Tuesday night the variables for the Municipal Garage hit the table at the City Council and it’s proving to be a challenge even if the issues are now being discussed in a reasonable framework among its members. Even so, the clock is ticking and the small group who showed up from the public expressed a clear difference with the pace of the process moving forward with those who have a multitude of interests: financial, political, or both.
Dino Bogdanos a speaker at recent City Council meetings on the Municipal Garage, self cast in the role of third ward resident defender, again appeared before the City Council speaking on the issue. But his appearance doesn’t appear to be solely based on concern for residents.
Dino Bogdanos right at Tuesday night’s special meeting with an unidentified gentleman to his right.
He made no reference to any personal role in the potential Jersey City site he advocated.
Mr. Bogdanos, an owner in the real estate company Corporate Realty on Washington Street told the City Council the option to keep the Municipal Garage in its current location where he estimated the cost to the city at $96,000 a month is too high a price. He also liked the Jersey City location stating it wasn’t residential, naming several other positive factors with that selection. His remarks all led to one conclusion – the Jersey City location would be an excellent solution.
In a phone interview the next day, he told MSV the Jersey City site is viable although the concerns about problems with the site due to any potential opposition by Jersey City Mayor Healy were beyond him.
When asked about the owner of the Jersey City Marin Blvd. location he stated he didn’t know the person. Concerning any brokerage fee for the Jersey City site, Mr. Bogdanos said there isn’t any. He then recommended government sources as the best place to get additional answers. That was the sum of the interview.
Later Wednesday afternoon, a zoning official in Jersey City with knowledge of the requirements for the area said Hoboken would not even be able to set up a parking garage at the site without approval from the Jersey City Planning Board. An interim permit might be a recourse he added, but it would take some time to obtain the approval for what he described as a redevelopment area.
Late Thursday afternoon, Dino Bogdanos returned two messages on successive days that stated there were follow up questions based on the earlier conversation. When he heard there were conversations with Hoboken and Jersey City officials and there was problems with the answers in the first conversation, he immediately interjected saying he knew the owner of the Jersey City site and anything suggesting otherwise was in error.
Told nothing had been written to that point and asked about any brokerage fee involving himself led to lots of one sided commentary where Mr. Bogdanos contradicted himself several times. He said there should be no issue if he collects a fee. Then he challenged MSV to find where he collects a fee in “the agreement.”
Trying to merely restate the two questions and obtain a response, Mr. Bogdanos continually interrupted with long monologues but finally he was asked a third. What agreement are you referring to and are you collecting a fee if the Jersey City location is chosen as the Municipal Garage location? He wouldn’t answer the question and said he could “see where this is going” and MSV “should be careful about writing mistakes.”
Reminding Mr. Bogdanos nothing had been written to this point, he again insisted the earlier conversation where he stated he did not know the owner was a mistake and “you misheard.” He then said he knows lots of owners. He refused to give a straight answer whether he was getting a fee for the Jersey City location adding he was a good neighbor and MSV should be a good neighbor too. We’re not sure what that means exactly as he spoke 90% of the time and was clearly unhappy.
Here’s the video of his appearance Tuesday night at the 53:00 mark. Hit the small play button first on the lower left and then click along the scroll on the bottom to move ahead to the 53:00 minute mark.
At an earlier City Council meeting, Dino Bogdanos described himself as a simple man of simple truths. What do you think is the color of the simple truth unmentioned in front of the City Council here?
Talking Ed Note: On Wednesday a source who may have knowledge on the temporary municipal garage process stated Jersey City was no longer being pursued as an option.
For the record, MSV has no issue with anyone advancing business interests. At the same time, the public has a right to know when business interests being advanced in public policy intersect.
Questions regarding the Jersey City site selection led to the discovery of who brought it to the city’s attention: Dino Bogdanos.