Don’t Abolish the Office of Constituent Services

Dear Editor:

As a small business owner, the Coronavirus has forced me to shut down my operations, forcing me to join the 36,000,000+plus people applying for unemployment insurance. After six weeks of stressful confusion, I have finally broken through the red tape.

This was made possible by Caroline Caulfield at the Hoboken Office of Constituent Services. I never would’ve have progressed in this process without her.

Mayor Bhalla recently mentioned that Councilwoman Falco as well as Councilmembers DeFusco, Ramos and Russo, have introduced an ordinance to abolish this office. I am vehemently opposed.

Consider the rich irony of council members, servants of their communities, advocating the closure of an office that assists their most vulnerable constituents during a global emergency. Fortunately for each of these elected officials, they don’t live in my ward, as I would be actively advocating for the abolishment of their position come the next election.

I realize that taxes will probably be raised. As a property owner, I was feeling the squeeze long before pandemic was a household word. I don’t want my taxes to go up again. However, abolishing the Fire Department while the world is consumed by flames is not only short-sighted—it is immoral. Yellow Solidarity flags and sloganeering (“We’re all in this together”) can now be seen as merely empty gestures.

Advocating the abolishment of the Office of Constituent Services shows a lack of imagination—and courage.

We must do better.

Amy Valent