NJ Transit board pushes vote to acquire Hoboken’s Union Dry Dock to Friday


Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and advocates for the Union Dry Dock property are rejoicing over the fact that this morning’s NJ Transit board meeting was cancelled, though they are set to reconvene on Friday. 

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, joined by 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, speaks to the media after this morning's NJ Transit board meeting was cancelled. Twitter photo
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, joined by 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, speaks to the media after this morning’s NJ Transit board meeting was cancelled. Twitter photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Today was a tremendous victory for Hoboken, and more importantly, for good government,” Bhalla said in a statement.

“Hitting the pause button on this rushed and ill-conceived plan provides NJ Transit the opportunity, under the leadership of the incoming Murphy Administration, to begin a deliberative and transparent planning process that considers input from all stakeholders, including the public.”

Bhalla, joined by 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher and various advocates from Friends for a Better Waterfront, attended today’s scheduled NJ Transit meeting at their Newark headquarters.

However, due to a lack of quorum, the meeting has been moved for Friday at 10 a.m.

According to the state Open Public Meetings Act, all public meetings must receive “written advance notice of at least 48 hours” and be posted in at least one prominent place and/or two newspapers.

“Thank you to Governor-elect Murphy, who understood the need for local voices to be heard on this matter. Thank you to Senator Menendez and Senator Booker for their advocacy. And a big thank you to Senator Stack, Assemblywoman Chaparro, Assemblyman Mukherji, the Hoboken City Council Members, and all of the advocates and residents who have been united on this issue,” added Bhalla.

Bhalla and former Mayor Dawn Zimmer have both previously expressed their disappointment in NJ Transit for trying to acquire the coveted Union Dry Dock waterfront property from New York Waterway for $1 – as have Fisher and 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino.

A spokeswoman from NJ Transit did not return an email seeking comment on Wednesday.

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  1. Let me get this right. A meeting is postponed for later in the week and Ravi Bhalla puts out a press release calling it a tremendous victory? What utter stupidity is this?

    Any vote taken later this week is likely not good for Hoboken.

  2. If only Jim Doyle and Dawn Grossbard would have updated the masterplan rather than channel everything to redevelopment zones and giant contracts for redevelopment lawyers and in-house planners who spend more time measuring outdoor cafe’s and bike lanes then saving our public waterfront NJ Transit would have never had the opening.

    Zimmer Legacy = Monarch, UnionDryDock Ferry Repair/bus port & 700,000 HHA settlements

  3. It is actually good to see Ravi apparently on the same page with the Governor, Tiffanie, Jen and Peter along with his two council allies on this.

    Zimmer made a choice to not make Union Dry Dock a priority. It is true that Ravi will now have to follow up and if he is sincere about stopping this purchase by NJ Transit make it a high priority. It is unclear what either Ravi, Murphy or the City Council can do if NJ Transit follows through with this purchase.

    Declaring victory for a battle when the war is still ongoing is not exactly the best example of strategic communication. Ravi’s background is Asian so I suggest he branch out and read up on Sun Tsu before issuing such press releases in the future unless he wants egg on his face.

    • you formed a coalition with ramos and defusco who are old guard in sheep’s clothing and even supported the horrendous old guard boe ticket. i wouldn’t be lecturing anyone on strategy.

      • And advocate examines issues. He didn’t form a government, he reports on it. The Hoboken City Council continues working well as it has for two years with mutual respect and mostly cooperation. They don’t control the BOE.

        Residents want government to work together not fight old wars non-existent.
        When the council works toward consensus, it’s good for Hoboken.

      • I supported the Hoboken Proud slate this election. I was Hoboken Proud to vote for them. I was able to get several people to vote form them at Brandt School electioneering in the morning as witnessed by members of Ravi’s family.

        As far as appointments go. The zoning board was essentially filled with reformers with the compromise going to putting DeFusco on planning board which Ravi controls anyway. You Bhalla bots are incapable of making sense at this point.

        I had nothing to do with any of these appointments other than discussing the merits of putting Tony Soares back on the NHSA. I thought Tony was excellent on the board when I served with him. I did not disparage Brian but let the City Council decide for themselves. That is the truth.

        • let me make this simple for you since you have nothing to do with these decisions but heavily support the people who made them.

          did ramos and defusco support the old guard boe ticket yet again last year?
          does the old guard boe ticket have a well-deserved reputation for prioritizing perks for itself and friends at the expense of hoboken’s children?
          does the old guard boe have a well-deserved reputation for rigging proficiency tests to make itself look good, even accepting rewards for positive results, while screwing over hoboken’s children?
          have any old guard boe tickets ever repented any of the above or sought to distance themselves from the participants?
          do you think ramos and defusco’s support for old guard grifters is compartmentalized to hurting hoboken’s children or is a general characteristic?

          did ramos and defusco support peter cammarano?
          do you think their support for cammarano was compartmentalized to a particular election or represents a generalized characteristic of preferring grifters in city hall?

          does defusco have over $90k in unanswered p2p violations?

          does ramos have a well-documented connection to 4th ward vote-buying operations, carmelo garcia and other reform non-starters?

          did fisher, giattino and cunningham form a coalition with ramos and defusco?

