Councilman Mike Defusco the sole member of the Hoboken City Council meeting who did not vote for eminent domain last week explained why he did not vote yes on first reading of the ordinance as his other either colleagues unanimously did.
An abstention vote may be made by voting “present” as was elected here. The ordinance’s second reading will be held with opportunity for public comment at the next City Council meeting.
In a series of texts, he wrote exclusively to MSV:
I voted ‘present’ to indicate support of a second reading but a concern with access to information. Specifically, the Council requested our annual debt statement and audit and neither document was provided prior to the vote. Casting a ‘yes’ vote on first reading without that data is a populist vote, rather than a vote based on financial data and potential impact on future municipal budgets. Everyone wants an expanded park (I really want bocce courts) so I’m looking forward to working with everyone to chart the right course of action.
The Council’s request to see our current debt servicing is so that if a deal is reached, and if it comes back in front of the Council to fund, we can actually pay for it. This isn’t a vote on who likes parks and who doesn’t, it’s about how we’re going to expand a park and do so without impacting our city in a negative way. Negatives to me are increasing residential bulk to offset cost, a technique that was used for decades to the detriment of our City. On the flip side, the other negative is a very real potential to engage in a litigious battle that we may not win.
Councilman Mike DeFusco is sworn in as the elected Hoboken First Ward City Councilman in January of last year.
Talking Ed Note: Councilman DeFusco, a rumored mayoral candidate to oppose Mayor Dawn Zimmer this November may be seeking additional information as described in his statement. MSV is providing links for both Councilman DeFusco and the public who may wish to review: