is a master of deception and he has never looked out for anyone other than himself. What makes anyone thing that he will start now?
    Walls may keep out the waters from the next 100 year flood, but it won’t keep the water from flooding the streets during a normal n’oreaster. Walls won’t stop the water from backing up in the drains of basements built on marshland. Walls won’t stop the water from coming. They will only displace it.
    It’s time to stop the recklessness of the Zimmer cabal before they do even more damage than they already have. I don’t know much about politics, but isn’t it time for a recall?

    • If a recall of the mayor were actually possible someone would have gotten that rich idiot Mason to fund it already. Even if you could pull it off before November 2017 who would you run against Zimmer? One of the subsidized housing leeches, FBI tape Russo or County Tax Raiser Romano? Those 2 have no shot. The toxic former assemblyman? He has 1 ward that would vote for his shtick. And even though Ruben seems like a decent guy his record as a councilman
      was pretty awful

      At the end of the day if people want a different direction than the Zimmer admin, they need to actually come up with a decent candidate. As the last election showed people in Hoboken are not interested in the Russo/Garcia/Mason political crowd.

    • Pretty heavy charges there regarding vote buying. Do you have any actual evidence? I’m assuming no like all of your other delusions.

      Dementia in the elderly needs more attention in our state. For those without family and friends, when its sets in it can be very sad to see.

  2. Good ole Bhalla heeding the advice of his PR aids by repeatedly writing op-eds rather than getting guidance on his ethical challenges.

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