          did fisher, giattino and cunningham do this because they had assurances that ramos and defusco had abandoned their support for old guard grifters, despite the fact that they believed that the $56million BOE budget should be entrusted to them?

          while believing soares had merits, did you find any issue with assadourian’s service?
          were you troubled at all by the complete absence of reasons given for dropping assadourian?
          did you see the dropping of assadourian as political payback that recognizes that new fisher-giattino-cunningham-ramos-defusco coalition and removes its perceived enemies?

          do you believe that defusco is a better planning board appointee that doyle, despite defusco’s zba voting record and heavy financial support from developers including many standing p2p violations?
          did you see the dropping of doyle as political payback that recognizes that new fisher-giattino-cunningham-ramos-defusco coalition and removes its perceived enemies?

          are you troubled at all by the ramifications of this new coalition?

          do you see where questioning the removal of assadourian and doyle may be grounded in concerns over the way decisions are made rather than out of some desire for absolute control?
          do you recognize that no thoughtful person sees those decisions as anything but political and would worry about where exactly this new coalition is headed, especially in light of its sudden disinterest in p2p violations?

          do you plan to cover defusco’s p2p violations?
          are you concerned that fisher no long appears concerned by them now that the campaign is over and she has formed a coalition with defusco?

          do you plan to walk back the campaign narrative that bhalla is in the pockets of nj transit in light of recent developments?

          if you are unable to reply without the usual childish litany of bonkers for bhalla, go back to sybils cave and attempted outings, please don’t bother. you have a blog. these are valid questions. the failure to ask them is troubling. the failure to answer them after repeated requests (save for the childish litany) is ultimately an answer.

          • Lots of questions so I will only answer the relevant ones.

            I supported Hoboken Proud BOE slate and before that Kids First and their allies consistently throughout the years. I don’t have kids but value public education and support the district schools.

            Mike Defusco appears to have taken contributions that violate the $500 limit from PACS in Hoboken’s 2011 P2P ordinance. I was not blogging at the time so doing a story on it now would not exactly be timely. I did not vote for Mike who took directly from PACs or Ravi who received substantial support from Stronger Foundations PAC. Ravi is fighting NJ Transit on UDD so he has my support on that but jury still out on Rail Yards development. He got over $70k from them and they advocate huge residential development which I do not support. No need to change narrative unlike Zimmer who railed against PACs and Cammarano but loved her some Ravi PACs in 2017. Flip floppping is for the Zimmerists and not me on developer PACs.

          • With respect to NHSA the appointments are political now and when Brian got appointed when council in his favor back then.. Cunningham Fisher and Giattino all apparently thought Tony was a better choice than Brian and that’s how he got 7 of 9 votes.

            Ravi controls the planning board so changing council Laison does not change things regarding Defusco.

            Between Jen Peter and Tiffanie no one wanted Council president. Apparently Doyle did not want it either. That leaves Ramos as the logical fallback. Since he does not get two votes I do not see much risk here. I expect him to be professional and if not he will be voted off next year.

            I can’t cover every story but welcome opinion pieces from citizens. Have a nice night.

    • Of course Sun Tsu is Chinese you Bhalla bot dolt/ dotard. The only confusion is coming from you. I look to multiple cultures to get perspective. There is wisdom in the ten gurus as well as the strategies of Sun Tsu from the art of war. Anyone reading this work would realize you do not declare victory until the war is over. Often times in war the outcome is predetermined according to the wise general. When the NJ media is calling this David V’s. Goliath who do you think is holding all the cards? It’s NJ Transit not Hoboken.

      I am more Lithuanian than German so please let the gypsy jokes fly. Then we can see that you are the bigot and not me.

      Calling me a bigot is right out of the Zayas playbook of Carmelo Garcia identity politics. Completely false and defamatory. My voting history is that I voted for Ravi three times but not a forth. Your reverse bigotry will actually hurt Ravi long term as he seeks higher office. You and your arguments are a joke and a detriment to honest political discourse.

        • A handful of Ravi bots have called me racist and misogynistic because they can’t argue effectively so instead lob insults. I have never claimed to be 100% right but irrespective of the results of the last election I would still choose the same candidates again.

          The latest post insinuating I am German therefore a Nazi shows the utter disregard for decency by the Bhalla bots and an utter disrespect for proper civic behavior. I am neither nasty, racist misogynistic nor pathetic. Those monikers instead belong to the readers and author of GA. Do you honestly defend personal attacks on her site of myself and others? I have only commented on the utter lack of honesty and fabrication of Nancy and her small band of bloviating babies.

          You look in the mirror. If I have one flaw it’s I do not have patience with idiots and liars.

      • Kurt the inability to see yourself as others see you is not an asset. Neither is the inability to recognize when you were wrong, much less acknowledge it.

        You have been wrong quite a bit lately. Indeed a review of your commentary, both signed and (not so) anonymous reveals little you have been right about since Mayor Zimmer made her announcement in June.

        Perhaps you should consider that there is much you need to learn and try to learn it instead of continuing to ignorantly pontificate. It’s not possible to regain the good reputation you worked so hard to build over the last 8 years, but it’s not too late to walk back the new reputation you have successfully replaced it with as a nasty, pathetic, pompous, misogynist, unintelligent, racist buffoon.