SOUTHWEST PARK VICTORY: Landmark City purchase passes 5-1-1


In a major victory for long time Southwest Park advocates, the check prepared to purchase the one acre piece of land approved by Hudson County Superior Court passed in a 5-1-1 vote.

Tim Occhipinti who was for the Southwest Park before he voted against it previously asked if a resolution was needed seeking to delay the payout but it was explained to him by Steven Marks, Asst. Business Administrator the court action meant the City could proceed with the purchase.

A Southwest Park has been a signature goal of Mayor Dawn Zimmer who entered the political arena seeking a way to make the idea a reality.  Councilman Dave Mello has also been a long time advocate for a Southwest Park, even prior to being elected to the council.

Occhipinti complained he did not agree with the process or eminent domain but indicated he would change his earlier no vote to approve the purchase of the surface parking lot by the mayor’s administration.

Mello noted other council members had voted not to allow for the offer from the City earlier but in the end the political tactic to block obtaining the Southwest Park ended as Councilwoman Terry Castellano was not in attendance.  She had previously voted against the City’s offer the court approved. and predicted years long court battles and excessive cost. That prediction ended with her being absent.

Beth Mason abstained and Michael Russo voted no.

Voting yes: Council President Peter Cunningham and members Ravi Bhalla, Jen Giattino, Dave Mello and the reversed Tim Occhipinti who is for the moment an unannounced candidate for mayor.

Tim Occhipinti reversed his earlier no vote on the Southwest Park.  While it would have passed since the Old Guard lacked a vote in Councilwoman Castellano for a typical block, Occhipinti is running for mayor and so his no went to a yes!  
You have to love election season!

Talking Ed Note:   Earlier Tim Occhipinti approved generators joining reform council members which public safety delineated was badly needed and in addition the high water vehicle voted down by the Old Guard council in the budget.

Fire Chief Blohm, Police Chief Falco and OEM Director Ken Ferrante all strongly advocated approval.

You have to love election season!

No other way to put it:


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