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January, 2018

Statement from Mayor Bhalla on Union Dry Dock

The City of Hoboken received 2,447 responses to an online survey regarding the future use of the former Union Dry Dock property – the largest response to any public survey issued by the City.

“The people of Hoboken have spoken loud and clear: we overwhelmingly oppose industrial uses and want to complete our waterfront as public open space,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “Our community’s decades-old vision for a continuous, public waterfront park is as strong as ever, and my Administration will do everything it can to make it a reality.”

Based on this public feedback, the City will continue the process of acquisition of the Union Dry Dock site by initiating good faith discussions with the property owner.

The survey responses are as follows:

Should the Union Dry Dock property remain a priority for the City of Hoboken to have a complete, publicly-accessible waterfront park system? (2,404 responses)

91.5% (2,200): Yes

8.5% (204): No

 

What is your preferred use for the Union Dry Dock property? (2,447 responses)

73.8% (1,807): A public open space and waterfront walkway with no industrial uses. This option would be paid for by the City of Hoboken at a potential acquisition, design, and construction cost of tens of millions of dollars. Funding sources may include the Hoboken Open Space Trust Fund, County Open Space Trust Fund, and NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust low-interest loans, among other sources.

13.5% (331): A ferry maintenance and refueling facility with a public open space on top of a ferry maintenance facility, with an inland walkway next to Sinatra Drive. This option would be paid for mostly or complete by NY Waterway.

8.1% (198): A ferry maintenance and refueling facility with pocket parks at the north and south ends of the property, with an inland walkway next to Sinatra Drive. This option would be paid for mostly or complete by NY Waterway.

4.6% (111): Other (open-ended responses)

Individuals and Teams Invited to Register for Spring Fling 2018 Community Cleanup Day

Members of the community are invited to join the City of Hoboken’s second annual Spring Fling, a community-wide day of service dedicated to cleaning up our parks and public spaces! Spring Fling will offer Hoboken residents, businesses, and community groups the opportunity to work together on a “hands-on” high-visibility service project.

More than 500 residents participated on 47 projects at 21 sites in the 2017 Spring Fling.

The event will take place on Saturday, April 21st from 10am to 2pm. Participants are encouraged to register as teams but may also sign up as individuals. The final day for registration is April 13th. To register and for more information, visit: www.hobokennj.gov/springfling.

Community clean-up projects may include removing debris from a park, roadway, walkway, or other public property, planting or landscaping public areas, painting benches or other public amenities, and more.

A video of highlights from last year’s event can be viewed at: www.facebook.com/Hoboken/videos/1500187666668640/

Hoboken Property Owners Invited to Request Street Tree Planting

In preparation for the spring 2018 tree planting, the City of Hoboken’s Shade Tree Commission is seeking property owners who would like a tree planted in the sidewalk adjacent to their building and who will agree to care for and water the tree. Qualifying property owners can have a street tree planted in exchange for a suggested $100 contribution towards planting costs and a pledge to keep the tree well-watered.

The City has planted hundreds of street trees through the program in the last few years.

Property owners who would like a tree planted in a sidewalk tree pit in front of their home should complete the online request form at https://hoboken.seamlessdocs.com/f/shadetree. Requests will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to available funding.

Each location requested will be surveyed by a professional from the Department of Environmental Services to ensure there are no conflicts with the surrounding infrastructure and that the site is a suitable one for a tree to grow and thrive.

Requests can be made for existing empty tree pits as well as paved sidewalk locations. If a tree pit does not exist, one will be opened. Trees will not be planted on private property; only in sidewalk tree pits.

 

Mayor Bhalla Cites Illegal Vote Buying & Reduced Voter Participation in Veto of Referendum to Re-Instate Runoffs

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla issued a veto of ordinance B-3 for a referendum to reinstate run-off elections in December, stating in part:

Presumably, the objective of this legislation is to ensure that any successful candidate for office obtain at least 50% of the vote. While this is a worthwhile objective, it needs to be considered together with other important objectives such as maximizing voter participation and minimizing the likelihood of elections results being influenced by improper conduct. The evidence is clear that there is a dramatic reduction in voter turnout associated with December runoff elections, as we saw most recently during four Jersey City runoffs in 2017 which experienced voter turnout reductions ranging from 33.6 percent to 45.4 percent.

The open secret known by every single member of the City Council and alluded to in multiple local news reports is that there is massive vote-buying that occurs in our elections. Reducing voter turnout through runoffs in December will amplify the power of those vote-buying operations, making our elections less democratic. Therefore, the approach taken by the City Council in achieving this objective is highly misguided and amounts to poor public policy that I cannot support. A far better approach, which I fully support, is to move to instant runoff (also known as ranked choice) voting which is commonplace around the country.”

The full veto statement is available at: http://www.hobokennj.gov/docs/mayor/Ordinance-B3-Veto.pdf

Notice of Public Hearing: City of Hoboken Draft CDBG Annual Action Plan Program Year 2018

The City of Hoboken Department of Community Development will host a public hearing on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 6:30PM at the Hoboken City Hall Ground Floor Conference Room, 94 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, regarding its Annual Action Plan for Program Year 2018 for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The City of Hoboken will gather public input on the content of the Annual Action Plan, which is created every year and assists the City of Hoboken in determining community needs. Public input will inform the City’s anticipated Annual Action Plan for Program Year 2018, which the City intends to submit to HUD for review and acceptance in May of 2018.

The estimated amount of funds for the 2018 Fiscal Year (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the projects and programs contained in the Program Year 2018 Action Plan is $1,000,000.

2018 Annual Action Plan Online Survey

Members of the community are invited to complete an online survey to provide their feedback: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdWB25QBvUJmxDOO3vwgNSceXKXnr81ysJD2nTN6Q5uX_t-3Q/viewform

The survey will be available until Monday, February 12, 2018.

