In a letter to the editor, Hoboken Democratic Committeeman Jason Freeman says that the city council made a bad decision in moving the second vote on acquiring the Union Dry Dock until after the municipal elections.
On Monday, November 13, the Hoboken City Council voted to give the
City of Hoboken the use of Eminent Domain to acquire Union Dry Dock.
I support this decision and agree with the litany of concerned citizens that spoke out during
the meeting about the importance of having a continuous waterfront in Hoboken.
I commend City Council for listening and understanding why this is important and starting the process to hopefully secure this parcel of land for our city. But I am hesitant to bend over backwards to give our City Council the credit they think they deserve.
At the City Council meeting on October 4th, when this ordinance was first raised,
Council President Giattino stated that the ordinance’s second reading would take
place on November 13th, rather than on October 18th, the date by which a second
reading would normally fall.
Her reasoning was “This is very important to all of us…but to make sure it remains just policy and not politics, the second reading would be after the election.”
In a normal situation, I would agree with Council President Giattino, as Hoboken is notorious for political charades happening during election season, but this specific ordinance was different.
It was brought to the Council on October 4th as an “Urgent Matter,” meaning that if
this ordinance was not heard immediately, the City’s position in the matter could be
Unfortunately, for the citizens of Hoboken, that is exactly what happened. We have recently found out that in these past six weeks, the land owned by Union Dry Dock has been purchased by New York Waterway for $11.5 million.
Councilman DeFusco, Councilman Cunningham, Councilman Mello, Councilwoman
Fisher, Councilman Ramos, and Council President Giattino all voted to put the second reading off for six weeks and after the election.
It is deeply troubling to me that in an effort to try and be apolitical, a majority of our
City Council Members have left us with very little leverage and a real possibility of
not obtaining the property along the waterfront.
I am wary of their newfound feelings of urgency, as they were in fact part of the reason the City was forced to push off this ordinance for nearly six weeks.
Councilwoman Fisher stated in a mass email on November 14th , that this is “a suddenly urgent political battle that will need to be waged…”
While I agree completely, I am perplexed as to what has changed in her mind in just six weeks.
Winning this battle is important, and I implore our elected officials to stop the political jockeying. These tactics might have just cost our City a real opportunity to secure a piece of property that is greatly needed to bring out waterfront to its full potential.
I am looking forward to working with the City Council and the Administration to obtain this property. Let’s remember why we are here and work together to strengthen and improve our city.
Hoboken Democratic Committee
Ward 6, District 6