Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: “My Debate with An Empty Podium”

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors – 

Yesterday my opponent was a no-show for the 2nd Ward Candidate debate.  

What should have been an opportunity for you to hear from both candidates, their stance on important issues turned into an opportunity for me to address nineteen questions by longstanding Hoboken political reporter Al Sullivan on topics important to 2nd Ward and Hoboken residents.  I am including the entire “debate” (broken into 1st half and 2ndhalf) as well as links to each individual topic (below).  I hope you watch all or part as I believe it will give you a sense of what I stand for and how I am always focused on putting you and Hoboken first.  
We covered a LOT of ground, I had a lot to say (shock!) and a few too many “um’s”, but I am thankful to the Hudson Media Group and Al Sullivan for the opportunity to discuss so many issues that are affecting Hoboken.  

The list was long and broad and includes the following topics, in the order they were asked.  You can click on any to take you directly to the video (each about 2-4min in length):  

I have also listed each question below (verbatim, after my signature), including links and the minute markers for each, so you can scroll to the topics that are most interesting to you.  
I hope you will take away from this that being your representative on the City Council requires a lot of focus and effort on many issues, small to big, simple to complex.  It is a job I take seriously and one I really love to do for you.  

Please help me get out the word about this important election and forward to anyone you think may be interested in watching.  And feel free to email me at or call me at 201/208-1674 to discuss this or anything else that is important to you.  Reminder to visit MY WEBSITE where you can find the DONATION link to help with my re-election campaign and even read about the work I did FIGHTING AGAINST THE MONARCH PROJECT that started in 2011, before I was on City Council.  I have always been in the fight for our waterfront, and always will be.  If you still have any questions that you want me to answer that will help you get to yes, if you are not there already, please just let me know.
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
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56:20 – Because you mention big city issues, probably the overwhelming one is the fact that OVER DEVELOPMENT, even though the Zimmer administration which you were a part of, was a staunch opponent of, the population of Hoboken has doubled, maybe more over the last 30 years bringing a host of problems, what are those issues, and what do you propose doing about some of those issues?
53:32 – You are in one of the most political cities on the planet.  One of the things that has changed over the last four years is the concept of what a “Reformer” is.  You mentioned in your opening that you’ve done things with the mayor yet it’s clear that you have opposed the mayor on political issues so WHAT IS A REFORMER, how has it changed, and what is your relationship with the mayor.
50:32 – Now you have talked about I guess creating a commercial redevelopment for the north end and jobs, but one of the things and the big problems is there is not enough affordable housing.  How do you balance JOB CREATION VS AFFORDABLE HOUSING in an environment where let’s face it, Hoboken is a posh area for people to want to live in and pay top dollar to live in.  How do you do those two things? 
47:58 – Now you mentioned in your opening you were partly responsible for the MONARCH opposition.  You are also, because of where you live, you are also in conflict as a council person.  How do you still think you can be a champion for the opposition of Monarch as a council person when you are conflicted you really can’t vote that way because you are part of the residents that’s impacted by it?  How do you resolve that conflict?
45:30 – One of the things that came up recently I guess one of the unions maybe more of the unions wanted to water down HOBOKEN’S PAY TO PLAY.  Hoboken has an amazingly strict pay to play that is much stricter than the state.  What is your position on that? Are you willing to bend to the unions or is there a flexible place you can go where you’re willing to open up the process a little more or do you want to stick to the kind of pay to play that has become symbolic of reform and in Hoboken.
43:04 – Let’s talk about the second ward since you represent the second ward.  What do you see are the upcoming critical issues for that part of town I mean every part of town has a singular issue that’s exclusive to their part.  What do you see as the overriding ISSUES IN THE SECOND WARD that you are going to face over the next four years if you are re-elected. 
41:11 – Now, one of the things that makes Hoboken attractive is its access to Manhattan and you know the problem is you have ferries that are now over crowded, you have, um, buses that are overcrowded, and you have a light rail that leaves you off at ninth street and if you live on 15th Street, you have a long walk.  What types of TRANSPORTATION elements can you as a council person work to alleviate some of those, in particular the light rail which we have been trying to get one at 14th street I think? What do you do for that?  How do you address that?
