HOBOKEN CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES — In Their Own Words
Why do you live in Hoboken?
Like many other residents who have grown up here and raised their families here, I have lived in Hoboken my entire life & I love this city. Simply Hoboken is home, live, eat, work, play! Hoboken is more than the sum of its parts—such as its nightlife—it is a vibrant and historic City where successive generations have made a home for their families. One of most important threads in our City are the residents, who are engaged in their community and have the best interests of their neighborhood at heart. Being a leader in Hoboken for the past twenty years has given me a unique perspective on our City, and my love for Hoboken continues to grow deeper and stronger. It comes down to the people. I have been instrumental in the city’s transformation through community development and governance! The residents are the lifeblood of the City. Hoboken is at its best when neighbors partner together to make a difference, whether it be for a community event such as a block party, Sept. 11th, superstorm Sandy or a school fundraiser or residents banding together to fight against unfair parking policies. That partnership and camaraderie among the residents is evident nearly every day. A strong citizenry with the right leadership can make all the difference in moving Hoboken the right way forward. I always to whom much is given, much is required. That is why when I facilitated for better recreation programs, parks, senior program & Zogsports I knew we can make that happen. Hoboken has given me and my family much to be thankful for, and I strive each and every day to give back to the city and my neighbors. I couldn’t live anywhere else.
Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken Council?
Public service is one of the most noble endeavors in which a citizen can take part. For me, it is part of my life’s journey to do as much as I can to make a positive difference in my community. My mantra, “we can, we will, watch us” make a difference serves as call to action. I have been a public servant for twenty years, in a variety of roles: Director of Health and Human Services, School Board president, Housing Authority Ex. Director, and currently in the General Assembly. Over that time, I have seen Hoboken change—but not always for the best. There is a disconnect between the residents and their local government. My neighbors often tell me how disengaged they feel from City Hall is in terms of hearing and solving their concerns and issues. I have always believed that public officials should be accessible and accountable to the people who elect them to that job. That is why I strive to always be available as a problem solver to my neighbors and constituents. Many people are being priced out of their own neighborhoods, as taxes continue to rise with a decrease in services. Lack of parking options and excessive ticketing are to plug in the $108 million budget, which digs residents into an even deeper hole. Our parks aren’t maintained the way they should be, and poor planning and potholes on Washington St. are creating gridlock on our already congested roads. There are many more challenges we face. But I do not want to serve on the Council because of the problems, I want to serve on the Council because of the solutions I can and will offer to mitigate and end those problems. When I am on the Council, the people of the 6th Ward will have a representative who champions them, who listens to them, and who will fervently work to address their concerns. I will take action to craft meaningful solutions. I want to serve on the Council so the impact I make benefits of the 6th ward to have a real voice in moving our city the right way forward!
Its one thing to have ideas, its another to achieve results. When elected, how will you work with your fellow council members to move our city in the right direction?”
I will continue to do what I have been doing along—reaching out to my colleagues and engaging them in results-oriented discussions towards accomplishing meaningful goals for the public good. I will seek out common sense solutions that we can take the lead on, be bold & responsive to all! The Assembly, for example, has 80 different and diverse members. Some are Democrats, some are Republicans, from all different regions of the state with various legislative agendas, areas of concern, and areas of expertise. I have relied on my colleague’s expertise to form factually-based opinions, just as my colleagues have relied on me for the same. I have partnered with both Democrats and Republicans on solutions that I have spearheaded for the state—and we are achieving results. Many bills that I have authored have wide-ranging support from my colleagues, as well as outside groups. One bill for example, a charitable food donation tax deduction bill, that I wrote has 20 sponsors—Democrats and Republicans—out of 80—a full 25% of the entire Assembly. Many of these bills are moving through the Assembly and Senate—some signed into law already—because of the work I have put into crafting solutions and giving all interested parties a seat at the table to discuss the issues. I agree that ideas are only part of the equation to good governance. The other part is getting things done. I will work with other Council members, and seek advice from them. We won’t always agree, but I will always agree to disagree, listen and engage in respectful debate and discussion on the important issues facing Hoboken. I can & will lower taxes, improve parking options, stop the abusive excessive ticketing, pave Washington streets, eliminate sewer orders, modernize city hall, upgrade and maintain our parks & be accessible to all through social media, cell or text! It’s an honor to ask for your vote & to do the job you elect me to perform.
Jennifer Giattino (incumbent)
Why do you live in Hoboken?
In Hoboken you are part of a neighborhood not just a resident. And in a mile square town your neighborhood is like a family. It’s easy to reach out and help one another. The cultural and economic diversity is what makes Hoboken vibrant, and a great place to raise a family. I am proud to call Hoboken my home.
When you walk into a coffee shop your coffee is made before you order, how many towns can say that?
Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken City Council?
I know that in my first Council term, I’ve made a positive difference for our neighborhood and the city as a whole. I am running for re-election so I can continue to fight for the neighborhood improvements essential to our quality of life, for more parks, for holding the line on taxes and for open and honest government.
The development decisions we make over the next few years will determine the shape of Hoboken’s future. I will work to ensure that Hoboken grows in a way that improves our quality of life by securing much needed additional park space and encouraging the right kind of commercial development.
I will continue to promote fiscal responsibility through ensuring the maintenance of an adequate Rainy Day Fund and constant focus on cost-efficiencies. This will enable us to hold the line on municipal taxes. Toward that end, I pushed successfully for no increase in the City tax rate in this year’s budget.
Finally, I will continue to strongly support the implementation of a comprehensive plan to reduce flooding and push for fixing our streets, roads and sidewalks.
It’s one thing to have ideas, it’s another to achieve results. If re-elected, how will you work with your fellow council members to move our city in the right direction?
I have demonstrated over the last four and a half years that not only can I work with all council members but that I encourage other council members to do the same. As Council President I formed sub-committees that were inclusive and proved to have great success.