11949332_130423680638703_4980737986882533099_nPeter Biancamano

Why do you live in Hoboken?
Hoboken is where I was born and where I grew up. The church where I was baptized is here.  The friends I met going to school are here. My neighbors who played hockey with me in front of the deli on Washington St. still live here. Hoboken is the perfect place for a young professional such as myself: we can get to our jobs in the city quickly and when we return there are abundant social and recreational opportunities. But for long-time residents, Hoboken is special in a different way. It is a close-knit city filled with people of all ages who love their neighborhoods, love (and sometimes hate) their neighbors, and are fiercely dedicated to our city. In short, I live in Hoboken because I love it here.

Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken City Council?
I want to serve on the City Council because I would bring a common sense approach to governing. Too many times we have elected officials who tend to put their own special interests before the needs of our community.  The Second Ward deserves a representative, such as myself, who can relate to residents of all backgrounds and who is dedicated toward working on their behalf.

It’s one thing to have ideas, it’s another to achieve results. If elected, how will you work with your fellow council members to move our city in the right direction?
I already have a track record of working productively with members with whom I am not politically aligned in my role as a BOE trustee. Serving on the board minority throughout my five years, I was able to work with my colleagues to insure the needs of our children remained our first priority. I certainly believe effective communication with and among ALL members of the council is needed to move our city forward.

hmagphotoTiffanie Fisher

Why do you live in Hoboken?
I moved to Hoboken in 1994 when I was just 26 years old and like many who had just graduated, in my case with my MBA, I was coming to the area for my first big job in NYC.  I slept on a friend’s couch on Monroe between 1st and Newark in what is currently the 4th Ward for my first two months. I initially decided to stay because my social group was expanding with new Hoboken friends, and I had already gotten used to the 45 commute to work. But what I remember the most was the feeling when I came home after either getting off the PATH or the Red Apple Bus (which was $.25 cheaper than NJ Transit)—it felt like I was leaving the noise and chaos on the other side of the river. And I was home.

My stay in the southwest corner lasted a couple of years, but ultimately I landed in a few more wards before landing in the 2nd. It was in the 3rd ward when I shed roommates and moved into my own apartment at the old school house at 501 Adams. There I was neighbor to Fiore’s and introduced to my first, but certainly not my last, amazing culinary treasure that is fresh mozzarella. And I came home every day surrounded by long-term Hoboken residents who sat outside on their stoops and sidewalk and welcomed me home. In 1998 I became a property taxpayer for the first time when I moved to the 1st Ward at 72 Park Ave where I purchased my first condo. Feeling a little closer to the center of life in Hoboken I felt even more connected to our town, however I never felt that my condo was home.  So in 2000, I decided I wanted to make “coming home every day to good” my priority so I moved into an apartment that was close to our waterfront, with a lovely view, in the 2nd Ward where, except for a couple of years in London for work, I have been ever since.

I have chosen to live in Hoboken for 21 years because I believe we have the best of all worlds here.  The small town and village like feel that I had in my youth growing up in suburban Rochester NY, where I know my neighbors, see old friends walking down the street on weekends and feel safe. Yet right next door to the most amazing city in the world where you feel as though your opportunities are endless. I have stayed in Hoboken because at every point in my life here, that feeling of being home has remained.

Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken City Council?
I want to serve on the Hoboken City Council because, like many of my 2nd Ward neighbors, I have feel we have been underrepresented on issues that matter for a number of years and it is time for that to change. But wanting this and actually deciding to run were two different, albeit linked, decisions. My decision to run has evolved with my increasing activity in our community over the last several years.

