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Saturday, October 30, 2009

More details about lost $4 million grant

Hoboken, NJ – During one of his last City Council meetings back in June, State Assemblyman Ruben Ramos put the council on notice that he was working with Congressman Albio Sires, State and Hudson County officials to get millions of dollars of federal stimulus funds to alleviate Hoboken’s flooding problem. Ramos said the North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s flood pump plan was a “shovel ready project” ripe to gain stimulus money. He wanted the council – and whomever was going to be elected Mayor – aware that the City would be contacted soon to apply for the grant funds. Apparently Dawn Zimmer was not paying close enough attention, because as Acting Mayor she missed the opportunity to secure $4 million in stimulus funds. In this video from the October 21st council meeting Zimmer is asked about how Hoboken lost the money:

The four million dollars would have gone a long way to paying for the second flood pump that NHSA and it’s engineers at CH2M Hill say is needed to fix the flooding caused by high-tide storms. Zimmer’s public relations team claims the city wouldn’t have been able to find the additional $2 million needed to secure the grant, but that excuse falls apart when you see at the very same meeting the State Fiscal Monitor allowed the city to borrow over $4 million to secure grants to help pay for the cleanup of the long-delayed park at 1600 Park Ave.
People outraged by the loss of the $4 million grant say “Zimmer dropped the ball.”
Ironically, this Kim Glatt flier was on my car today:

Kimberly Glatt stated: “I am deeply troubled by the revelation that Hoboken University Medical Center desperately needs an emergency infusion of $22 million in state aid to keep its doors open. Hoboken needs a hospital. HUMC provides a vital service to our community, particularly our seniors, and it also provides top-quality healthcare to residents all around Hoboken. I will strongly support responsible efforts to keep HUMC operating and serving the community.

“I am equally troubled that for the third time in less than two weeks, it’s been learned that Dawn Zimmer has had full knowledge of an important issue affecting Hoboken and she has chosen to withhold information from the public. This is a deeply troubling pattern of behavior that shows she simply lacks the ability to lead our City.

“Dawn Zimmer has failed to present a budget despite her many promises. Her stated reasons simply do not hold up to the facts. There is no reason she could not have yet presented a budget. The facts show that her priorities lie with seeking election to the mayor’s office at the expense of Hoboken’s residents.

“In just the past three weeks, there have been three striking instances of Dawn Zimmer’s inability to lead. She failed to submit an application for a multi-million-dollar sewage infrastructure grant which could have helped address Hoboken’s flooding issues. Although she knew about the September 30 deadline for months, she took no action and now all taxpayers must pay the full $6 million cost.

“Just last week, Dawn Zimmer attempted to use her position as Mayor and Acting Council President to push through an ordinance and emergency resolution to erase 75 residential parking spaces on Adams Street near Frank Raia’s movie theater and replace them with metered parking.

“And now, because of an OPRA request, we learn that Dawn Zimmer has long known about financial struggles at HUMC that Hoboken taxpayers may be liable for and she chose to keep it hidden. By her actions, Dawn Zimmer has made hollow all her promises of transparency and openness in government.

“In just a few short months, Acting Mayor Zimmer has demonstrated she cannot lead our city. This disturbing pattern of failed leadership followed by denial of accountability cannot go on for another four years. I am running for Mayor on November 3rd to bring integrity and real leadership back to City Hall.”

Experience. Leadership Everyone Can Trust.
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