Monday, May 2, 2016

Big Building, Big PILOT, Big SHADOW- UPDATED

Updated:   Thanks to those online and offline who have clarified that the 424 units are not "on the table."  A friend who is very familiar with these agreements told me Bijou's promise to do the public spaces first was "unbelievable" and was impressed with the amenities the city was able to negotiate. Like GA, he opposes the PILOT.

GA's concern for aesthetics of the building are noted in the original post (see Screaming-guy below).

Hopefully the city will encourage  the developer to put setbacks on the park side of the project, to minimize the wall-effect.

ORIGINAL POST:


GA won't beat around the bush.  WTF is Hoboken doing here? 

Does our city need THIS continuous, block-wide, uninterrupted monolith of 424 residential units in exchange for a slot of green space that 'feels' more like a building set-back than a park, cast in the shadow?*  [*see update]

Does our city need to encourage construction of a disturbing colossus by awarding the developer a PILOT?

GA's taxes (and yours) keep going up; giving this thing a PILOT is a slap in the face.

How about NO PILOT and proposing a building with an appropriate scale for its neighbors? 



Well, GA used Photoshop to illustrate one of many possible configurations more in proportion to its neighbors, one which will admit more light and sun  to Monroe Park, that would otherwise be blocked by a 14-story block-wide monolith.

Developers need to include shadow studies with their large scale proposals.


Thanks, Scream-Guy. 

GA used to live downtown on sunny River Street before the construction of the SJP waterfront buildings turned it into a darkened canyon. This 14-story monolith will have the same effect on the slot of green, Monroe Park, below.

This proposal is wildly out of scale for the back end of town.

If we can't make it work for the neighborhood, then maybe it doesn't work.

81 comments:

  1. Oh my, you aren't drinking the Zimmer Kool Aid the way a couple of MSV posters want you to. Trouble trouble.

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  2. Why do people keep moving onto the streets that flood? There is no reason for pilots anymore.

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  3. The Palisades themselves have cast much the same shadows back there since the ice age.

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    1. And it's dark at night anyway so.......

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    2. True and other half the day the sun comes from the East and would flood the open space area with light

      Oh and the Adolph Munch crazed scream character is covering up the block long park, gymnasium building on Jackson Street that wraps around to Monroe Street with playgrounds which is also part of the project. Just say'n.

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    3. 7:52--You're comparing a 140 ft high vertical wall built across the street, with a slope maybe 200 feet away. The ice age didn't carve a 14-story wall- that's a developer's idea.

      8:19- the issue of concern is the 14-story monolith. The proposed space across the street would not be impacted. I think that's obvious. Your point is? Take the monstrosity because we get a gym and a playground?

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  4. The point is that it is all one integrated project, so yes you take the larger building or you don't get the all the extra amenities for the community. Life is comes with tradeoffs and as trade offs go I do not this is a bad one. Just say'n.
    8:19

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  5. They make it sound like this is some Podunk town nobody wants to live in when it's some of the most valuable real estate in New Jersey. You can't build the building without a tax break sell the land to a developer who can. The taxpayers in this town aren't in the business of making you rich.

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    1. If "they " were only putting up a building, I might agree with you BUT "they" are building and will turn over to the city a complete freestanding gym building, parks and all sorts of give backs.



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  6. The PILOT and the "park" are community give-backs for the right to build a taller, denser and uglier building. Who wins? Not us as the taxes continue to increase while county services decrease. Add to that the affordable housing units as part of the current ordinance and the translation is a greater tax-burden placed on the rest of us. We don't need more affordable, low-income or subsidized housing of any description in this tiny town. We have more than enough already. What we need are the people who now live in those units, who can afford market-rate apartments, to get the hell out so those that actually need them may move in.

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    1. Disagree and agree. The developer already has the right to build 424 units on his property and my take is they wanted to make their property more attractive to potential renters by upgrading that area around the Projects with the parks. Agree with your take on affordable housing in
      Hoboken.


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    2. Church Towers 4everMay 3, 2016 at 9:12 AM

      Hoboken is #1 in the entire state of NJ for affordable housing. Hoboken has the highest per capita subsidized housing stock and more is coming. If you don't like it leave.

      You think you are moving Michael Russo out of his three bedroom $800 a month apartment in Church Towers? You can't take away our PILOT either you stinkin' yuppies.

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    3. 8:35- Why do you say the developer "has the right to build 424 units"? Has this height and density been granted through the Zoning Board? The 424 unit number is a proposal, not a right.

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    4. From MSV: ' He (Larry Biijou) has the right to build 424 units as part of the earlier agreement. One view is the development even with a decades long PILOT is the best thing the City of Hoboken has obtained from any developer in a quarter century."

