I don't want to turn my site into a political blog, but I have to say this...
Tuesday is the election. If you are registered to vote, it only takes 15 minutes to vote for local elections, and I urge you to vote for Zimmer and her slate. It's going to be a tight election (don't get swayed by all the endorsements for Cammarano, it's a political strategy, and they are panicked by the Zimmer threat).
Just remember that of all the Hoboken voters, only 33% of them voted in the last election, and Zimmer came in 2nd place by 84 votes. Mason, who came in 3rd place, endorsed Zimmer for Mayor...and the HDCO machine has come out in full force with their "endorsements" because they are freaked out by the idea that Zimmer could actually rock the boat and bring change to City Hall.
I read the "endorsements" that Peter Cammarano is getting, and it doesn't say to me that we have people who are really concerned about Hoboken, but people threatened by the idea that Zimmer could win. We have police, firemen, unions and developers backing Cammarano. What does that say to you?
Says to be that we have people who are interested in things remaining the same. People who are afraid that Zimmer will actually do the right thing and bring Hoboken in-line with the rest of the country. Examples?
Well in Manhattan, they have 1 supervisor for every 5 cops. In Hoboken? We have 1 supervisor for every 2 cops. The police would fret "We need more cops" rather than saying "Hey, maybe we have too many supervisors! Maybe instead of paying one supervisor $165,000 a year we could hire three patrolmen at $55,000 a year. "
Wow, what radical thinking!
I have (or had, depending on how you look at it) friends who were firemen and cops and are furious that I dare to blog such ideas. I wrote many times before that it is a question of compromise, and i'm not the only person who says that Hoboken police and firemen's salaries and benefits are above the average when compared to the rest of the state.
City Hall spends 80% of its budget on salaries and benefits. When we ask where our taxes are going -- they are going straight to our first responders and city hall employees.
Of course it is in the best interest of the police and fire department to endorse Peter Cammarano. He, and his slate, represent the "Entitled Hoboken". The entitled Hoboken are the people who have benefited by city councils and mayors sympathetic to their issues. They are the ones who made back office deals to give away our waterfront like at Maxwell Place or the W Hotel. They are the ones who think it's ok to extend PILOT agreements for Church Towers.
Example #2: Did you know that Church Towers has 402 units and pays $463K in taxes? That would mean an annual property tax payment of $1152 per unit. How does that compare to YOUR tax bill? The city council voted 6-2 (with Cammarano and Zimmer who were the dissenting votes). The funny fact is that those against Zimmer blast her for voting against this, but keep forgetting the fact that Cammarano also voted against it. Don't let facts get in the way of things, folks!
One last blog post for you, to give you and idea of what we are up against.
I went yesterday to vote for Longean, and while voting I hear one of the people
who work at the desk talking to someone about why he was voting for Cammarano.
I step out of the polling booth and it's a man doing the talking, with long
grey hair, and tattoos. Sort of looks like an old biker, with missing teeth and
glasses. He rides around in a old person scooter, sort of like those that you
see on late night TV "the freedom to do anything you want!"
Anyhow, he is talking to four people. A mom & dad and their two kids (who look
about 18-20), were at the polling station voting for the governor. I stop to listen to what he says, and he starts with the "Well if Zimmer and Mason didn't call in the state supervisor our taxes would only have increased 7%, not 43%!! Zimmer wants to fix this town overnight! I like that Peter represents 'Old School Hoboken'."
I stopped him and said, "You know what. You are correct. That's true, and a problem with the Cammarano campaign. He is telling you half-truths. It is true that if Judy Tripodi didn't come in, we could have raised the budget only 7%, but we still did owe the money that is reflected in the 43% increase. Where would it go? Into debt. So one way or the other we had to pay that money, and someone had to get our books in order, for years we haven't been doing it right. That is 'Old School Hoboken's' fault for the last eight years."
He starts to sputter and gets more irate with me. He then quickly changes subjects, "Well did you know Zimmer wants to build a wall around the projects?!"
I reply, "Say what?"
He starts tapping on his cell phone, saying "Yes! It's true! I have her phone number, call her and ask her, she said she wanted to build a wall around the projects!"
I replied, "OK, I don't think that is true, but i'm not going to call her to ask. Is that what's important to you in this election? A wall around the projects? I thought we were talking about the taxes and budget..."
He got more animated, waving his arms, while I was calm. The family was standing there, watching this, and I was countering all of his stuff easily, because they were absurd statements. I finally told him "Look, we are both concerned about the same thing, but Cammarano isn't the answer, he is supported by ex-council members and developers who basically gave Hoboken away for free with their pilot agreements on the waterfront. It's sad because you are telling people what you think and you are clearly misinformed. At the very least, do some research before you begin to tell people these half-truths, rather than passing on to them things that were just "told" to you."
Then another worker walked over and nicely said, "You can't continue this discussion here, both of you (to me and him). You can't talk politics in a voting area."
I wasn't about to argue the fact that the other guy, the one working at the polling station, started the discussion - so I said "No problem." and walked out.
The four people followed me out, and they got my attention, by saying "Hey, wait up...". I spun around, and saw them waving to me, and the first my first words out of my mouth were, "Now, do you believe a guy like ME or a guy like HIM?"
The guy smiled said, "No, no. We are Zimmer supporters. We just got to talking about the state election and that's when he started up about the local election."
They were very nice, all four of them (including the kids) were voting Zimmer in the run off. We talked for about a good 20 minutes about the election, and I told them a few things they weren't aware of. It was fun and also really disheartening because a guy in the election booth was so adamant about Zimmer being the devil that he basically didn't want to listen to anything I said.
That's my story. Here's a video from Dawn's campaign. We don't have the big developers or the PAC groups to support us. Everything has been a grass roots campaign. I donated to their cause, and if you can, I encourage you to, too: