At my request, Police Chief Falco has provided Hoboken crime statistics for 2008, 2009, 2010 and year to date for 2011. This information is now available on the City�s web site and will be updated with current information every month.
My Administration monitors public safety issues carefully and makes its decisions based on our needs as reflected in the actual data. It is important that these decisions be grounded in the needs of our community and not be subject to the vagaries of the political season. Hoboken has developed a well-deserved reputation as an exciting, dynamic and safe community. It is important that all discussions about our public safety be based on accurate information. Inaccurate assertions based on incomplete data can needlessly alarm our residents and hurt Hoboken businesses and property values.
In September 2010, Chief Falco agreed to implement my Administration’s police redeployment plan to increase the number of police personnel assigned to patrol our streets by 38% — from 72 to 99 officers — and to establish a power shift from 8pm to 4am Thursday through Saturday to increase street patrols during peak activity hours. I am proud that we were able to negotiate a fair contract with our Police unions, reduce the top-heaviness of our force and save taxpayers more than $2 million per year while increasing street patrols.
Early Tuesday morning, a fire in an apartment within Hoboken�s Housing Authority led to a single mother and her four children losing their home and possessions. The Red Cross provided the family with funds to stay in a hotel temporarily, and the Housing Authority will be finding the family a new apartment. The Red Cross will also be providing furniture for their apartment.
The family welcomes donations of new or gently used clothing for two boys (3 and 11) and two girls (4 and 9). In partnership with Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, clothing can be dropped off at the Housing Authority community room, 311 Harrison Street or at the City Clerk�s office, 94 Washington Street. The family is also accepting gift cards to Target or Walmart.
The Drug Enforcement Administration�s (DEA�s) second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is this Saturday, April 30th. More than 5,100 sites nationwide have joined the effort that seeks to prevent pill abuse and theft. This is hundreds more sites than were established for the event last fall. The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.
Government, community, public health and law enforcement partners at these sites will be working together to collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs that are potentially dangerous if left in the family�s medicine cabinet.
Hoboken Drop-Off Sites:
106 Hudson Street H.P.D.
221 Jackson Street
400 1st Street
707 Clinton Street
311 13th Street
The City of Hoboken is making public the recently completed audit of the Hoboken Fire Department conducted by Matrix Consulting Group as well as comments from Fire Chief Blohm�s review of the report.
Based on the audit, Chief Blohm�s recommendations and input from Business Administrator Liston, Mayor Zimmer expects to shortly announce a plan for the Fire Department.
Download the Fire Department Audit: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/publicsafety/Fire-Department-Audit.pdf
Download the comments from Chief Blohm: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/publicsafety/Chief-Blohm-Audit-Comments.pdf
One of Only 11 Communities Recognized Nationwide
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has designated the City of Hoboken a Gold Walk Friendly Community for its walkability initiatives and programs. Only Seattle, Washington, which received a Platinum designation, scored higher. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and FedEx, Walk Friendly Communities is a national recognition program aimed at recognizing communities for their commitment to pedestrian safety.
Hoboken was praised for its �innovative encouragement programs intended to increase walking� including Corner Cars, �Surrender Your Permit�, Twenty is Plenty, and car-free Sinatra Summer Sundays which were lauded as �excellent models for other communities.�
�I�m proud that we are combining our historical street grid with progressive transportation initiatives and a focus on pedestrian safety to make Hoboken one of the most walk friendly cities in the country,� said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. �As gas prices rise and families seek more healthy lifestyles, Hoboken will continue to welcome families and businesses looking for a unique walkable and bikeable community.�
Agreement Ensures Continued Operation of HUMC as a Full Service Acute Care Community Hospital and Full Payment of Outstanding Balance on Bonds Guaranteed by the City of Hoboken
The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority today announced that it has voted to authorize the execution of an agreement to transfer ownership of Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) to HUMC Holdco LLC, an entity whose principals have common ownership with nearby Bayonne Medical Center. The total value of the transaction is approximately $91.7 million, and it ensures that HUMC will remain open as a full-service, acute-care, community hospital for at least seven years while retaining jobs in the City of Hoboken.
Under the authorized agreement, HUMC Holdco will pay in cash the full outstanding balance of the�$52 million bond obligation guaranteed by the City of Hoboken upon closing of the transaction. HUMC Holdco will also assume certain liabilities and has earmarked more than $20 million for investment in HUMC. The City of Hoboken will not receive any funds as part of the transaction.
In a memo to the City Council, Mayor Dawn Zimmer provides an update on public safety, the waterfront, and anti-wheeling legislation. The text of the memo is included below.
Residents Can Submit Concerns With Traffic Calming Request Form
In response to requests from constituents and concerned business owners, the Department of Transportation and Parking recently installed stop signs to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the street at two high-traffic intersections.
The intersection of Harrison Street and Observer Highway has been a growing concern for residents and businesses in the area who have seen more pedestrians attempt to navigate through heavy southbound traffic volumes. This concern was raised by the Hoboken Business Center as well as residents who regularly attempt to cross there.
�The new stop sign for southbound traffic will have minimal impact on driver travel times during peak periods, but will even the playing field for everyone trying to cross this street, particularly children, parents with strollers, and the elderly,� said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs.
Green Space behind City Hall to See Gardens Grow in Spring and Summer 2011
Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined school children from Elysian Charter School to kick off the “Adopt a Garden” program. The urban gardening initiative involves the creation of four new garden plots on Bloomfield Street behind City Hall which can be adopted by local schools
“I hope this represents just the beginning of the growth of urban community gardening in Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This is an important component of being a sustainable city that can beautify neighborhoods, improve nutrition, and even help reduce storm water runoff and mitigate flooding.”
�These new garden plots are gifts to our children,� said Angela Dunckley, a Kindergarten teacher at Elysian Charter School. �Like many gifts they will also give to all of us as they grow and sprout fruits and flowers in the coming growing season. We�re excited to see what everyone comes up with.�
As many as 200 new street trees will be planted this year to fill all empty tree pits in Hoboken. Today, students from the Calabro school joined Jason Scott, owner of The Taco Truck, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and representatives from the Quality of Life Coalition and Shade Tree Commission, to help plant the first of 50 trees donated as part of the “Tacos for Trees” program. The Taco Truck is working with the Quality of Life Coalition and donating 10% of their profits in April to purchase 50 trees. The City is matching that with an additional 50 trees, and�plans to purchase another 100 trees in the fall in order to fill all empty tree pits in Hoboken.