First Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano and Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason said in a press release on Tuesday that they believed the practice of booting is too often used to generate revenue for the city, rather than its stated goal of creating parking for residents by removing illegally parked cars. The city generated $5.6 million in revenue in 2013, up $1 million from 2012.
The statement also said that the ordinance was spurred by recent news reports outlining the issue. A story that appeared in last weekend’s Hoboken Reporter tackled the legal issues associated with the city’s booting laws and can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1oJOXXr.
“If someone parks illegally, the City of Hoboken should ticket that driver,” said Mason in a statement. “But the practice of booting cars for the sake of generating revenue is overly harsh and mean spirited. It sends a message to local businesses that City Hall does not want to help attract patrons to Hoboken and it sends a message to residents that family and friends who visit them are seen as easy marks for City Hall to exploit for revenue.”
Castellano, who along with Mason is a member of the anti-Mayor Dawn Zimmer faction of the city council, said that abolishing the booting policy is an apolitical no-brainer and should be passed unanimously.
“We have the opportunity to correct a wrong that has done harm to our residents and local businesses for far too long. I hope the council members who vote in lock step with the mayor will put politics aside and do the right thing for the people of Hoboken. It’s time to reboot Hoboken’s nonsensical parking law,” she said.
The next City Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 94 Washington St. in Hoboken. – Dean DeChiaro