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Hoboken's finance tricks backfire

If the past decade of real estate sales is any indication, what hotter place is there than Hoboken to acquire property and then develop it for a small fortune?

This must have been on the minds of city officials when they decided to buy the garage back from the Hudson County Improvement Authority and then sell it to a developer at a substantial profit to fill a $5 million budget shortfall in the 2006 municipal budget.

Hoboken garage site bids well short of expectations

HOBOKEN - It was a disappointing holiday weekend for city officials reviewing bids for the one-acre municipal garage redevelopment site on Observer Highway.

Prior to the deadline, before the close of business Friday of the Memorial Day weekend, only two developers submitted bids on the property - and both were short of what the city had been hoping for, said Fred Bado, director of community development.

According to Bado, the top bid of $22.1 million was submitted by Metro-Ran Garage Stop LLC - a partnership consisting of Robert Ranieri, Jr., Dean Geibel, and Louis Picardo, who is also the city's tax collector.

The lower bid of $18 million was submitted by Applied Development Company and Cali Futures LLC.

Supreme Court trims whistleblower rights

Supreme Court trims whistleblower rights
5-4 ruling rejects a First Amendment shield

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court made life a bit tougher for government whistleblowers yesterday, saying the First Amendment doesn't protect public employees who disclose waste and fraud as part of their jobs.

In a victory for the Bush administration, the justices said the government's interest in effectively managing operations outweighs the interests that protect employee speech, even in cases where employees may be reporting inefficiencies or wrongdoing.

Critics predicted that the impact on public employees -- about 20 million at the local, state and federal levels -- would be sweeping, from silencing police officers who fear retribution for reporting department corruption, to subduing workers who want to reveal problems with government hurricane preparedness or terrorist-related security.

TINTON FALLS: Planning Board suing a former member

ALLEGATION: Abrams used his public position for private gain Corruption suit to spur others?


Assembly Speaker aims to scale back size of government

Assembly Speaker aims to scale back size of government.  Proposes shared services, reforms for property tax relief to aid N.J. residents.  Proposes shared services, reforms for property tax relief to aid N.J. residents.   The proposals include:

Restructuring public education

Two school tracks to serve the entire community, says superintendent 

Next school year, for the first time ever, the district will introduce an "academic school" housed in Hoboken High School, which he hopes will eventually house the city's most academically advanced college-bound students.

What happened to affordable housing?

Tenants at Marine View Plaza face possible 30-plus percent rent increase 

Residents at Marine View Plaza face a possible rent increase of more than 30 percent, after having had their rent raised 6.5 percent in 2005.

In a letter to the tenants, the Empire State Management Co. based out of Brooklyn New York, cited maintenance and financial debt as the primary reasons for the proposed increase.

The request is currently being considered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), who knocked down a similar request for a 33 percent increase the previous year when they found it was not needed and that the building could operate efficiently without it.

N.J. jobless rate tops nation's for first time in nearly 3 years

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's jobless rate spiked above 5 percent in April, surpassing national unemployment numbers for the first time in 35 months, even while the state added 6,200 jobs.