The planning process to create the Annual Action Plan serves as the framework for a community-wide dialogue to identify housing, economic development, homeless and community development priorities. Priorities for funding were developed through the 2015-2019 Five-Year Consolidated Plan which targeted immediate needs in the community. The Five-Year Consolidated Plan and subsequent Annual Action Plans can be found on the City’s webpage or by contacting Christopher Brown at 201-420-2000 ext. 3001 or cbrown@hobokennj.gov.

The location of this hearing is accessible to persons with disabilities. If special accommodations are needed for persons with disabilities, those with hearing impairments, those in need of translation from English, or for any other general comments or inquiries, those individuals should contact Christopher Brown at 201-420-2000 ext. 3001 or cbrown@hobokennj.gov, at least one week in advance of the hearing date to allow for necessary arrangements.  The City will host a second public hearing for final community input before the plan is submitted.

Hoboken Police Department Receives Grant for Pedestrian Safety Program

The Hoboken Police Department has received an $18,000 grant from the N.J. Division of Highway Traffic Safety aimed at enhancing pedestrian safety in Hoboken.

The grant will fund the “2018 Hoboken Pedestrian Safety Program,” a program aimed at reducing the number of traffic collisions involving pedestrians and supplements ongoing pedestrian safety efforts by the Hoboken Police Department. The grant provides funding for traffic enforcement and educational material to be utilized during the police department’s school and community presentations.

The police department’s Traffic and Transportation Bureau has recognized the need for increased enforcement and awareness regarding pedestrian safety. “The Hoboken Pedestrian Safety Program” will begin this month and culminate in October 2018. The program will provide educational presentations in the community and the enforcement of motor vehicle laws throughout the city. Officers will stop motorists who fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, and in addition will be on the lookout for other dangerous violations such as distracted driving.

As pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility, pedestrians who fail to use a crosswalk when crossing the street also will be stopped as part of the program. Urging pedestrians and drivers alike to be aware of their surroundings can save lives.

Hoboken Police Officers will focus their enforcement efforts at commonly used crosswalks as well as school zones. For information regarding “The Hoboken Pedestrian Safety Program,” the public is advised to contact Lieutenant John Petrosino or Sergeant William Montanez of the Hoboken Police Department’s Traffic and Transportation Bureau at (201) 420-5109.

Hoboken Green Team and Hoboken Public Library to Continue Wellness Wednesdays in 2018

The City of Hoboken and the Hoboken Public Library have teamed up for the second annual Wellness Wednesdays series to help you meet your goals of having a healthier lifestyle in 2018. This educational series provides free community workshops one evening per month featuring local Hoboken practitioners discussing a variety of health and wellness issues.

The 2018 Wellness Wednesdays series will include:

January 24

Snow Date: Jan 31

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Make-Your-Own Organic Body Scrub

Thuy Tran

February 21

Snow Date: Feb 28

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Role of Nutrition in Mental Health

Eileen Fahey

March 21

Snow Date: Mar 28

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Eat to Manage Your Pain & Inflammation

Barbara Chase

April 25

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Light on Happy: Power of Positivity & Gratitude

Kate Lombardo

May 23

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Transform Your Thoughts: Power of Meditation

Danika Colucci

June 13

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Create Your Wellness-Minded Pregnancy Team

Dr. Dina Sgambati

July 18

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Heal Your Shoulder Pain

Dr. Anthony Orlando

August 15

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Mindful Movement: Introduction to Qi Gong

Dean Graham

September 26

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Healthy Eating for the Busy Person

Elisabeth Holtzer

October 10

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Moderation Mode: Make It “Fit” In 24 Hours

Kim Sauer

November 14

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Relaxation & Better Posture with Feldenkrais

Suzanne Ausnit

December 12

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Drawing as Meditation

Liz Ndoye

For more information, visit www.hobokennj.gov/greenteam/#ww

Community Invited to City Council Public Safety Subcommittee Meeting

The Hoboken City Council Public Safety Subcommittee invites all members of the public, including liquor license holders and residents, to attend a public subcommittee meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to identify solutions to the quality of life concerns resulting from intoxicated patrons, particularly during large scale events, without negatively impacting  responsible businesses.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 24th at 8:00pm in the City Council chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall, 94 Washington Street.

Mayor Bhalla Seeks Community Input on Use of Union Dry Dock Property

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla is seeking input from the community on the potential future uses of the former Union Dry Dock property. An online survey is available at www.hobokennj.gov/uniondrydocksurvey and will be open through Friday, January 26, 2018 at 5:00pm.

The property is located on the waterfront east of Sinatra Drive, between the skate park and Maxwell Park. NY Waterway recently acquired the property from Union Dry Dock for $11.5 million for use as a ferry maintenance and refueling facility.

The Hoboken Master Plan envisions that, “[t]he entire waterfront will be connected by a pedestrian walkway and lined with parks and piers, offering plenty of opportunities for both active and passive recreation.” In furtherance of this objective, the City Council has authorized the use of eminent domain to acquire the property for public open space, to complete the last major gap in Hoboken’s waterfront park system.

Hoboken Announces Tenant Advocate Office Hours

The City of Hoboken is announcing office hours for a tenant advocate for any Hoboken resident seeking advice on housing matters. Andrew Sobel, Esq. will be available during office hours, by appointment, between the hours of 5:00 pm and 7:30 pm on Thursday, January 25th, February 8th and 15th, March 8th and 22nd, 2018.

Any Hoboken resident wishing to attend the office hours must email (mwright@sobelhan.com) or call (973-874-5545) Mr. Sobel’s office in advance and provide a description of the issue to be discussed in order to schedule an appointment.

The location for the open office hours will be the basement conference room in City Hall at 94 Washington Street.