Guest of the Stable: Freeholder Candidate Kurt Gardiner
My name is Kurt Gardiner and I am running for Hudson County Freeholder in District 5 which comprises Hoboken and a section of Jersey City Heights. I decided to run in June this year when I found out that there was no opposition to the current incumbent Anthony Romano in the November General election. I thought it was important to give voters a choice then and I still do now.
Since moving to Hoboken in 2003 I have been an advocate for good government in Hoboken following both municipal and school Board issues. The third component of our property tax that is often overlooked is the County Government. For years Hoboken has not only been overtaxed by the county but has not received back the services it pays for. This has not changed very much since my opponent took office in 2008.
In 2010, Hoboken paid nearly $46 million dollars to Hudson County. Our city is only one square mile. We are one of 12 municipalities in Hudson County and represent 6% the County’s 600,000-plus total population. Yet, we pay 17% of the overall county tax levy! This was actually posted on one of my opponents’ political allies’ websites last year and I feel it is very instructive as to the shortfall in services that Hoboken in particular has been getting over the last two decades.
My position is not only should taxes by lowered by reducing unnecessary expenses but Hoboken should get more for services in terms of road repairs, senior services, grants for parks and bonding for land acquisition for more parks. Residents in Jersey City Heights will be happy to know that I advocate for an open community process to address the multi-sport ball field in Washington Park.
This project is too important to not get the appropriate community input.
To get to the goal of lower taxes I advocate conducting operational audits for all departments and ten acting on those recommendations. I support a service based view of governance that does not believe jobs should be created to create jobs but rather to align the right skills towards providing essential services. Patronage in New Jersey is way too rampant and needs to be curtailed.
Hoboken can get back more from Hudson County by having them take back Washington Street as a county road and repaving it with brand new traffic lights. Hoboken should also look to getting more County Parks by having the County fund the acquisition of the Henkell Site. That site would give Hoboken the ball fields (not passive park space) it desperately needs. We can also get more grants from the County for the Jubilee Center, Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corp, and other worthy charities in Hoboken and Jersey City Heights that deliver vital services to the needy and aged.
Please consider voting for me, Column C Row 6 on November 8th for Hudson County Freeholder. If elected I will strive to lower taxes and increase services for Hoboken and Jersey City Heights and I will not “stick” it to the taxpayer. My website is www.gardinerforfreeholder.com for more information about my candidacy and campaign platform.