Occhipinti on Sinatra collapse – ‘Lenz and Mayor Zimmer questioned as culpable’
Occhipinti for Council announces:
Walkway collapse result of inattention and lack of planning
Hoboken 4th Ward Council candidate Tim Occhipinti called Friday’s collapse of a portion of Sinatra Drive between 12th and 14th streets further evidence of the city’s utter neglect of its infrastructure.
“It’s a miracle that nobody was injured on Friday. I spoke to a 4th ward mom who told me she had been walking by the collapse site with her child just hours before,” said Occhipinti. “When Sinatra Park collapsed last year, the city council finance committee chairman, Michael Lenz, should have fought to bring in a structural engineer to evaluate the entire walkway for the safety of our residents and visitors. He failed to do that, and the city was caught off guard – again. It seems the administration is always reacting to crises and can’t seem to get out in front of any of the major problems facing our town.”
Occhipinti called for a thorough inspection of the entire walkway, an honest assessment of the current dangers, and a full accounting of the ultimate costs of securing one of the city’s most important public assets. He said he will make an Open Public Records Act request for all documents pertaining to the waterfront walkway to determine when the city was made aware of the dangers. “What did the mayor and finance committee chairman Michael Lenz know, and when did they know it,” he asked.
“The waterfront belongs to everyone,” added Occhipinti. “Residents from all over the city – especially the 4th ward which has no park and where open space is so scarce – rely on safe access to the waterfront. The city is sitting on a major surplus, which it manipulates for its election year purposes. You can’t just take a piecemeal approach to this issue, hoping that someone else will foot the bill. What is the city’s plan to secure our waterfront? They’ve done nothing to get a handle on this problem, or even understand how severe it really is.”