In a letter to the editor, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla explains why voters should approve the two questions on the November 5th ballot to improve the local Open Space Trust Fund.
When heading to the polls on November 5, Iâ€™m asking Hoboken residents to please consider voting YES on municipal questions 1 and 2.
Voting YES to these two questions will substantially help our efforts to acquire additional land for open space, and develop parkland without burdening taxpayers.
Our Open Space Trust Fund, which was approved by a 10-1 margin back in 2007, creates a dedicated pool of funding that the City has used for the past 12 years to both acquire land, and build out our parks without impacting our tax rate.
Two prime examples of the way we have successfully utilized our Open Space Trust Fund was the acquisition and build out of our Southwest Resiliency Park, and the acquisition of our Northwest Resiliency Park (currently under construction).
Without the Open Space Trust Fund, itâ€™s likely neither of these park projects would have been possible.
Planning for the future with our proposed acquisition of Union Dry Dock, it is critical that we have sufficient funding to connect our waterfront with public, open space.
Voting YES to municipal questions 1 and 2 will increase our Open Space Trust Fund by one cent per $100 of assessed value, so we can have the funding necessary to build a waterfront park our City can be proud of for generations to come, without having to raise taxes.
Additionally, voting YES to municipal questions 1 and 2 will allow a greater portion of the Open Space Trust Fund for actual park development, as opposed to land acquisition. Currently, the regulations for our Open Space Trust Fund mandates that 75% should be used for land acquisition.
Voting YES will allow for a greater share to be used for park development, which allows for more flexibility as we move forward with Union Dry Dock, the Northwest Resiliency Park, and planned Southwest Resiliency Park expansion.
And, voting YES allows the City additional flexibility to spend a portion of the funds for historic preservation purposes.
We canâ€™t move forward with these critical projects, especially Union Dry Dock, without your help on November 5. Iâ€™m asking residents to please support open, public space in Hoboken and voting YES on municipal questions 1 and 2.
Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla