Corruption, Free Trash Cans, Storm Prep and Soup


I have fought against corruption for my entire career in politics.  

When I first ran for office, it was a decade after Mayor Russo went to jail for accepting bribes (worth a read btw...) and five years after Mayor Camarano went to jail for accepting bribes.  At the time, I just saw these as corrupt transgressions of the past.  I certainly didn’t think it was the status quo.
But then in 2015, the same year I ran for City Council the first time, two Board of Education candidates who I was supporting – Sheillah Dallara and Addys Velez - were bumped last minute from winning due to hundreds of suspicious absentee ballots.  I was in disbelief and inserted myself, going to the Hudson County Board of Elections for a court ordered recount along with Sheillah and Deirdre Wall, who managed that BOE campaign that year.  What we ultimately discovered was a pattern of votes that aligned with hundreds of “campaign workers” who were each paid $50-80 by Councilman Russo's campaign account (who was running unopposed that year).  The same type of activity that befell Frank Raia for similar crimes a few years later.
What we are seeing with the Senator Menedez charges is no different than what we have seen locally in Hoboken recently, that we have been fighting - when an elected or government official uses his/her office for financial gain at the expense of the public.  Like John Allen, Mayor Bhalla’s former chief of staff, getting a 10% financial stake in McSwiggans in exchange for favorable treatment and legislative actions and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, using their influence to get laws changed and Hoboken and Hudson County approvals for a dispensary with a sham ownership structure so Fulop (and his friend) can make a quick $1 million in the process.
Enough is enough.  We all need to stand for democracy and clean government.  And take stands against public corruption.  Full stop.
I trust that the Department of Justice will do their job here.  But I join the others who believe that Senator Menendez should resign.  He should fight this battle on his own time.  New Jersey residents deserve representatives who prioritize their interests and adhere to the principles of transparency and ethical conduct.
As an aside, absentee ballots are hitting mailboxes this week – two of the people I mentioned above are on the ballot…vote accordingly.  Your vote is your voice. So make your voice heard. 
The picture looks a little ghoulish, but these are 3,500 lidded trash containers that the city is distributing next week ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE BASIS.  The containers are being distributed at the following time and locations:
  • Monday Sept. 25 – 1p - 6p:  Multi-Service Center hockey rink, on Adams Street between 1st & 2nd
  • Tuesday Sept. 26 – 8a - 12p  –  Multi-Service Center hockey rink, on Adams Street between 1st & 2nd 
  • Thursday Sept. 28 – 2p - 7p  – 13th & Jefferson 
  • Saturday Sept. 30 – 8a - 12p – former Union Dry Dock, 901 Sinatra    
Residents – owners and renters - must bring proof of residency which may include a utility bill, signed lease, or license. Registered agents must bring a copy of their management contract agreement. Each property can take up to three containers per address.
It is already pretty cruddy outside.  Heavy winds are making even the light rain feel cold and sharp.  It looks like tomorrow is going to be the heavier rain day which could lead to flooding in our low lying areas. 
Like with any large storm, please take the following precautions:
  • Make sure you have water, food and batteries in your flashlights and that your phones are charged.
  • Don’t drive through flooded areas.
  • Move your cars from any low lying streets that have temporary no parking signs.
  • Check in on your neighbors, especial seniors or those with disabilities.
The city is offering discounted parking of $5 / 24 hrs in Municipal Garages B (28 Second St.) and D (215 Hudson St.) to residents with a valid Resident On-Street Parking Permit or Temporary Parking Permit. This rate will be offered through 8a Monday, Sept. 25.

Hoboken residents with disabilities who possess either a handicapped license plate or hang tag for their permitted vehicle may also park in the Midtown Garage (371 Fourth St.) for the same reduced rate.
If you are a hearty Upstate New York girl like me who grew up with a lot of “weather”, then a little wind and light rain shouldn’t keep you from going to the Uptown Farmers Market under the viaduct!  I just received confirmation that it is open until 2pm – so run over and get all the deliciousness you need to make comforting food for the next 36 hours.  I see stews and soups in your immediate future….
On Wednesday, the NJDEP announced that after over a year reviewing and answer bid responses, it finally awarded a $251 million construction contract for Hoboken’s Rebuild By Design project to EE Cruz.  When I heard who the contractor was a few weeks ago, I was happy to see that it is a contractor with EXTENSIVE infrastructure experience working on major public works projects in occupied areas.  They were one of the biggest contractors on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.  This is one of the top most important issues for Hoboken’s 2nd Ward over the next three years, and it is still not on most of my neighbor’s radar yet, other than for the email updates from me.  So having a contractor who has experience building around people and has considered the impact on the quality of life of surrounding neighbors, to me, was critical.  As your Councilwoman, I will continue, as I always have, to be the watch dog for our neighborhood and to minimize disruptions to and protect my neighbor’s quality of life during construction. 
The contractor along with the city and myself will be having public and stakeholder meetings in October, and will begin to use the lot north of Harborside Park for staging as early as October. 
The work will entail construction of more than 9,000 linear feet of floodwall, installation of floodgates and construction of berms and levees, comprehensively referred to as resist structures, to provide barriers during extreme high tide and storm surge events. The structures will be blended into the fabric of the project area, including Harborside Park in Hoboken (to be renamed Cove Park), by incorporating seating, planters, lighting, and educational and artistic murals. More significant construction activities including utility relocation and the beginning of construction of the floodwall elements are anticipated to begin in early 2024.  More to come.

As always, please share this with everyone you know who may be interested and reach out any time on any issue important to you: 201-208-1764 or [email protected].      
Tiffanie Fisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
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