NHSA commissioner Tony Soares: My replacement and endorsement

From the desk of NHSA commissioner Anthony Soares:

I’m writing to you and to your readers who have reached out to me asking about my health and well-being after my August accident and I want to say thank you to all of them. During my recovery the messages and calls really meant a lot and it shows what a great city Hoboken truly is!

It’s a great city no matter which side of a political issue you’re on and and it’s nice to see so many people who participate in the political process put their names out there to serve on volunteer boards and paid elected seats and stipend commission seats.

The North Hudson sewage authority has experienced it’s five most challenging years since its inception as a municipality authority. It was a challenging time but also an exciting time for me. We are fortunate in Hoboken to have an extremely supportive mayor and council especially when it comes to flood mitigation and cooperation on a daily basis. Mayor Zimmer has put forth quite a bit of innovative ideas and then the NHSA has shared many with her and her team too.

From separating the sewer lines and outfall lines in the two new resiliency parks to the second flood plan, we are definitely and unquestionably the most innovative sewage authority and public utility in the area.

Over the past six years we’ve eliminated two public relations firms, closed out  several million dollars in bond debt, and added flood modeling technology at our plants and throughout the system. No longer will we see the days of wooden collapsed connection lines.

Our executive director embraces modern technology and our chief engineer leads several contractors who are global innovators in their field. I’ve learned a lot on the sewage authority and I want to give my point of view as to what I think the council should be looking for in a commissioner.

While it’s always nice to have someone who is aligned with your political view points; I think the important part is to have someone that works well with the team. Unlike the City Council or the  school board, Hoboken will only have three members on the NHSA, so diplomacy is key and getting along with others and convincing them through friendly interactions is vitally important to Hoboken 

I have known Paul Blanos as a neighbor for just a couple of years and I’ve spoke to him on occasion about government and some politics but most importantly what it was like being a Willow Terrace resident during and after Hurricane Sandy. Paul understands firsthand what flooding can cause.

Paul is the only candidate I have seen who is completely non-political and not that there’s anything wrong with that; I believe he will be a breath of fresh air and bring objective thinking to the body. I’m a believer that the seats are not lifetime entitlements and I also believe that change is good.

The NHSA could use someone like him.

From chasing Board of Education and housing authorities who weren’t paying their bills to taking 6:00 AM phone calls when a neighbor has a backed up sewer line, this position requires quite a bit of interaction with your neighbors. It doesn’t require being a civil engineer, an accountant, a CFO, a developer or a professor.  It simply needs a practical thinker who is honest, diplomatic on the board to others and willing to do a lot of work for the stipend of $5000 per year pretax.

Commissioner Gardiner, and Assadourian have been a pleasure to work with as well as the rest of the board. I hope the City Council takes into consideration my experience on the board and my input that I’ve made to them personally and publicly now that I believe Mr Blanos deserves serious consideration and their vote.

Tony Soares

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