GetFileAttachmentPeter Cunningham (incumbent)

Why do you live in Hoboken?
I have been in Hoboken now for 25 years.  My wife and I are raising a family and caring for my elderly father-in-law in the Mile Square City. We love our life here; the friends we’ve made, the small city feel and the quality of life. We were lucky as we bought early, and our space could accommodate a growing family over time. Early on, the commuting convenience to Manhattan was an important feature. We also enjoyed the night life and the great sense of community.

The longer we stayed, the more involved we became in the City. My wife and I started the Hoboken Dog Association. While we made strides for the benefit of dog owners and their furry companions, perhaps the biggest challenge we overcame was how the local politicos at the time relished pitting dog owners against new mothers. We worked hard to and succeeded in finding common ground, bringing people together around the need for more open park/recreational space.

It became apparent that for Hoboken to reach its potential, political and governmental reforms were desperately needed. City finances were a mess and development decisions were being made to benefit the developers—not the community as a whole. That is what drove me and continues to drive me to constructively participate in our government and politics. The marked progress we’ve been able to make makes me confident about Hoboken’s future.

Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken City Council?
Serving on the City council is a tremendous privilege. I want to continue to serve because I believe I can contribute to make a strong positive difference. I am proud of playing a major role in fixing our finances, securing more parks and open space, solving our flooding problem and changing our approach to development to put the needs of the community first.

Whether as Council President, Chair of Revenue and Finance or as just a plain old councilman, I have used my knowledge of public finance and budgeting to successfully push for sound fiscal policies, moving our bond rating from just about junk status to AA+. We now have an adequate rainy day fund and are on a sound long-term fiscal path. But we need to continue to promote fiscal responsibility and I believe that is a critical task I am well-equipped to play.

We also face crucial development decisions that will determine the shape of Hoboken’s future. And we simply can’t afford to go back to the days when we gave the developers a blank check. Particularly in the Northwest and North Hoboken, my experience enables me to ensure careful stewardship of development plans. Then there’s BASF in NW Hoboken. We have been pursuing these parcels for years in order to provide a 6-acre park that will boost our quality of life and provide for flood protection, and we’re so close! But there is simply more to do to ensure that we get the job done the right way.

And lastly, while legislating good policy is an important aspect as councilman, constituent services as well are paramount to the job. Effectiveness addresses so many quality of life issues to one and many. I relish in my success to deliver good customer service.

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?
First, my track record of proven accomplishments shows I know how to achieve results.  It’s critical to listen to all your colleagues and to be open to principled compromises that are in the best interest of the City. However, I will not compromise good policy for what I consider bad policy. Over the past couple of years, I am pleased to report that there are more times where we have all been able to work together and reach common ground. I always look forward to working with all my council colleagues, but a founding tenant for me will always to stand up for good policy that serves the public interest.

IMG_0667Eduardo Gonzalez

Why do you live in Hoboken?
My wife and I chose to live and raise our three wonderful children in Hoboken for several reasons. First and foremost is the diversity of Hoboken’s community. The spontaneity and ever-changing circumstances of life lend itself to Hoboken. If I choose to take my kids to the park, odds are that they will make a new friend at the playground; nothing needs to be over-scheduled. If we decide to have dinner, we can head towards one type of cuisine and if then decide on another we do not have to drive out of our way. Also, like many other residents, I work in New York City and use public transportation every day. The proximity and beautiful views of New York are a draw to Hoboken as well.

The cultural and culinary experiences are vast; from the zeppoles of St. Ann’s Festival to the Arts and Music festival. Hoboken also boasts an array of the arts; we have the Monroe Arts Center, Maxwell’s, world-renowned Water Music studio and our Mile Square Theatre to add to the cultural diversity. And finally, the community interaction and pride in the local businesses; nothing is better than arguing who has the best mutz in town or the best pizza shop. All of these reasons and many more are why we chose to not just move to Hoboken but to raise a family and establish a long-term bond with her.

Why do you want to serve on the Hoboken City Council?
I want to serve the people of Hoboken because I believe the diversity of my experiences coupled with my financial expertise are an asset that is needed in Hoboken. I am a first generation Cuban-American and the values my parents instilled in me were hard work, dedication and being community minded. We have a number of issues that will come in front of our City Council and what is needed and prudent for Hoboken taxpayers is someone that is reasonable and willing to listen, cooperate and reach an agreement, as compared to always choosing conflict and costly litigation. I have spoken to many residents in my community and many have stated that they do not like the path the government is taking. They are over-taxing the community while cutting services. There has been a lack of leadership in the 5th ward and more than enough time has been granted, over 8 ½ years. It’s time for a change and for leadership that’s proven and works for you.

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 have proven to be a leader that works and achieves results. As Board President of Elysian Charter School I was proud to lead a team of parents, educators and staff in obtaining a state-of-the art, brand new facility. This was accomplished by talking to the owner, listening to their main points, articulating ours and being able to sit across the table and come to amicable terms.

As a former Commissioner of the Hoboken Housing Authority, we worked with the City to renovate the field on 4th and Jackson and bring more open space to all residents of Hoboken. Again, this is accomplished not by conflict and confrontation but by listening, discussing and working together.

I believe in cooperation and open communication not in conflict and confrontation. Everyone’s ideas should be heard and in a one square mile city the nine council members should be able to come to agreement on most issues. What we are currently lacking is someone that is willing to roll their sleeves up and get to work, a true leader does not throw his hands up and quit. I am someone that doesn’t just have ideas, I follow through and execute.
(Sixth Ward—next page…)

Authored by: hMAG