W8eWjcSQTimothy Occhipinti (incumbent)

Why do you live in Hoboken?
Hoboken is special.

You feel it from the moment you arrive. You know you’ve landed in a place that you can truly call home. We already have the best street festivals around and combine that with the Taste of Hoboken, the Mutz Fest, the Chili Cook-Off, the Wing and a Prayer and our top-rated restaurants and you know you’ll be eating well in the neighborhood.

We have endless nightlife options and the best views of Manhattan from Pier 13. Looking for family friendly entertainment? We have that too. And then there’s Movies Under the Stars all summer long on Pier A. If you want to stay active and in shape, join a league and take yourself to any of our beautiful athletic facilities including Sinatra Field, Mama Johnson Field and 1600 Park.

And we have it all in the most walkable city in America with the best views of Manhattan on a spectacular waterfront so no matter where you’re going you’re never too far away.

Hoboken is a place where you moved in young and single, met your significant other, fell in love, got married and started your family. I’ve heard that story countless times. And then begin to view Hoboken differently. Your sense of pride has increased and you defend Hoboken tooth-and-nail whenever someone asks which is better—Hoboken or Brooklyn.

For those who were born and raised here, you knew Hoboken was special from day one. You were a witness to the rapid changes in the city over time. From the days when the waterfront was better known for its shipping and bars than sunbathers and parks, you’ve seen it all. You raised your sons and daughters here who became police officers, firefighters, municipal workers, doctors, lawyers, teachers and much more. Through the years you wore your red and black with pride as you watched the banners rise on multiple high school championships.

The Mile Square City is well on its way to becoming the greatest city in New Jersey. However, we are not there yet. We face many challenges from infrastructure to open space to flooding to crumbling roads to traffic and parking.

That’s why I’m running for re-election. To tackle these challenges head on, we’ve begun to make significant strides and I know that by working together we’ll make a stronger, safer more resilient community for all residents.

Hoboken is special. Hoboken is my home and I’m running for 4th Ward City Council to make it even better.

Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken City Council?
I don’t want to be a politician. I want to be a good public servant. I said those words five years ago before I was ever elected and they still hold true today. For me, this has always been about service, a way to give back to my community. My degree from the University of Virginia is in government and it laid the foundation of my understanding of public policy and political theory. It wasn’t until years later I would put this knowledge to practical use in the world of Hoboken politics.

Over the last five years I’ve worked vigorously to achieve many of my original campaign goals I established when I was first elected in November 2010 to represent Hoboken’s 4th Ward. That evening I stated the 4th Ward had been forgotten and it was now time to fight to make our ward a place where we are proud to raise a family, work or run a business.

So I rolled up my sleeves and set an overall goal for our neighborhood—to greatly improve the 4th Ward’s quality of life. Some issues were easy to resolve. We fixed street lights, filled potholes, added new public trash cans and improved pedestrian safety with proactive measures such as a stop sign, daylight poles and yield to pedestrian signs.

Other initiatives would take a bit longer, but proved worth the effort. Upgraded pocket parks on Jefferson and Jackson Streets added new play equipment and safety surfaces for resident use. And I am particularly proud of the revitalization of Mama Johnson Field, which added proper drainage, new athletic turf, and dugouts.

As a neighborhood we worked together during Super Storm Sandy, providing communication, electricity and a warm meal to those in need. Unfortunately, the storm devastated our community garden on 3rd and Jackson Street. However, the following year we came together as a community and rebuilt and improved the garden.

I remember at my very first council meeting advocating and arguing for improved road conditions for our neighborhood. After several years of lobbying the administration, we finally passed a bond ordinance to resurface our roads through the greatest paving project in the history of the ward.

All the while, we added new police officer positions, Class II officers and firefighters to keep our streets safe. Every year, I advocated for municipal budgets that would yield a flat or reduced municipal tax levy and only voted for those I felt would help move our city forward.

The biggest goal for the ward was creating a Southwest Park. I’m proud to have advocated and won support to reprogram $3 million in Hudson County Open Space Funding for our new park. Through community meetings and feedback from residents we’ve created a quality product that will include an underground rainwater retention system, dog run, amphitheater, rain gardens and children’s play area. We are excited to break ground this fall on the park and finish construction this spring.

This park is our greatest achievement and taken together with our other neighborhood improvements, you can see that we have done so much to improve the quality of life for all residents. For all that we’ve accomplished, there is still much more work to be done.

I would like the opportunity to finish what I have started. Hoboken is my home, and all of my neighbors in the 4th Ward are my family. I respectfully ask for your continued support and that you vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3 to re-elect Tim Occhipinti as your 4th Ward council representative.

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?
Good policy should always trump politics. I’ve used that philosophy on multiple occasions when deliberating and voting on various issues during city council meetings. I’m committed to putting progress over politics and moving the 4th Ward and the City of Hoboken forward through multiple infrastructure projects including an additional pumping station uptown to alleviate flooding, upgrading the water lines and repaving the roads on Washington Street.

Most recently, I supported a bond ordinance to purchase six acres of land in northwest Hoboken known as the BASF site. Although not in the 4th Ward, I felt it imperative that Hoboken continue creating new open space in the city. The debt payments will be made from the Open Space Trust Fund over the next 30 years. The money for the fund, which will amount to $6 million by the end of the year, is collected from an additional tax passed by referendum back in 2007.

The city’s financial advisers have assured the city council that we are not at risk of a property tax increase by acquiring this land. If I am re-elected I’ll be advocating for a community pool at this location. Hoboken is long overdue for a community pool and it’s time to make that a reality.