      Councilman Jim Doyle: " While the plan remains with the same number of units (424) as originally envisioned, Bijou has voluntarily offered some givebacks not part of the original deal."

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    5. 10:52,

      So there's an existing contract saying Bijou can build there? That's very disappointing. Any idea when it stems from?

      Thanks very much for the info!

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    6. 10:52- What agreement? Doyle says the units were "envisioned" and Forbes memo calls them "proposed." Has this gotten preliminary site plan approval?

      Unless this has changed, 2004 Master Plan shows the site is, under the NWRD, either Zone 1, Zone 2 or Zone 3. The max permitted height is 120 feet (Zone 2) or 140 feet "+ BONUS" (Zone 2). So, if this is Zone 2, then Bijou is proposing the maximum allowable height building "with BONUS (givebacks)."
      So why is everyone looking at this like the frigging Easter Bunny just gave Hoboken a basket of chocolate eggs? It sounds like the developer is building up to the height limit allowable BECAUSE he's providing givebacks. Not so "voluntarily" if I am reading the current zoning for that area- assuming it is "Zone 2."

      What "original deal?" Doesn't this need approvals for density?

      In a couple of decades we'll all be dead, but that clump of crap will still be standing.

      Does anyone know where to find a copy of this agreement?

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    7. I don't find it disappointing at all. I see this project as enhancing Hoboken and an excellent template for all future development agreements on the West side.

      I would think that the original agreement goes back to the Roberts Administration when 800 Jackson Street (Metro Stop) and what is now Vine were approved.

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    8. GA, I can only tell you what I have read.
      10:52

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  7. No more PILOTS for anything that isn't affordable housing.

    What would be affordable in Hoboken?
    Aren't 2 bedrooms in Marineview $1300 these days?

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    1. If you can't afford to live here then you shouldn't live here.

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  8. I agree with those who say you must give to the developers to get them to be willing to build on our worthless real estate. Who'd want to buy here? Just remember, without developer give backs we wouldn't have this awesome bowling alley. Or our lovely swimming pool. Or the green expanse of the Shoprite Park.

    Oh...wait...

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    1. As part of the agreement the gym and park on Jackson Street get built BEFORE the residential building gets built and the open area between the residential building and the Monroe Arts center will be completed concurrently.


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    2. Anon 11:02- but there is a ShopRite park- a strip of concrete big enough for a poodle to take a dump.

      How about a building design that suits the industrial character of the area-it is in the I-1 zone, adjacent to industrial buildngs on the Monroe site.

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    3. Then again that "industrial character", except for what is left of the Monroe Center, no longer exists in that area and the glass and neon bridges pretty much cancels much of that esthetic out.


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    4. It's not in an I-1 zone. That zoning was superseded by the Redevelopment Plan. The zoning that existed before the Redevelopment Plan was adopted by the City Council is legally nothing more than an historical artifact, even if many people would prefer it to what's in the Redevelopment Plan.

      It seems like there's an awful lot of well meaning confusion about this stuff.

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    5. I agree that there is an awful lot of confusion and misinformation on the topic and some of it may indeed be well meaning but some of the highly inflammatory rhetoric is being used by a handful to people to breed controversy and discontent to help further their own political agenda. Nasty people playing a nasty game.

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    6. 12:29- In Hoboken, nothing ever happens in local government without inflammatory rhetoric by a handful of people to breed controversy and/or further a political agenda. I think there is genuine disagreement on the height, density and mass of the proposed building, and the PILOT. At the end of the day, honest criticism generally makes for a better result.

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    7. A good deal of the criticism I have seen on this topic has not honest and the disagreement are based individuals knowingly spreading misinformation to create friction.

      I think more and more people in Hoboken are understanding that being dishonestly negative about everything all the time is not helpful to any discussion, and those individuals who continue down that path should have their opinions discounted and relegated to background noise no matter how loud they are.


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    8. @1:16 would you suggest their tongues be amputated too?
      Discounting criticism of the most dense development in Hoboken History is not "dishonestly negative" especially if it's coming from homeowners and long time renters who are just regular citizens and not people who parlayed their support into cushy city hall jobs, contracts or working at connected vendors and Democratic firms. To suggest any voice be squashed just shows the zero tolerence by this recast reform group who wants it their way or the highway. -A Highway that's often taken by those very same people as they leave Hoboken for other states

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    9. That is was certainly a dramatic and needlessly gruesome response.
      You may be watching way too many episodes of Game Of Thrones.

      I never suggested anyone's tongue be amputated or voice be "squashed" just suggested when the usual group of perpetually pissed off and negative people continue to do so, their opinions should be viewed in that light. Taken with a grain of salt.

