Mayor Zimmer – ’bout Gov. Christie’s budget speech
The Office of the Mayor announces:
REACTION FROM HOBOKEN MAYOR ZIMMER TO GOVERNOR CHRISTIE’S BUDGET SPEECH
Yesterday, Governor Christie reported to the State Legislature on his plan for the State’s budget. In his speech, he candidly acknowledged the extent of our State’s fiscal difficulties which he noted had been years in the making. The Governor said:
“We did not dig the hole in which we find ourselves in a day or a year. The massive gap between our resources and our appetite has built up over twenty years. It has been dug by a lack of discipline and unwillingness to say no; made deeper by poor policy choices along the way and quick fixes to avoid tough decisions…..In recent years, we have allowed the problem to become bigger through a series of one-time gimmicks that have worsened our situation.”
The Governor was speaking about the State of New Jersey but he could just as easily have been describing the state of the City of Hoboken.
Tonight the Hoboken City Council will consider adoption of a budget that, unlike many in the recent past, is honest, transparent and includes no “one-time gimmicks.” Rather than “kick the can down the road,” this budget makes significant progress in paying off the costs of the mistakes of the past.
Approximately $6,000,000 of this year’s appropriations, 10% of our tax levy, is a legacy of the past having absolutely nothing to do with the cost of running the City this year. While paying these costs has prevented us from being able to deliver meaningful tax relief this year, it will help us to put the past behind us so we can move on to a fiscally responsible future.
The State’s fiscal difficulties have made it necessary for the Governor to propose significant cuts in aid to municipalities such as Hoboken. To help us cope with the diminished resources, he has promised to give us the tools that we will need to control our own spending, in the form of reforms to our collective bargaining and civil service systems. I urge the State Legislature to move quickly on these reforms, so that municipalities can end the destructive cycle of increasing costs that has led us to where we are today.
But my hope is that these tools will not be necessary for Hoboken to make the changes that we need to make. It is time for all of us to recognize that we need to adapt to the realities of the present and future, and make the shared sacrifices that are called for by our difficult times.