Now is the time to look closely at mayoral candidates

first_imgDear Editor:With Election Day approaching, now is the time for Hoboken residents to begin taking a closer look at each of the candidates for Mayor. Our city is at a crossroads and it is every voter’s responsibility to check the facts and really look into the candidates who are asking for their vote.I’m running for Mayor with new ideas to solve our city’s problems like flooding, parking and infrastructure, as well as a vision for our future where we enact bold ideas and innovations. I’ve always been a political outsider and I’m running for the right reasons — I have no personal business interests in Hoboken and nothing to gain by running. The same cannot be said of my opponents.Councilman Ravi Bhalla is a partner at one of the most politically connected law firms in the state, with over $3.8 million in government contracts last year. Although he initially denied a conflict, he was forced to recuse himself from voting on the city’s water contract when it was revealed that Suez had paid his firm $130,000 in lobbying fees. He’s also been subject to two lawsuits for violating residents’ first amendment rights at city council meetings, one ongoing and one that the City settled at taxpayer expense.Freeholder Anthony Romano is running for two offices at the same time, both Mayor and Freeholder. He’s a career politician who lives in subsidized housing, occupying an apartment that could be used by a family who needs it, even though he collects two government pensions worth over $111,000 and has substantial real estate investments in Hoboken. Romano has been a Hudson County Freeholder for over nine years, and during that time Hoboken’s county tax burden has increased by 86 percent to over $70 million.As City Council President, Jennifer Giattino presided over city government during a time when we racked up an unreported, unbudgeted $8.3 million debt to our water provider. She also sponsored an ill-conceived flood ordinance which is now causing the destruction of historic brownstones, placing huge financial burdens on homeowners and displacing long-time residents from affordable garden level apartments. Now, she’s pointing fingers and asking for an explanation for something that happened on her watch.Although all of these candidates have positive attributes, none can make city government work better for residents, because they’ve all contributed to the problems we face every day. If they had the answers, we should have heard them over the span of Anthony Romano’s nine years as Freeholder and the combined five years when Ravi Bhalla and Jen Giattino led the city’s agenda as Council President.This is why I believe it’s so important for Hoboken to elect a Mayor with the new energy to solve problems, the new ideas to envision our future, and the private sector mindset to get projects done right, the first time. The results of this election will determine the direction our city takes in the next five, ten and fifteen years. Voters deserve to know the facts. Mike DeFuscoCouncilman, Candidate for Mayorlast_img read more

May 2, 2021 0