Former Councilman states his case

Tony Soares, the former City Councilman who has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the 4th ward appointment offered this as a guest piece. He makes an interesting offer of service for the interim period before the next election.  If any other potential candidate wishes to make a submission, the same courtesy would be extended.

Dear Mile Square View Readers,
Many people have emailed me, called me or stopped me in the streets this week to express their support for the appointment to the 4th Ward City Council Seat currently sitting vacant.
All of the prospective names out there are outstanding citizens and are worth considering. I would like to offer some insight as to who I am and what I have done since landing here in 1991.
Also I am not looking to run in 2010, I think that would be a major distraction for a councilperson who really needs to focus on working for the citizens rather than my own re-election efforts.
Here are some responses that I have submitted to various council members and  media outlets regarding my unique proposal not to run in 2010.
… “I believe I am the only candidate offering not to run in 2010 so I can focus  on my duties as a council person, rather than cast each vote based on how it will effect the outcome of the 2010 special race.
By appointing me The Mayor and Council can continue their search for a candidates who can begin campaigning for The permanent seat in Nov 2010 – giving them time to campaign free of an elected officials obligations or taxpayer funded salary.”
“I am willing to serve without running next November so I can do a real job as councilman without the distraction of running for office. Also by not running next year I will be casting votes to benefit Hoboken, not my electability ” 
“When one is in fear of being elected, their votes are often more about them, than the citizens. Back in 2005 Carol Marsh and I warned people that this financial mess would come. it has and I know how to help resolve it without the concerns of my electability ” 
I hope the city council asks me to join them as I know that I can offer them 6 years of previous experience, historical knowledge, planning experience, parks and open space advocacy, tax payer focused budgeting   and an unwavering dedication to deploying the reform government detailed in Mayor Zimmer’s platform.”

Tony Soares
Below are some highlights of my public life here in Hoboken:

1/09-Present: Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment Commissioner (2nd Alternate)
Noteworthy discussions, motions and rendered decisions.

• Approved Northwest’s 1st Live/Work Complex
• Appealed to voting commissioners to reject application for 901 Washington Street- this application will create a 100% lot coverage extension and 25’ property line wall against neighboring properties.

 • Appealed to Fellow commissioners to reject application from Trammell Crowe Residential.
  -An application that would have displaced local artisans and local commercial enterprises.

• Sponsored motion to dismiss application on 920 Castle Point Terrace.

• Voted against motion to approve 920 Castle Point Terrace.

• Objected to participation of 2 Commissioners on application for 920 Castle Point
–due to conflict of interest.

• Often speaking on behalf of public disclosure, while frequently challenging commissioners on their conflicts of interest.

Nov.’99-July’05 Hoboken Councilman At Large.
July ‘01-July’02 Hoboken City Council President.

Supported ordinances for the innovative designs on Pier C
Co-Sponsor of resolution to commission new city master plan
Supported density reduction ordinance for infill housing
Supported ordinance increase setbacks on Block C Hotel more than 30ft.
Appealed before the North Hudson Sewage Authority in Fall of 2001 to block sewer connections for a high-rise noted by engineers to cause major flooding.
Supported ordinance and lawsuit to overturn 101 Marshall St Variances.

Community Service since arrival in 1991:

Soon after arriving in Hoboken in 1991, I was active supporter and participant in the vote to stop high-rises on Pier A
Other pro community activities (not in chronological order)
• Member of the Light Rail Task Force to move the train off of our waterfront
• Participated in the successful battle to block Millennium Towers
• Supported CBW and Jersey City Heights Neighborhood Associations in the protest against 800 Jackson (Metro stop)

1992-93: Coalition for a Better Waterfront volunteer.
Worked throughout the 2nd referendum with members to defeat the original Port Authority Proposal.

1993: Ira Karasick for Mayor Volunteer (4th Ward team)

1994-95: Founding Member Guardians of The 4th Ward, community action committee.
• Helped defeat county jail transitional home
• Planted 16 trees
• Attended all zoning board hearings IN SUPPORT of new west side development projects in scale with Hoboken’s character
• Built and designed the gateway park at Hoboken’s Southern Entrance.
• Participated in Annual 4th Ward Clean up Days.
1994-1995 Mayor’s Cable Advisory Committee.
•Worked with a team of 5 members to assist in negotiating with Cablevision and Mayor to obtain Public access channels, wiring of all public schools and obtain a $100,000 fund to equip Hoboken High with TV studio technology and hardware.

1995-1996: Go West Committee
• Worked closely with steering committee to gather thousands of signatures for the re-direction of Light Rail to the Westside—thus spurring development and TWO transit hubs.

1995-1999: Supported The Shipyard development project. Participated in several meetings with community groups such as the Hoboken Environment Committee, The Hoboken Alliance for Lower Taxes and Applied Companies. This lead to a consensus of many who supported the plan and brought our waterfront it’s very 1st NON ABATED mixed use development.

1995-1999: Hoboken Alliance for Lower Taxes (HALT)
• published a quarterly newspaper on the taxes, development and education

1999-2001: Volunteered and donated to St. Ann’s Feast
• Sponsored food and dinners for V.I.P.’s at The Rectory
• Donated Council Income towards event

1998: Defeated Millennium Towers 55 story twin towers at the Hoboken Border
1999-2005: Elected Hoboken City Councilman at Large: served 6 years.
Committee assignments and accomplishments: Uncovered illegal longevity payments to City Directors, Co-Sponsor of The Mayor’s Master Plan, Co Sponsor of Pier C Park, Served on Transportation, Education, Parks and Recreation and Council President.

Attributes and Talents: Defender of the Public, Open to working with those of differing opinion, supports historic preservation, affordable and mixed use housing, Supporter of open space and Strong leader as proven during my term as City Council President and Campaign Manager for Councilman Ramos.

Viewpoints on Development:
• Preserve the Past
• Seek Concessions
• Contemporary Design and experimental designs
• Build density where needed according to Master plan-while maintain Hoboken’s neighborhood Character
• Seek increased Commercial/Office Space, Hotels and or Urban Bed and Breakfast Inns.
• Flooding remediation
Supports SW6 Design
• Feels heights can be increased if appropriate. 

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