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Time for full-time OEM coordinator. Council takes steps to create Office of Emergency Preparedness

The City Council discussed, at their meeting Wednesday night, hiring a full-time emergency management coordinator for the city.

Presently, the job is part-time. The OEM coordinator is Police Capt. James Fitzsimmons, who also heads internal affairs. He is paid a $10,000 stipend for the extra job. The Deputy OEM coordinator is Joel Mestre, who is also the city's zoning officer. He is paid $5,000 for the additional duty.

It is expected that at the Nov. 14 meeting, the City Council will introduce an ordinance to set the new salary range for the "deputy OEM coordinator" at around $70,000.

Car tumbles at automated garage. City Council may cancel contract with management company because of recent 'deficiencies'

MORE TROUBLES AT 916 – This Jeep was the second vehicle to fall off a pallet since the garage opened in Oct. 2002. No one was hurt in the accident.  

A Hoboken resident's Jeep was totaled at around 2 a.m. Sunday after it fell about four stories inside the automated Parking Garage at 916 Garden St.

Rent Control amendments pass

Two-year statute of limitations implemented for collecting overcharged rent
The Hoboken City Council has passed an amendment to the city's Rent Control Ordinance that will limit how far back a tenant can go to recoup rent overpayments.
As the law was written, tenants could recover all of the money they overpaid in rent, no matter how long they have lived at an address. This has led to some landlords having to pay as much as $100,000 to long-term tenants.

New Jersey Supreme Court removes "gag order" on lawyer ethics complaints

Unanimously declaring one of its own rules unconstitutional, the New Jersey Supreme Court yesterday freed clients to talk about ethics complaints they file against their lawyers.

The rule -- which in effect gagged most complaining clients forever, and others until an ethics investigation was completed -- violated their right of free speech, the justices said.

Three on council broke rent-control law

Records show they failed to file registration statements

HOBOKEN - Three members of the City Council who will help decide the future of the rent control in the city have violated the current law as landlords.

Records also show that at least one council member's family has been involved with charging tenants more than their legal rents.

The typically private affairs of the City Council have become a public issue since they considered amending the rent control ordinance more than a month ago. The council is expected to vote on a proposal tomorrow that will limit landlord payouts to tenants who were charged above the legal rent.

Consulting firm hired to revitalize Washington Street

The city has hired a consulting firm to help Hoboken's businesses lure customers, survive among high rents, and compete with chain stores.

However, some local merchants believe this is a way for the city to ultimately pass along costs such as Washington Street trash collection to the businesses, in order to save money in the city budget.

Pass rent control amendment

Dear Editor:

I would like to commend the Hoboken City Council for considering the proposed changes to the city's rent control ordinance. I have lived in owner occupied two-family homes, in Hoboken, as a tenant and as an owner-occupant. My experience indicates that this type of occupancy should be treated as a home and exempt from the current regulations. Council President Reuben Ramos shows strong leadership in supporting this change, which mirrors state legislation. Additionally, Councilman-at-large Peter Cammarano has applied his professional expertise as an attorney in being a key proponent to place a two-year statute of limitations for tenants to collect rebates. I support this amendment since it is the prudent thing to do. I am confident that the City Council will pass these amendments. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Richard Tremitiedi Resident condo owner Former Hoboken Fire Chief

To David Anthony

Dear Editor:

Evolution vs. Revolution!

An evolutionary process takes eons. In contrast, revolution gets results.

Hoboken's students cannot afford to wait any longer for evolution to plod along; it is time for change in the immediate!

You, sir, have been sitting on the Board of Education for 11 years. Perhaps you would dazzle us Hobokenites with your results and accomplishments during that time. In your letter to the editor you stated, "Over the past 11 years as a Board member I have listened to you and learned." Let us in on those lessons learned and what action(s) you have taken as a result. You also said, "I have fought and won many battles on behalf of the children." That is rhetoric! Enlighten us with a list of those battles and your victories. You might want to touch on what you did about the Abbott funding loss (and Mayor Roberts might want to make a statement about that as well.)

Hoboken's school children have a pitiful record of low State test scores, low SAT scores and an appallingly low percentage of seniors going onto higher education.

There is a deadly lack of preparation for the "real world" for seniors who are not furthering their educations. They are the ones who get minimum wage jobs, with no futures and no benefits, because they are unable to properly fill out a job application, or create a credible resume. Shameful! No training exists for these soon to be young adults. Parents need to advocate more for these at risk kids!

I heard that at a special meeting Mr. Curko will relinquish his Board Secretary position. I seriously question, given that you already have a full time gig, how will you manage with your additional responsibilities? You were on the Board last year when they approved over $700,000 in overtime pay for our custodians. The overblown $50 million budget cannot abide such situations. You must answer for that and the fact that Hoboken has the highest administration costs per pupil in Hudson County.

With all the overspending, it blows me away that the Board prioritizes fat cats, while the students languish.

Louise Friedman

Curko out of 2 jobs on Hoboken board

The battle of the dueling school board secretaries is over and Anthony Curko is down for the count. Curko, a 27-year employee of the district, resigned last week from his position as school board secretary, and said he will retire from his post as business administrator after the school year. Until he retires, Curko will continue to earn $132,297 a year - the same salary he earned when he was both business administrator and board secretary.

Flush with Cash: Utilities eating up taxpayer dollars

Water, Sewer Authorities Raise Rates Despite Cash Reserves.  New Jersey's 126 public water and sewerage authorities continue to raise rates despite having some $565 million in reserves, according to a report by Gannett New Jersey. The report claims the authorities have become "havens for political patronage, nepotism, no-bid contracts, pension boosting and even criminal activities," and "offer some of the highest salaries in the state." As an example, the report cites the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority, whose executive director earns more than $218,000 - $43,000 more than the governor.