Fighting off savage attacks and saving the hospital and Hoboken with it, what does Mayor Zimmer do for an encore?
Mayor Zimmer will be giving a State of the City speech tonight at 7:00 and observers will be interested in not only her reflections of the past year but the roadmap she sees ahead. After beating back a savage battle for the life of the City and its hospital, she knows her opponents will stop at nothing to undermine her, even if it means bankrupting Hoboken.
Aware of that political reality, Mayor Zimmer knows there is no compromising with the forces of darkness led by the Beth Russo hydra. In her first two years she attempted to work with a nine member City Council; she found out their intentions to undermine her at all costs and see her ejected from office in failure. The experience added more steel to her spine, but her opponents from all quarters refuse to acknowledge it. That’s not likely to change with the scrambling for her chair already underway.
In the practical space of budgeting, the mayor is sitting on a $4 million hole from the end of last year, courtesy of MORTe who lept at the opportunity to cynically hurt Hoboken (again) denying a simple refinance of the midtown garage with great savings to the City. Those costs along with other financial challenges will force Hoboken to make choices in 2012. MORTe can explain further layoffs to their people as they whine about it the whole way. After the hospital, they’ve become accustomed to lying to their face.
This mayor has shown enormous restraint, curbing spending at every turn while attempting to maintain and increase services serving the wider community and reducing taxes more than 8%. It’s unclear how she can continue to do so, so tonight we’ll have a better glimpse of where her budget priorities stand. The irony, she looks to do what she feels is best for all of Hoboken and any reduction in services hurts MORTe’s base more than hers. None of this matters to MORTe. Their craven face is clear to anyone who watched the hospital sale war and it was nothing short of a war. It was the ugliest action in Hoboken since the arsons decades back.
The mayor has undergone a rough two years working to keep Hoboken above water and she scores an A for those efforts, especially for the miracle of saving the hospital and with it, the Hoboken taxpayer. She’s remained true to her principles and worked honorably throughout which only emboldened her opponents who live for nothing but their unquenchable ambition for power and the taxpayer’s dime. Now the mayor must look ahead in a practical manner with a working coalition on the council to push Hoboken ahead. It’s her vision the audience will be most curious to see this evening.
Tonight’s speech will not only be a State of the City but a roadmap to the politics of Hoboken leading into the spring 2013 mayoral election. The mayor has walked an independent line on behalf of all of Hoboken against the forces of corruption, the status quo, and the Hudson County Machine. Her citizen led lawsuit on behalf of Hoboken voter rights places her once again in their sights. But that’s hardly news anymore.
Tonight the mayor must pivot off the enormous challenges overcome in the past two years and show everyone where she wishes to take the City. Construction can finally commence on Sinatra Park (after an RFP process) and open space is one of her main priorities both short and long term. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess what choices she’ll make. We’re as curious as everyone else.
|Mayor Dawn Zimmer will be giving a State of the City tonight. After a two year period of fighting off disasters, it’s her vision for Hoboken people will be most interested in hearing.
From the City release: The event will take place on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm at the DeBaun Auditorium in Edwin A. Stevens Hall on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology.
The main entrance is on 5th Street directly across from the Stevens Park. The wheelchair entrance is located in the rear entrance of the building on River Street with handicapped parking located behind the two buildings (McLean & Babbio) located directly across the street from the ramp. For additional information, visit:http://www.debaun.org/Directions.html