With the referendum on the ballot tomorrow, here’s a timeline for Hoboken’s $241 million long-range facilities plan, which has been years in the making.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
• The Hoboken Board of Education submits a New Jersey Department of Education School Facilities Project Application form on September 25th, 2019. At the time, they anticipated an April 3rd, 2021 referendum at a cost of $187,116,994.
• The NJ DOE approves the Hoboken BOE’s long-range facilities plan on August 4th, 2021. The estimated cost that will appear on the ballot is $241,050,000.
• The BOE submits their summary cost estimates form to the NJ DOE on November 3rd, 2021 the day after the municipal and school board elections.
• On November 16th, 2021, the Hoboken BOE releases their first public communication that the referendum will be on January 25th.
• The Hoboken BOE presented their first public in-depth look at the proposal during the December 7th, 2021 planning board meeting.
• Mayor Ravi Bhalla comes out in favor of the project, with Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour, Councilman-at-Large Jim Doyle, and 5th Ward Councilman Phil Cohen also expressing support in a joint statement on December 13th, 2021.
• Opposition to the project is heard for the first time during the public portion of the December 14th, 2021 BOE meeting. The board also formally approved putting the referendum on the ballot.
• The BOE holds their first public information session at Hoboken High School on December 21st.
• Hoboken 2nd Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher is the first elected official to come out against the plan on January 3rd.
• A few hours later on the same day, Jabbour puts out an email blast doubling down on her support of the project.
• Parents and teachers publicly defend the project for the first time at the January 11th BOE meeting, where several people also speak out against it.
• Bhalla doubles down on his support of the project in a letter to the editor on January 13th.
• The Hoboken BOE hosts their fourth and final public information session, for the third time at Hoboken High School, on the evening of January 17th, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
• Hoboken 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos comes out against the project in an email blast on January 18th.
• New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission reports are released on January 19th. The pro-referendum group raised just under $8,500, while the opposition had not filed.
• Councilman-at-Large Joe Quintero writes a letter to the editor in support of the project on January 21st.
• Between January 21st and today, seven out of nine BOE trustees submit letters to the editor or Op-Eds to local media outlets (including this one) in favor of the project, all using a disclaimer that this is their personal opinion and not written on behalf of the BOE.
• Doyle doubles down on his support of the project in a letter to the editor today.
The polls will be open from 6 a.m. through 8 p.m. tomorrow and polling locations can be found here.
December 7th 2021 a day which will also live in imfamy
You forgot to include the Vote NO op-ed from former Hoboken BOE president Leon Gold.
The project was in the works, kept secret for 2 years with no public input, then thrust upon us for a yes or no vote in a low-turnout special election. We should all vote no on this anti-democratic abomination.
The increasing taxes in Hoboken is pushing the middle class out of Hoboken.
If the $300,000,000 bond for a new high school passes today then the tax payers will be forced to pay for the still undisclosed staffing and operating costs . Add to those costs the costs to convert the present high school building and other buildings.
So what will the total bill to taxpayers of Hoboken be ? The HBOE knows but has not made that information public because they understand that being truthful and transparent would end any chance for today’s referendum to pass.
Your taxes with blow up like a big balloon!