In the midst of a tumultuous back-and-forth between Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and NJ Transit’s Board of Directors, the Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman of NY Waterway Arthur Imperatore still managed to find the time to taunt a Hoboken mother on social media over the City’s decision to suspend its eminent domain proceedings.
Lifelong Hoboken resident Nora Martínez DeBenedetto commented on NY Waterway’s “Defend Our Ferries Against The Leaders of Hoboken” facebook post.
“Well, NY Waterway, it seems that the people have spoken. Are you listening?,” she said two weeks ago, referring to the significant blowback generated by the post, adding, “And while we’re at it, for ten bucks, I expect to not have to sit in filth. Start diverting some of those funds to a bottle of Windex, for chrissakes.”
In his response earlier today, Imperatore posted a link to an NJBIZ.com article titled, “Hoboken suspends order of eminent domain proceedings on Union Dry Dock.” He then followed up with the comment, “Sorry, you lose.”
The facebook exchange was independently observed and noted by hMAG personnel, who then reached out to parties involved. (UPDATE: An hour after this story ran, Imperatore’s comments have been deleted.)
In the interest of full disclosure, Nora Martínez DeBenedetto is also a member of the Hoboken Democratic Committee and a columnist for the Jersey Journal. But she has assured hMAG that her opinions expressed on the NY Waterway facebook page were her own, as a citizen of Hoboken.
“I’ve been advocating for more government funds to be diverted to public transportation for years. I’m shocked that Mr. Imperatore has such disdain for his ferry-riding public- no matter what their stance may be on the Union Dry Dock issue,” she says. “He’s acting like the rich evil villain in a 1980s John Cusack movie. Does he want to challenge me to a yacht race to see who the real winner is?”
With plenty of uncertainty left in these proceedings, DeBenedetto is likely to remain involved.
“BRING IT, IMPERATORE! The people of Hoboken are totally fed up. It ain’t over yet.”
hMAG has reached out to NY Waterway for comment.
UPDATE—Here’s the response from Pat Smith of Rubenstein Strategic Communications, received at 4:11 p.m.:
“This post was not made by Arthur E, Imperatore, Sr., President and Founder of NY Waterway, and represents neither his nor NY Waterway’s attitude toward any party, friendly or not.”