I am President of the Hudson Tea condominium association, where I have been engaging with and advocating for my neighbors on issues that they feel are important for a number of years.  And for the last five years I have actively led our 2nd Ward community effort in what can now be described as the next phase of the decades old battle to keep our northern waterfront public (aka Monarch).  In 2013 I applied for the Zoning Board because it seemed like a logical next step for me given my 22 years of real estate industry experience, most recently as the CFO of one of the largest shopping center companies in the US, and the knowledge I had gained regarding municipal land law from the waterfront / Monarch battle. I was appointed by the City Council in January 2014 and then again this past January. As a ZBA commissioner, I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility, one that I had quite frankly underestimated going into the role, to respond to applications presented to the ZBA in a way that represents the interests of the public (in attendance and/or captured in the Master Plan, public surveys and forums), while upholding the tenets of municipal land law (“zoning should not be changed a variance at a time”), yet supports progress within our community.  I can tell you that it is tough.

In the current landscape, where the issues facing Hoboken are increasingly complex—from keeping Hoboken affordable to the many congestion related concerns—and the possibility of going backwards is real, the need for better public advocacy and representation for the 2nd ward is greater than ever.  What I want from my representative is more than just being told they care about my issues during election season. I want someone who truly understands the issues including the implications to taxpayers, who I can trust and who I know will stand up for what is right for me and for our community, who has relevant experience going into the role so it won’t be “on the job training” when they get there, who can work with as opposed to just obstructing  others in our government so that our community can continue to progress, who will engage me to become more involved, who will make sure I am informed on all issues that matter, and who will ultimately advocate for me.

It all started for me with this list even before I decided to run myself.  And it is not by coincidence that this list is who I am which is why I am running. I love Hoboken and I want to see it go forward, not backward.  And if I can help engage our community to make that happen, then it will be worth it.

It’s one thing to have ideas, it’s another to achieve results. If elected, how will you work with your fellow council members to move our city in the right direction?
I could not agree more. On my professional resume, I describe myself as a “Solution Focused Leader and Financial Executive”. I have built my 22-year career on leading and working with others to make improvements and get to the right solution. And in my recent experience with public advocacy, it has been no different.

As an example, with my neighbors at the Hudson Tea, we fought for improved safety on 15th street that would ultimately benefit our entire Hoboken community. For over a year, we worked with the Hoboken Planning Board, the Hoboken Police Department, multiple City Council members, the Mayor and the Director of Parking and Transportation. The result was ultimately a new stop sign at the intersection of Bloomfield and 15th. This effort was successful because the public engaged and also because we worked constructively with all of the people and groups mentioned.

I will work with the entire City Council and the Administration to complete infrastructure improvements as quickly as possible (no longer kicking the can down the road like under prior administrations), to identify and plan for alternative transportation sources sooner than later, to review and restore necessary services to ensure our sidewalks and parks are clean, to engage County, State and quasi-government offices like NJ Transit and Port Authority for expanded services and prioritization of larger scale transportation solutions, and to do whatever we can including advocating for more efficiencies in our municipal, county and school budgets to keep taxes as low as possible.

And this is not just talk. I have a strong relationship with most of our current City Council members and members of Mayor Zimmer’s administration and I received the support from 7 of the 9 current Council Members when I was reappointed to the ZBA ten months ago (only Mason and Castellano said no). And I am only excited to continue working with the to-be-elected City Council, the Mayor and her administration, and most importantly, with members of our community to find solutions that work best for 2nd Ward residents and for all of Hoboken.  More voices are always better.

FinalprofilephotoBonnie Murray

Why do you live in Hoboken?
Hoboken is very special to me. I met my husband here, and we are raising our two children here. We have a great community, great restaurants, and everything is at your fingertips. There isn’t anything you can’t do in this city. I love Hoboken because it has a real small town feel for an urban living environment. When you walk around and see friends and neighbors everywhere you go, you know you’re home.

The proximity between Hoboken and New York City has afforded me an easy commute to work, which allows me more time to spend with my family. Having dinner with them every night, and moments like watching my son’s baseball team win the Hoboken City Little League Championship and watching my daughter in the Hoboken High School Spring Musical are moments I will always cherish. Most of all, Hoboken brings a unique energy from the many varied groups of people all with different backgrounds, all wanting to live here and make Hoboken the best place it can be.