      It has been my experience that this group despite frequent declarations of saying they represent a group significantly larger population in Hoboken then their visible small numbers, they are being grossly disingenuous.

      Your bitter over the top statements spreading near legally slanderous innuendos about others makes me think you have much more personal entitlement issues with this Administration and no real understanding of what the reform movement in Hoboken was all about.
      @1:16

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  9. No GA - Redevelopment Plans are not mere "proposals" AND THEY DON'T REQUIRE ZB approval. The ZB has no role once a Revelopment Plan is passed by the City Council. The Plan establishes the legal equivalent of zoning, conferring on the developer the legal right to build within the constraints of the Plan.

    The developer still needs to negotiate a Redevelopment Agreement with the City to fill in the details (kind of like a PB approval) but the City has to negotiate in good faith. It can't simply say "no" and because it no longer likes its own plan.

    Here, it seems like the City negotiated for substantially more "give backs" than the existing Redevelopment Plan required, but also agreed to provide a PILOT which was authorized and contemplated but not required under the Plan.

    Is this a good deal or a bad deal? I guess that's a matter of opinion but the 424 units was already an established legal right in the Plan.


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    1. Fair enough, thanks for the clarification. So then, the developer has cart blanche without restriction to build whatever he wants in the industrial zone without any guidance on aesthetics? Isnt this an opportunity for the city to assert some control over the character of new construction in this area, or we end up with a hodgepodge shaped by developers.

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    2. GA weren't you on the zoning board? Shouldn't this be second hand to you?

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    3. Yes, I was on the zoning board. No, an area over which the zoning board has no jurisdiction shouldn't be "second hand" to a member of the zoning board.

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    4. But a ZB member should know that the Zoning Board has no authority over Redevelopment. You asked if it did @9:38 AM.

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    5. 1:33- Smart-ass, at 9:38 I was unclear if this project a "done deal" and subject to a redevelopment agreement with Bijou or a proposal to develop a parcel of land, which is the purview of the zoning board.

      Nothing changes the aesthetic "problem' with the building as shown in the rendering.

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    6. The Developer is being REQUIRED by The Mayor to unproven, colossal storm retention tanks under the parks. When asked the developer told the Council that in a Sandy like flood these multi-million dollar tanks would reduce the water table by a whopping ONE INCH! The council reply was any inch is better than none. Would have been smarter to have had the developer donate to the third pump.

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    7. During the non-tidal storm flooding like Sandy, the water retention tanks will along with other measures like the wet water pumps will significantly reduce street flooding. I think residents understand and appreciate the significance of the process.

      The wet weather pumps are useless against preventing the massive flooding from tidal surges. That is why the Feds gave Hoboken a quarter of a billion dollars to do our best protect against it happening again.

      Since the Sewerage Authority has come up have they ever given their customers a breakdown of the rate increase they levied months ago ?

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    8. Replying to Anon 11:34. One point of difference - I think here this proposal is not being compared with the original redevelopment plan, but rather the prior redevelopment agreement that had been agreed with the prior developer who went bankrupt. If you read the actual redevelopment plan (the plan that effectively changes the zoning), what is being proposed here has much greater density. So I believe the starting point for this deal is that last developers agreement. This is a fairly important distinction because you either believe that the prior terms that were approved by a prior counsel/government still apply. Or that they should have taken a fresh look at this and gone back to the redevelopment plan as the starting point. But in any event - the proposed PILOT seems to suggest that the developer gets $150 million of tax benefits. That means a reduction in taxes. Even if Hoboken gets basically the same, the county and school board are being screwed out of $150 million over the next 10 years. Talk about wealth transfer....

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    9. the storage tanks are usesless too in a surge. but you knew that
      Maybe taxes 4% wouldnt go up 4% this year after the Zimmer reval last year if we didnt have pilots?

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  10. Wasn't the Juliana building a bust? Wasn't that supposed to be condos, but had to go to rentals because they weren't selling. This new proposed building is a worse location, so far back, flood zone and so isolated from the rest of the town. Hoboken still a desirable town for people to move to. No reason for a pilot.

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    1. Back in 2006 when Velocity now Julianna was built the area sucked. In the decade that has passed the area like the rest of Hoboken has changed for the better. The new building, park & gym proposed will continue the improvement.

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    2. This is a boondoggle. No reason to issue PILOTs.

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    3. It's amazing what a green roof and a bike share sponsorship can get you in this town....

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    4. Does spewing that crap make you feel better about yourself ?

