Councilman Bhalla – “Be there” at big agenda City Council meeting on Wednesday

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I write to request your attendance at a very important meeting of the Hoboken City Council this Wednesday, March 17th at 7:00 p.m. 
At this meeting the Council will vote on whether to adopt the FY2010 Budget, and also vote on ratification of the police union contracts that were negotiated with the unions on behalf of residents by State Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi.  The essential terms of the police union contracts for the Police Superior Officers Association (senior officers) and the Police Benevolent Association (rank and file officers) are memorialized in two separate Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s).  The two MOU’s have been released by City Council President Peter Cunningham and can be viewed on the City’s website or by clicking here.

These two items – the budget and union contracts – have a substantial impact on our annual tax levy in Hoboken.  A broad range of voices and a civil discussion of these issues would benefit both the public and Council Members at Wednesday’s meeting.  While we may not agree on every item in the budget and on union contracts, as a Councilperson I want to hear your perspective before voting on these important matters.  Your attendance and participation in this critical meeting would be greatly appreciated.

Finally, I want to remind you that tomorrow, March 16th, Governor Chris Christie will be delivering a budget address to the State Legislature.  According to this article in the Star Ledger, the Governor intends to introduce unprecedented initiatives to reign in on property taxes in municipalities, announce dramatic cuts in local aid to municipalities and school boards, and propose measures to provide local officials the tools to avoid the negative consequences of these cuts, including measures related to collective bargaining, civil service and pension and benefit reforms.  The bi-partisan leadership on these issues in Trenton will have a substantial impact on our ability to stabilize property taxes and achieve fiscally responsible cost savings at the local level.
If you cannot attend Wednesday’s City Council meeting, please feel free to email me your thoughts at or call me at 201-647-6090.
Ravi S. Bhalla

Related:  Christie to propose constitutional amendment to cap tax hikes

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