Chapter 9 Bankruptcy For Hoboken?

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Well things are going to hell in a hand basket for Hobokenites. The HUMC (Hoboken University Medical Center) appears to be hemorrhaging money. Taxpayers are demanding union givebacks. People are clamoring for a property tax revaluation, claiming the system is uneven.

408 years ago, Shakespeare wrote "something is rotten in the state of Denmark", and I think the same could be said for our city today.

Rather than bore you with details, I will stress again, we need to analyze where Hoboken's money is coming from and where it is being spent. We need more transparency. We need to use national averages as a tool for negotiating contracts, not contracts that were written up behind closed doors by friends and family members on both sides of the negotiating table.

Taxpayers are concerned, and misinformation is rampant. I think we all need to realize that we are in a huge mess here and the old ways of doing things isn't going to work anymore. If we continue down this road, you know what will happen? Hoboken declares bankruptcy. The 'collective bargaining agreements' that the unions hide behind become moot, when old contracts can become invalid (a state judge decides this).

Vallejo, California voted (the city council did this, 7-0 by the way) to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy did this in September 2008 when police, fire and public employee contracts became a problem.

Remember, people. Its revenue versus income. If you are on the side of public employees, then we have to reassess our city property taxes for everyone. If you are on the side of taxpayers, then we have to analyze where the money is being spent - we have to ask how did our budget balloon to $121 million? Vallejo spent 74 percent of its $80 million general fund budget on public safety salaries, which was significantly higher than the state average.

I'm on both sides, even if my friends don't see it that way. I feel for those city workers who have families to feed. I feel for the taxpayers. But we can't continue down this road with the "same old" Hoboken philosophy. I don't think we are at the point where we need to declare Chapter 9. But if we keep doing nothing, then we will.

1 Comment

Well written. I agree with you that chapter 9 is a valid option (and possibly our only one).

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on January 26, 2009 12:44 AM.

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