LETTER: In 5th Ward council race, vote Urtecho ‘to move Hoboken in a better direction’


In a letter to the editor, Debbie Jacobus and Bob Conrad urge 5th Ward voters to elect Liz Urtecho ‘to move Hoboken in a better direction.”

Hoboken 5th Ward council candidate Liz Urtecho. Photo via lizurtecho.com.

Dear Editor,

As committed, long term residents, we are supporting Liz Urtecho as our 5th Ward Council Representative because we have growing concerns with the way our City is being run, and believe that leadership changes are in order to move Hoboken in a better direction.

The “rat issue” is simply the most recent example of the Bhalla Administration, and its hand-chosen council majority, downplaying an issue until it becomes TOO big to ignore – then patting themselves on the back for belatedly coming up with a solution.

Good leaders look around corners, anticipate problems and develop ways to prevent them before they reach crisis stage.

Transparency is such a buzzword in modern organizations, and yet our City Government continues to operate behind closed doors; outsourcing our Rec Soccer Program with little notice (and at a vastly increased expense to taxpayers) and engaging an architect for a project without owning the property – or notifying some members of the Council ahead of time.

The “surveys” we get fed are incomplete, containing no information regarding cost, timeline, disruption to the residents or alternatives. It’s not enough to say, “the majority of residents want X” when you’ve given them no context.

At a recent debate, the current 5th Ward councilman tried to explain away the numerous lawsuits the City is facing by noting that we live in a “litigious” society which, in typical fashion, deflects accountability from the Administration he votes with 99% of the time.

Too much (NY Waterway project, the development on the cliffs, cannabis approvals, etc.) has been pushed forward with a seeming lack of foresight, an abundance of arrogance and plenty of political self-interest, opening the administration to repeated and costly litigation.

The budget continues to be a concern, with multiple newly created positions, project cost overruns and increased legal fees.

The administration is quick to highlight the merits of the NW Resiliency Park, which we agree is a wonderful addition to our City, but never in their communication do you hear that the price tag for this park was over $90 million, against an initial budget of roughly $50 million, which comes at taxpayer expense. And this is just one example.

Liz Urtecho is someone we have known for over 20 years and is exactly the kind of leader, and individual, we need to represent the 5th Ward.

Liz is a person of unwavering integrity, who will “think with her head and act with her heart,” always advocating for transparency and accountability in our City Government.

She is smart, passionate, and hard working. Whether it’s an effort to combat the rat problem or control the budget, we know Liz will approach these issues with intelligence, common sense, and compassion.

For Liz, this Council seat is all about serving the public, not positioning herself for a career in politics.

Getting “back to basics,” she will advocate for quality-of-life issues such as pedestrian safety, responsible development and education, points that today are being made as sound bites – not for the greater, long term public good.

We have no doubt that when elected, Liz will represent her constituents well and always do what is right and best for the City of Hoboken.

We will be proudly voting for Liz in November and strongly encourage our 5th Ward friends and neighbors to do the same.


Debbie Jacobus and Bob Conrad
5th Ward Residents

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  1. Deb and Bob suffer from a severe disease. Unfortunately racism courses through their veins like it does with Liz Tiffany Jen.

    Liz is the anti cannabis candidate for the racist minority of Hoboken.

  2. It’s too bad Liz didn’t share more of Phil’s horrendous record of voting for Ravi and against 5th Ward. For starters, here are some of the things Phil did:

    -Voted for the hidden High School Referendum. Homeowners in 1100 Adams, 900 Jefferson, 920 Jefferson, 930 Jefferson and the Columbus 400-402 9th Street should ALL be voting for Liz on this issue alone

    -Proposed a special assessment zone for resident of the 5th Ward to pay a tax to play for basic infrastructure improvements like street, sewer and water line upgrades and a 15th Street Light Rail Station that will be used by all residents of Hoboken. This was pulled from the council meeting when it was leaked and Phil was uncovered.

    -Voted against asking the new state DA (not Ravi’s best friend Gurbir Grewal who is being investigated for also not prosecuting Menendez wife in exchange for his DC job) to investigate the 2017 racist fliers that were linked to Bhalla and DeFusco.

    -Voted to move the DPW into the 5th Ward and tried to first put it in the North Lot across the street from the park, then a massive building on Larry Bijou’s block that failed, then to steal Poggi’s land that failed, then finally for an $80M bond that will alone increase our municipal taxes by 3.5% next year for 40 years.

    -Claims he championed rent freezes when he actually sided with the developers (look it up).

    -Routinely ignored his neighbours in favor of Ravi’s bidding so much so that this actually was the cause of his 20+ year former friend Liz Urtecho running against him.

    -Claims to be an advocate for safety but ignored emails and phone calls from the boards of the Upper Grand buildings requesting a meeting to have construction trucks use Madison Street and not Adams after a cement truck for the park blew a tire which sent a concrete chunk threw the front window of 1300 Adams gym, narrowly missing a child in a stroller. In the same building, live an ER doctor who was enjoying coffee at Dolce Salato when he was attacked by a guy who hit him across the face with a metal crutch, sending him to the hospital. In the past two years at least two vehicles has FLIPPED OVER in his Ward – one a 12th and Clinton and another at 12th and Grand, the very corner he’s touting as safe now because he installed a stop sign no one stops at because there is ZERO enforcement. A person was arrested for DUI after driving into Brandt School’s playground just blocks from Phil’s house on 11th and Willow. People routinely drive the wrong way down one way streets, speed, and run stop signs and red lights notably at both 13th and 14th and Willow where another pedestrian was hit recently while crossing to go to Trader Joe’s.

    In short, Phil sucks. But he has bought Fox Hill’s votes and tricked the renters in the Rivington and Harlow that he’s their champion.

    But those in the know, know. It’s just sad Liz didn’t come out stronger and directly confront Phil on all these points (and more).

  3. I am also supporting Liz. Over his tenure, I have talked to Phil about issues that were important to me: public contact city employees wearing masks during COVID (I worked in teaching hospitals for 28 years), city contracting practices, development on the west side, transparency, rats and the dispensaries. He and I disagree on too many issues for me to support him.
    When I learned that Liz was running, I reached out, we talked, I donated, and have already voted for her.
    I found her to be concerned about the ward, well informed, active in many community functions, and most important, independent of the current administration.