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Mayor: City Council action forces Hoboken to begin layoffs

Office of the Mayor announces:

CITY COUNCIL MINORITY FORCES LAYOFF PROCESS TO BEGIN
Following the City Council minority’s vote to block the refinancing of bonds for the Midtown Garage and a bond for capital improvements, Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced that it would unfortunately be necessary for the Administration to begin a city-wide layoff process in order to close the resulting budget gap.

“I deeply regret that this action must be taken, but unfortunately the City Council minority’s blocking of these essential bond ordinances leaves me no choice,” Mayor Zimmer explained. “Layoffs should not be necessary at all, but the City Council minority has intentionally created an easily avoidable budget gap that must now be addressed in a fiscally responsible manner.” 

The refinancing of the bonds for the Municipal Garage would have saved the City $50,000. Instead of achieving this savings, the failure to refinance will require the City to unnecessarily spend $4.5 million to pay down the existing bond. This cost will have to be offset by staffing cuts in order to stay within budget and avoid a significant tax increase.

The capital improvement bond was desperately needed in order to address long neglected infrastructure needs including providing heat and proper security measures for the Police Department Headquarters and replacing broken equipment necessary for the City to plow snow, sweep streets, and pick up garbage. These desperately needed items will now have to be deferred or offset by additional cost saving measures.

Since the City Council minority blocked approval of these critically needed bonds, the City is now left with a $7.3 million budget gap.  As a result, all City employees were provided with a general advisory concerning possible layoffs earlier today.

“The City Council minority was fully aware that the failure to approve these bonds would create an unnecessary budget gap that would require drastic cost cutting measures. During the past week I have repeatedly made clear that otherwise unnecessary layoffs would become necessary if these important bonds were voted down,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I want to assure the public that my Administration will do everything that it can to ensure that we continue to provide our community with all essential services through privatization, shared services and other measures, despite the need to reduce staffing as a result of the City Council minority’s actions.”
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