I’ve gotten so much from Hoboken, and I feel it’s my turn to now give back to the 2nd Ward as your Council Woman.

Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken City Council?
I am running on an Independent platform because I believe we need to drive progress in Hoboken, but often that doesn’t happen due to fractured politics. Too often elected officials won’t open their eyes to good ideas and move them forward because they came from the other side—I believe it’s not about sides, it’s about solutions! As an elected official, I will foster collaboration on our City Council to get the town moving forward; not standing still.

Locally in the 2nd Ward, we’re not seeing and feeling the benefit of our tax dollars and, let’s face it, we pay our fair amount in taxes in this area. People need to know their tax dollars are hard at work. When your taxes are driving real improvements in your parks, streets, schools, then it’s appreciated as an investment in our quality of life today and tomorrow.

I’m passionate about building a better 2nd Ward. As a resident and neighbor, I have heard the concerns of many residents and experienced the same issues first-hand. Here are my areas of focus:

    1. Getting our roads paved—we have waited far too long to get them paved; we need to continue improvements here and need to closely monitor the progress of the Washington Street redevelopment plan and get Washington Street paved!
    2. Foster open communication—A resident shouldn’t have to go to City Hall to engage with their City Council person. I will work to increase communication across the board.
    3. Street traffic flow and congestion—We’re a highly populated community and growing – we need to ensure resident safety, examine how to improve traffic flow and address parking
    4. Better maintained city-run parks and more recreational space—Some of our uptown parks are not being properly maintained and we need more space as our Ward continues to grow. As such, I oppose The Monarch project and believe that land needs to be conserved for recreational purposes.
    5. Clean streets—I will work with the Sanitation Department to do a better job of garbage pickup in our community.
    6. Plowed roads—Our last two winters were brutal, we need roads plowed in a timely manner.
    7. Planning for the future—Did you know, we are fastest growing Ward in Hoboken? Since the 2010 Census, we estimate the population has grown by about 50%! And, that number could easily skyrocket to 70% in the next few years based on today’s planned construction. We’re already facing infrastructure issues now that need to be addressed, and we must also plan for the future increased population growth in the 2nd Ward and reduce any impact it may have on things like our water mains, our sewer lines etc… As a mother of two, I also know the value and importance of good community schools. At this rate of growth, we have to consider how to handle this influx of families in the Ward and we may need to build more schools to keep up with this growth. Again, what’s most important is planning now and I’ll work to make sure our community thrives in the future.

It’s one thing to have ideas, it’s another to have results. If elected, how will you work with your fellow council members to move our city in the right direction?
As I said earlier, there is a significant divide in our elected officials that impedes progress. I am Independent of these parties and intend to drive forward good ideas, no matter what side they come from. If an idea benefits the 2nd Ward and its residents, I’ll drive it forward. I have a career – I don’t have a political agenda, nor am I not seeking to build a larger political career in Hoboken. My sole aspiration and focus is serving the people of the 2nd Ward as their City Council representative.

I have already made positive changes in our Ward and proven I can cut through the red tape. Without having a seat on the Council, I was able to bring together two sides to address pedestrian safety issues at the intersection of Sinatra, Hudson and 11th. Recently, I proactively engaged in working with Council President Rhavi Bhalla, Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia and our Hoboken Police Department to make the busy intersections at 11th and Hudson and 11th and Sinatra much safer for our residents. I took action because there are five different traffic flow patterns at this intersection and so many children; including my own, crossing it every day. I have to say, even adults weren’t sure when to cross safely either. In collaboration with my city representatives and partners, I am happy to report I was able to secure Traffic Officers to cross our pedestrians safely on those corners. I’ve heard from many residents that they’re pleased with the change and feel safer with the Traffic Officers. I did this on my own, without a team, without having a seat on the City Council, so just imagine what I can do as your City Council Woman. We will build a better 2nd Ward!
(Third Ward—next page…)

Authored by: hMAG