While I may not always agree with Mayor Zimmer and all of my council colleagues on every issue, I promise that I will keep an open mind, listen to all sides of an issue and work together to move Hoboken forward.

My willingness to work with anyone regardless of any differences in political views, will soon lead to new open space on two vacant lots located at 1st and Jackson Streets. I’ve advocated for turning these properties into open space for quite some time.

It may have taken several years and countless discussions, but I’m happy to report the city has negotiated a twenty-year lease agreement with the property owner, creating new public open space on these lots. The property owner is also required to demolish the vacant restaurant where a fire occurred within six months. In the near future the city will host public meetings to determine how to program this open space. I’m thinking a community garden could be just what the neighborhood needs.

This is a great example of all public officials in the city of Hoboken working together for the betterment of all residents.

It has been an honor and a privilege representing residents in the 4th Ward. I respectfully ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3 so that I may continue moving the 4th Ward Forward.

IMG_2740Ruben Ramos

Why do you live in Hoboken?
That’s easy – because it’s where I’ve always lived! I was born and raised in Hoboken, it’s always been the place that I call home. More importantly, it’s where my wife and I have chosen to raise our children, so we don’t plan on leaving anytime soon; I don’t think I could survive the suburbs!

Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken City Council?
Serving on Hoboken’s City Council is something I have experience with and is a job I know that I can do. The residents of Hoboken’s 4th ward deserve dynamic representation that can connect with constituents from all different backgrounds, and that’s what I can offer. The 4th Ward needs a strong advocate on the Council in order to get things done. I have always been standing up and speaking out for the people living in my Ward, and a seat on the City Council is the best way to ensure that the needs of this neighborhood are met fully. I have a record of achieving results as a legislator, and that’s what my candidacy is all about, getting positive results for the 4th Ward.

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?
Serving as a member of the Hoboken City Council and in the NJ General Assembly, one of the biggest lessons I learned about being a lawmaker is that nothing gets done without cooperation and communication. Establishing open lines of discussion, fostering an amicable work environment, and maintaining a willingness to listen are essential to negotiation and conflict resolution. I know I’m not going to agree with everyone on every issue, but I know how to get through those disagreements without burning bridges behind me.

dana_wefer photoDana Wefer

Why do you live in Hoboken?
Hoboken is an easy city to love. With all the amenities and style of an urban center, Hoboken is unique among cities because it also offers the closeness and familiarity of a community. Neighbors are friendly with each other, the population is civically engaged and interested in moving the City forward, and everything is within walking distance.

Of course, there are also the obvious perks, of which every Hobokenite is well-aware: geographic closeness to New York City (along with the great views), the varied forms of public transportation, a vibrant downtown with lots of pedestrians, our fantastic restaurants and small businesses, and generous park space. But, really, it is the people and sense of community that bring these features to life.

I live in Hoboken because I love this city.

Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken City Council?
Hoboken politics is the stuff of legends, and can be highly entertaining to watch…but the government shouldn’t be. City government should be focused on getting (important) things done and preserving and improving the quality of life that Hoboken residents enjoy. Obstructionism and showboating for political gain has no place in the governance of a City facing serious infrastructure issues, a total lack of affordable housing, a growing traffic issue, inadequate parking, and a hurricane season that can put the entire City under water.

I want to serve on the City Council because it’s a serious job that should be filled by someone who understands the distinction between politics and government. The person serving as the 4th Ward representative should be someone who can work well with others seeking to advance policy initiatives that will better the City.

Through my 14 years of civic service, including as Treasurer of the Hoboken Democratic Committee and as Chair of the Hoboken Housing Authority for the last year and a half, I have demonstrated a keen eye for finance, a commitment to good government, and a dedication to Hoboken residents. It’s critical for a councilperson to have a firm grasp of the wide range of issues facing the City and a demonstrated record of working with others to achieve good policy. Through my work on the HHA, the Northwest Community Action Program, the Economic Advisory Board in Jefferson Township, and a range of other civic organizations, I have developed just such a record.

Ward councilpeople have an additional responsibility: constituent services. The Ward Councilperson is the Ward’s elected advocate for the neighborhood’s needs, such as adequate garbage cans, clean streets, timely filling of potholes, tree maintenance and removal of dead trees, and handling specific constituent complaints. As I look around the 4th Ward, I know I can do a better job advocating for these needs than the incumbent.

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?
It is one thing to have ideas, and it’s important to note that neither of my opponents have demonstrated that they even have that much. As it stands, I am the only candidate in the 4th Ward that has developed a coherent platform with detailed ideas to address taxes, traffic, parking, and development (the platform is available at www.WeferForCouncil.com under the “Issues” tab).

Working with others to achieve results is my greatest strength over my opponents. I have a demonstrated ability to work well with others to move important policy ideas forward. At the HHA, I built relationships and worked with other commissioners to lead a nationwide search for a qualified, non-political Executive Director on which we all agreed. As Treasurer of the Democratic Committee, I was selected as a consensus between two feuding political factions and was able to work with all sides to ensure the transparency of the committee’s finances. Additionally, I have built and maintained relationships with leaders from other agencies and the City. I have the ability to know when negotiation and compromise are appropriate and when it is vital to take a principled stand on an issue. These skills are exactly what are needed on the Hoboken City Council to keep Hoboken moving in the right direction.

(Fifth Ward—next page…)

Authored by: hMAG