HOBOKEN -- Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason is often at odds with Mayor Dawn Zimmer. But apparently, there's something they agree on: Hoboken's infrastructure needs to improve, and the blame lies at the feet of previous administrations.
Mason also said that "campaign contributors" had too much influence on those administrations.
In a press conference last week, following five water main breaks in the city in a row, Mayor Zimmer said that a revenue deal between Mayor Anthony Russo in the 1990s and United Water failed to provide enough money to continually fix the city's water system. The deal between Hoboken and United Water in the 1990s provided some short-term revenues to fill a recurring structural deficit in the city budget, and had some other funds built in, but any other recurring funds were not enough, officials said.
Monday morning, Mason sent an e-mail letter out blaming "past administrations" without naming Russo. Mason is often allied on the City Council with Russo's son, Councilman Michael Russo.
Mason said, "Although debate among government officials is sometimes contentious, Mayor Zimmer, my City Council colleagues, and I all believe that protecting the health, welfare, and safety of residents is our number one priority. North Hudson Sewerage Authority Commissioner Frank Raia assures me that he will provide whatever support is necessary to stabilize and strengthen our infrastructure. By working together we can overcome these infrastructure challenges and continue to make Hoboken an even better place to live and raise a family.
"Unfortunately, previous administrations allowed campaign contributors to adversely influence important city planning decisions. While our tough campaign finance reforms put an end to this practice, we are still faced with the consequences of these poor decisions. We cannot change the past, but we can work together to create a comprehensive infrastructure improvement plan for the betterment of Hoboken's future."