Hoboken Mayor Zimmer, shunning 'divisive rhetoric,' sworn in for second term
Jan 05, 2014 | 2763 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN -- Mayor Dawn Zimmer urged an end to the political divisiveness which she struggled to overcome in her first term and asked her colleagues and city residents to work with her throughout her second term to make Hoboken a stronger and more resilient community after being sworn into office for a second term as the mile-square city's 38th mayor on Saturday.

Flanked by elected officials at the county, state, and federal level at the Stevens Institute of Technology's DeBaun Auditorium, Zimmer said the rhetoric has to get beyond divisive terms like "Old Guard" and "New Guard." She said that various political factions in town have the same goal -- a better Hoboken -- and should be able to work together moving forward.

"We need to let go of the old monikers," she said. "All Hoboken residents benefit from having a hospital, and all Hoboken residents benefit from our city becoming stronger and more resilient. Say goodbye to the divisive rhetoric and let's work together to make Hoboken a better place."

Discussing some of the unforeseen challenges of her first years in office -- the Sinatra Drive sinkhole and field collapse, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and the near-death of Hoboken University Medical Center -- Zimmer mentioned pieces of an ambitious agenda she's unveiled for her second term, including building parks on the west side of town and redesigning Washington Street. She also vowed to continue supporting arts and cultural initiatives in town and working with Hoboken's best and brightest to make the city a welcome destination for tech startups and new companies.

And, as she has since Sandy struck Hoboken in October 2012, she pressed an agenda of urban protection for the city, which, while nothing new, was the issue that she spoke most passionate about during her reelection campaign.

"Out of every catastrophe comes great opportunity," she said. "We cannot raise our homes on pilings in preparation for the next storm, but we are well on our way to becoming a national model for urban resiliency."

Also sworn in on Saturday were the three members of Zimmer's council-at-large slate: incumbents Ravi Bhalla and David Mello and newly-elected Jim Doyle.

Speakers at the ceremony included U.S. Senator Cory Booker, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization Vincent Prieto, and former governor of New Jersey James Florio.

Gabrielle Frederick, the valedictorian of Hoboken High School's class of 2012 and student at the University of Pennsylvania, sang the National Anthem and God Bless America.

Watch this space for photos later this week. -- Dean DeChiaro
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