Horse Sense Redux: Blowback!

The following MSV Horse Sense editorial was published on September 29th. It’s being reposted with an updated entry atop for an end of week close. It’s that good.

Note the line: “Two council votes will be available to the mayor: Ravi Bhalla and Jim Doyle. After that it’s dicey. There’s not likely to be much enthusiasm to undertake such a radical action without serious efforts to negotiate first with the owners.”

Despite the foolish attack relayed from Sybil’s Cave and the repeated whining by the lead resident of the institution how could MSV know Councilman Bhalla would be backing the administration’s call for immediate eminent domain action on the Union Dry Dock, MSV was proven 100% correct.

Ravi Bhalla along with Jim Doyle’s name showed sponsoring the ordinance for eminent domain to seize the property. Doyle is widely known for his lack of interest previous to making such a costly move on the privately held business.

What changed? There’s this thing called an election.

Councilman Mike DeFusco who came out blasting the mayor over the sudden call for eminent domain flipped on a dime and changed to an initial “yes” vote on first reading. He’ll have a full month with others to consider the second reading and the binding vote.

Any view of the Wednesday council meeting on the subject will allow the viewer to hear City Council President Jen Giattino state her interest in learning more about Union Dry Dock and how the business may be relocated first. Unlike lame duck Mayor Zimmer, the council president has some “consensus” pull with her colleagues.

First reading is not a done deal and there’s a month before the issue of eminent domain will be fully considered but not until after the election. The climate will be different then, markedly different.

The Hoboken public’s reaction to the immediate news with nothing short of blowback. Claiming otherwise is simply the spin of the Bonkers for Bhalla Brigade who saw a political operation disrupted and decimated leaving them feeling frothy, foaming and triggered. Wot a shame.

See the City of Hoboken Facebook link below for more and the numbers clicking “like” tearing the sudden land grab request apart. Here’s some of the top comments on the Hoboken Facebook page:

Some of the blowback from Hoboken residents to the sudden call to seize Union Dry Dock by eminent domain.
Note the number of likes to the residents’ anger.
More Hoboken resident anger about the failures to address the pressing business of Hoboken with the political move to seize Union Dry Dock before an election by a lame duck mayor. Don’t call it blowback? Then what?

Any who dares to venture in Sybil’s Cave, ask when the prediction of Beth Mason running for mayor is going to happen? How’d that work out again? If you want spin and whining of the crybaby liars head over to the dank, dark cave where the anonymous cowards there spin all kinds of lies in legal sounding twisted advocacy for Ravi Bhalla’s candidacy. It ain’t pretty. Entitlement attitudes for political power never are. It’s too bad for them we actually have this thing called elections.

Sybil’s Cave main dung thrower.
Looking good Nancy but maybe try a new workout routine.

Horse Sense: Blowback!  – originally published September 29, 2017

Mayor Zimmer’s late bid at the end of her term to eminent domain the Union Dry Dock isn’t getting a great reception.

Angry residents have sprung up on the City of Hoboken Facebook page with some threatening to show up at the City Council meeting and speak against a vote for the land acquisition applying the ultimate in government power over an individual business.

Two council votes will be available to the mayor: Ravi Bhalla and Jim Doyle. After that it’s dicey. There’s not likely to be much enthusiasm to undertake such a radical action without serious efforts to negotiate first with the owners.

Mayor Zimmer speaking at the City Council on the Suez water matter. Her latest attempt to launch a bid to eminent domain Union Dry Dock on the waterfront as her term expires has all the earmarks of a political power grab.

While the memo from the City mentioned some vague effort at discussions and the unsubstantiated need to move “expeditiously,” others say there hasn’t been any real negotiation effort at all. Councilman Mike DeFusco mentioned as much in a strongly worded rebuke yesterday. Several or more council members will see this as both a last gasp power grab by the administration and a very political bid nullifying their support.

Others point to the City Council’s repeated efforts to have a meeting on the North End to discuss the Union Dry Dock. Meetings have repeatedly been set and then cancelled by the mayor’s Administration. The sudden urge to approve eminent domain has all the worst features of politics being combined with the most radical government tool at hand. The public is rightly aghast.

The cost most heard for the property at the Dry Dock in terms of its value as a working business falls anywhere between $12-20 million. No one really knows and observers asked about the jobs of the people who work there? Sinatra Drive has not been upgraded and work there not even begun. Has any of this even been factored?

The answer is no as neither numerical, financing cost nor nothing of the human variety entered into this late eminent domain bid. This is more, no, this almost solely about the mayor’s political desire to complete a successful baton toss to Councilman Ravi Bhalla. Back in June, Mayor Zimmer stunned everyone, friend and foe alike with her dual action presser announcing she would not seek a third term as mayor after all and quickly followed with an endorsement of Ravi Bhalla standing by her side. The mayor admitted she consulted no one outside of her inner sanctum.

Enter the Reform Resistance a week later drafting City Council President Jen Giattino and mounting a surging grass roots campaign. The outlandish bid at the end of Mayor Zimmer’s term to eminent domain a waterfront business has everything to do with Hoboken politics then suddenly finding a realistic pathway to obtaining the Union Dry Dock property.

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher who also doubles as the Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Committee and is co-chair of the Jen Giattino for Mayor campaign is also a political target. Known as a spirited campaigner, Mayor Zimmer is seeking to boost Ravi Bhalla in the second ward in Fisher’s uptown backyard. It’s a little payback for Fisher’s professional financial acumen in asking too many uncomfortable questions on major Administration initiatives such as 7th and Jackson, re: the Bijou Behemoth.

Both Fisher and Jen Giattino voted “no” on the massive Bijou development. While some community givebacks were put on the table, Fisher asked how the numbers added up and found they didn’t. Giattino in a recent interview with Hudson County View noted the givebacks don’t offset the 30 year PILOT or offer sufficient value to Hoboken residents and taxpayers. Others found financial sense on the project lacking and point to the quality of life impact certain to plague the West side of Hoboken if not the entire city.

As Mayor Zimmer prepares her exit from office and perhaps Hoboken, many will note she’s had many successes. One is the expectation of the Hoboken public not to see its local government rob its citizenry. Transparency, a principle of the Reform Movement when the mayor took office has become cloudy in recent years and sadly, manipulation of the public and City Council a feature to exert individual will over common sense. Washington St. bike lanes anyone?

This latest political power grab reeks as the mayor’s June press conference where people walked away disconsolate with the HudCo style of arrogance exhibited. This latest bid by Mayor Zimmer on the way out the door further adds to her sad departure with the Suez $8.35 million debacle. Questions there remain unanswered as to when she knew of the mounting debt and told her would be successor, Ravi Bhalla.

Reform needs a reboot and a new champion. Hoboken doesn’t need eminent domain right now against the Union Dry Dock. Moving on, less than 40 days to Election Day.

This Horse Sense editorial is dedicated to all Hoboken residents, new and old working to foster a spirit of unity and community. 

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