Hertz drops the ball this time on snow removal for Corner Cars

Hoboken may have seen record snowfalls over the past month but a deal is a deal and Hertz agreed to clear its Corner Cars spots of snow as part of its contract with the City.

For a company aware of the antipathy by the Old Guard City Council members who have badly sought the failure or sabotage of the Corner Cars program, the lack of action in the recent heavy storm demonstrates if nothing else a tin ear.  Councilman Mike Russo made a point in a previous council meeting to ask who was responsible for cleaning the snow from around the Corner Cars and meekly ended the line of questioning on the matter when told Hertz was in charge.

Councilwoman Terry Castellano has been hostile to the program vociferously complaining about the public showing up in numbers and waiting for hours after signing to speak in defense of the program.  She was the original council member to come out against the program voting in the negative.   Her consistent “Council of No” vote violates State law requiring parking regulations and the program be approved by ordinance.

Councilwoman Beth Mason called Corner Cars “nothing new,” stating the far less popular Zip Car program here years earlier the car sharing equivalent, clearly not impressed with four digit membership of Hoboken residents.  (She’s said far worse things to residents outside of the meeting.)  Tim Occhipinti the newest “Council of No,” linchpin has  stated he’s received lots of complaints about the program when he was out campaigning although not one person has appeared in City Council meetings from the fourth ward repeating his claim.  (Hey his invisible army of 550 ‘campaign workers’ are busy don’t ya know.)

The Hoboken Journal posted this shot of a Hertz Corner Car on Garden Street.  It remained uncleared over days after the last big storm, unlike after the blizzard in late December.

Considering this organized hostility to Corner Cars, one would expect Hertz to be especially careful to meet all its contractual obligations.  After the December blizzard, Hertz showed an ability to service the 20 pod locations but the big storm last week did not represent a repeat success to snow removal from the vehicles.  Several days after the storm, residents were reporting several locations not cleared of snow and Kurt Gardiner of the Hoboken Journal joined other residents including 1st ward candidate Eric  Kurta and the city Communications Manager Juan Melli in cleaning up Corner Car spots Saturday.

Knowing the grandstanding that goes on for next to nothing these  days in City Council meetings, (Mike Russo actually spent time in the last meeting to question a $38 expense with Director Brandi Forbes exhibiting top notch chicken hawk budget skills) Hertz must know they are leaving themselves and the City open to some harsh political attacks.

There’s a City Council meeting this Wednesday and Hertz has let the city and over 1,000 customers down not properly attending to the snow removal from around its vehicles.  If  they can’t do it themselves they should find someone local to subcontract the work.  Being there’s still no state required ordinance addressing the program’s very existence, surely they must recognize the attack they are leaving themselves and the car’s members exposed to leading into this week’s City Council meeting.

Talking Ed Note:  Someone might want to fill Councilman Russo in about these 21st century tools called a telephone and email.  This way if he  wants to nitpick over a $38 expense, he can do it without wasting the public’s (and other colleague’s) time in a City Council meeting.  Too bad he lost interest so quickly when millions of quarters went missing under the previous parking Director.  Maybe he just figured his cousin, Councilwoman Terry Castellano was right when she said three times, “It’s been cleared up.”

What’s wrong with that picture?

The Hoboken Journal related feature can be found here:

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