37:55 – Now, one of the interesting things about Hoboken is its POLITICS in general.  And how things have would up in strange places.  The alliances that are forming for this election are completely different from what they were in the past.  Now, you have Councilman Russo who appears to be supported by Bhalla, or at least not opposed by Bhalla.  How important are the NEW ALLIANCES that you are making and who do you see as vital to getting things done that crossover tradition boundaries that was old Hoboken vs new Hoboken.
34:50 – One of the critical issues that has been going on in Hoboken since I was there and I lived there for about four years um WATER MAIN BREAKS, INFRASTRUCTURE, and these things. And you made a deal with Suez ok.  How good of a deal is that and how do these various elements that you are working on go towards helping the infrastructure the underground infrastructure in the city.  Has it improved?  Is it potentially going to get better?  Or are we still doing patchwork?
31:56 – Now, one of the problems in Hoboken is lack of open space and parks.  The big issue, the big fight right now is UNION DRY DOCK.  Now, the council and the mayor seem to be on the same page for this one.  What do you see as the progression?  What is going to happen over the next year as far as that?  What is the council going to do?  What do you think it has the ability to do? And do you think you’ll be successful?
30:00 – Now Hoboken has done something interesting that I have not seen elsewhere in a SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT.  I mean I have seen maps where they have been very convoluted.  You have an entire town that is a Special Improvement District.  What are the benefits?  How do you help those people who are off the beaten path?  Is it fair? In other words, someone paying taxes on Washington street or whatever you call it into the system [me: assessment] as opposed to Jackson St. or Jefferson or someplace.  What does the system look like and how to you make it fair for everyone?
26:42 – Well, we did get a question from Facebook but it had nothing to do with you.  It is wondering WHERE YOUR OPPONENT IS.  Frankly, we don’t know.  But, you know, she is somewhere out there and we hope she is listening because it is very informative.  But if she shows up, we will ask her the questions too.  But I don’t think so. 
26:22 – PARKING.  The number one problem for many of us.  One of the criticisms and it comes from outside of Hoboken is that someone who works in Hoboken mentioned it to me – and the fact is there is not a lot of street parking yet you have these parking structures that largely go unused.  How do you encourage people to start using those facilities and what other means are at your disposal to improve parking or make people use other forms of transportation?
22:50 – One of the interesting things about Hoboken is that in each of these elections the word civility tends to pop up and this election is no different there is a lot of undercurrent of anger and distrust and how do you build… you know we talked about how you worked together with a lot of the Council people but there is also this sense of BUILDING TRUST with the administration because people don’t trust this administration and I don’t completely understand why.  And some of the council people don’t trust each other.  How do you deal with that?  How do you return to “we are not enemies, not mortal enemies”?  How do you tone down that civil discourse?       
19:40 – As a follow up to that, Frank Raia, Pupie, has got a hearing next week for a new trial.  He’s trying to get a retrial.  And the problems seem to have become symbolic with the dishonest part of elections. Pay to play is part of that process. How do you keep these ELECTIONS HONEST?  
17:21 – In your monologue, you talked about your accomplishments.  You got four years ahead of you that you want to accomplish.  Is there a road map of what you would like TO ACCOMPLISH IN THOSE FOUR YEARS?  
14:24 – In your neighborhood again, not just the Monarch which I believe is eventually going to become a park, you have the WEEHAWKEN COVE, and I am pretty sure the Half Moon is sunk there because everything else is sunk there.  What do you do about it?  What kind of things will that…  There is an opportunity there of some sort.  Besides you can’t lift the boats out of there.  You can do something else there.  There is a waterfront there.  It is something that just sort of seems forgotten.  WHAT VISION DO YOU HAVE for that?  
10:18 – We have a Facebook question.  This is good.  Where do you stand on the RESIDENTIAL PARKING PERMIT?  Should it be raised from $15 if yes to what price and for what reason?  
6:00 – One of the questions we just got is your POSITION ON E-BIKES.  I presume that means scooters also and a variety of other modes of transportation that are not conventional cars.  And I want to know if they have snow tires.  What is your position on those elements in the community?
3:49 – Now I am not sure about this last thing from Facebook.  Was there a tax increase this year? [me: there was].  How do you KEEP TAXES STABLE and how do you avoid those?

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