Mayor Zimmer extends holiday greetings and year end thoughts

Dear Friends, 
Thanks for all your support this year! I wish you all a very happy
holiday season with family and friends. 
As we head into the New Year, I also wanted to give you a wrap up on some
recent issues.  Despite the challenges, my Administration is committed to
implementing what I believe to be good policy in the best interest of Hoboken.
Holiday shopping and performances at the Monroe Center: 
Before I get into the issues, I want to remind you that this is the last weekend
of the City’s Holiday Craft Fair held this year at the Monroe Arts Center. 
Please come out and support our local artists!
This is also the last weekend for a very positively reviewed
performance of the Christmas Carol by Mile Square Theater.  (This
performance is appropriate for age 7 and older, but they have workshops
for younger children while you watch the show). Maybe I will see you at the
3:00 performance today! 
Defense of Rec fees with first-time mayoral veto:
The minimal $25 Rec fees will remain in place as a result of my veto on
Thursday. The Council tried to rescind this legislation on Wednesday night
after voting 8-0 for it just six months ago.  Hoboken’s recreational programs
enable the City to not only maintain but expand programming for
Hoboken’s children.  
In my experience, parents want more programming for their young children,
not less, and this fee enables my Administration to provide as much
programming as possible while also defraying the costs and keeping the
taxpayer in mind. Councilman Russo reacted to my action by declaring:
“Government’s role is to subsidize.”
I say actions speak louder than words – those touting a call for reducing taxes
have done nothing but rail against my efforts to make our City more efficient,
and this is just the latest example of how the new Council majority fails to
understand how our City needs to balance providing quality of life services
with making our City as cost-effective as possible.
In January, my Administration will be putting forward legislation to codify our
honor system of ensuring that those who cannot afford to pay the recreational
fee can participate without any red tape.   It should be interesting to see if the
new majority votes against this legislation….. 
A Big Corner Car Thank You!
As a result of your strong support through emails, and speaking at the
Council meeting, the Corner Cars program will remain in Hoboken for the next
200 days without issue.  In fact, I am confident that it will remain through the
two-year contract with Hertz Connect despite the political wrangling.
I am astounded however by the Council’s refusal to provide for the parking
spaces through the legally appropriate way by passing an ordinance.
Instead they insisted on a resolution that covers a 200-day period, just past
the elections in May and run-offs in June.
The Council majority prefers to ignore state law on this issue. My only solution
is to at least keep putting the ordinance on the agenda for reconsideration so
my Administration can demonstrate that we are trying to get our City Council
to follow the law….
Council President Marsh and Vice President Bhalla resign their positions:
I was disappointed by the new Council majority’s insistence on introducing new
rules in the middle of the night at the previous meeting that enables them to call
a no-confidence vote at any moment on the Council President and Vice President. 
Sadly the new majority refused a more balanced approach proposed by
Councilman Bhalla that would have provided for a change in leadership without
this no-confidence vote nonsense.
I want to thank both Councilwoman Marsh and Councilman Bhalla for their
leadership. I fully understand their decision to resign under such unfair rules.
A new president and vice president will be chosen at the next meeting. 
Good News on the Parks front:
With congratulations all around, the City accepted the Deed for Block E for
Maxwell Park, officially adding 3.5 acres of public park on the waterfront. 
What should have been done by the Roberts Administration with a proper
developer’s agreement has been one heck of a challenge over the last year. 
It has been a struggle to help Toll Brothers to understand that the previously
negotiated agreement had to be revised because it forced the City to operate
illegally. (In their defense, we were both left with a mess on this agreement
since they purchased the property from a previous developer).
We also did our due diligence before accepting the deed and as a result
Toll Brothers has agreed to ensure that $50,000 in damages will be provided
to pay for the repairs needed under the pier.  Boswell divers discovered this
during their waterfront evaluation of Block E. 
A big congrats to Director Forbes and our lawyer Ed Buzak for the countless
hours they spent protecting the interests of our City and ensuring that this
park officially becomes a public park.  I also want to thank the City Council
for working with my Administration to get this done.
Arbitration Reform:
I am pleased to announce that Governor Christie successfully passed
legislation to reform the arbitration system for union contract negotiations.  
Although this legislation does not apply to Hoboken’s retro years, it does help
our City going forward. As an early supporter of the Governor on this issue,
I have been invited to join him for the signing of this legislation on Tuesday.
Hospital Update:
The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority Board is working extremely hard to
achieve several important goals: ensure the continuation of an acute care
services hospital; remove our City from its $52 million bond guarantee through
privatization, and address the State’s goals for regionalization.   
As a board member, I have participated in a full vetting process of all bids that
were received through the RFP process.  The Board held a special meeting this
past Monday, and will be meeting again on December 22nd.  An update will be
provided later this week.  On December 23rd I am meeting with the HUMC
Medical Exec committee and other stakeholders to keep them apprised of
the privatization process.
Once again, thanks for listening and best wishes for a fantastic holiday season!

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