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  11. FACT: Approved under Russo as a redevelopment zone
    FACT: Density placed to the rear of 720 Monroe by THIS administration to appease Russo who wants the Pino's site ( where zimmer wanted the Muni Garage ) to be a park
    FACT: 10% affordable housing will have NO MEANS TESTING other than income ( Shore houses, investment properties and $1 vacation homes are all okay! )
    FACT: The current design was chosen by the Council Sub Committee and The Administration
    FACT: This administration has been in power for EIGHT years. They expanded the redevelopment zone last year.

    It's time the Super fans and the Mayor stop pointing the giant foam finger at the past and START taking responsibility. Enough with the "It's not me" excuses

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    1. The City Council and the Administration with their individual and diverse opinions working together rather than at partisan loggerheads is to be applauded after years of stagnation. This is a good plan. Not perfect but closer than anything that has been done in Hoboken in the last 25 years.

      I have not heard of anyone involved in the process trying to distance themselves from it and rather the opposite is true all those involved are be more than will to take credit for it.

      Not sure but doubt that means testing beyond income to qualify for affordable housing is allowable under the law. Perhaps someone can address that question.

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    2. you mean the sub committee of Mello, Russo, Occhipinti ( past ) and Doyle. The entire city council just saw the plan when it was released to the public.

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    3. Most of the other City Council also went to the public meetings about the project.

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    4. @4:23. Are you serious? You say " This is a good plan. Not perfect but closer than anything that has been done in Hoboken in the last 25 years.
      "
      Really? Better than the Southern Waterfront that gave us THREE LARGE Parks designed by world famous designers, THREE Class A Office buildings and a World Class Hotel designed by Charles Gwathmy.
      Boy the Kool-Aid is certainly spiked stronger than ever. Or maybe it's the new big salary

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    5. @11:19 , You mean, the public meetings where the PILOT was not spoken or detailed ? Or the public meetings where they only showed an overhead outline of the massive Zimmer Towers

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    6. The PILOT's were discussed. The details at the time were still to be worked out and now they will be reviewed in detail.
      So why the bitch'n ?

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  12. What can grow in a dark park other than developers profits and PAC war chests?

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  13. Oh my, PPA To me it looks like your just shy of a the legal limits of slander.
    Your momma must be so proud of you.

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    1. Nice attempt to scare people from posting facts

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    2. ELECs are great sources of facts.

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    3. Yes Dang, but thos ELECs are also easy places to lie. But typically on an ELEC form it's not easy to discern who is the Family and Friends that donate on behalf of let's say (Hypothetically of course) who is connected to the CWA Union Lobbyist or Member, The Construction Union Members, The NJ Transit, CarePoint Health or Local City Law Firms or planning , engineers and developers. The Last fundraiser at City Bistro, the crowd more like a Dave Roberts or Brian Stack event than a local reform slate event.

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    4. I guess you are pretty much an expert on easy places to lie or just edge up to the line of slander with vile innuendo.

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  14. Real Estate Lobbying firms hosting fundraiser for Zimmer. Hmmmm... the truth gets deleted here again

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    1. What gets deleted here is innuendo that something nefarious is going on with a private person's place of business which you named. Don't post that kind of shit on my site, "Anonymous." How about posting that under your own name on your own blog? I am sure you will be more careful in making accusations about a private person's place of business, "Anonymous."

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    2. Then he shouldn't host a fundraiser fora politician at a lobbying firm that does real estate PR.

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    3. Ok I'll bite. Is there a fundraiser for Mayor Zimmer hosted by a lobbying firm that specializes in real estate lobbying? If so, does the firm lobby in Hoboken? If so, how is this different than the bad old days?

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  15. The innuendo and misinformation being spewed here is getting a bit ridiculous. A word of advice my Anonymous friend - you'd be more persuasive if you didn't post 17 times, wearing your agenda transparently on your sleeve. Even Lane B was smarter than that.

    An anonymous poster on MSV deleted an entire discussion about this project, presumably because he realized he had posted obviously incorrect information (as you have) and on reflection he realized his posts didn't advance his agenda. Perhaps you, my Anonymous friend, should similarly consider whether your posts are helping or hurting your cause.

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    1. And you know it's a He? Kinda like "Curious Gal" was a she?
      The outing games were trademark Bajardi
      Folks the whether someone is agreeing or not the attempt to link all disagreement to one "he" is a mistake.
      By you trying to link posts, you are making just falling into the same class as those you are objecting to...

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    2. Pot meet Kettle...

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    3. Outing games? Because someone used the pronoun "he" as a default? You can't be serious.

      Perhaps we should all agree on a single pronoun to use to refer to anonymous posters.

      Shall we use "it." Of course if you are actually an "it" you might consider that an attempt to out you as well so I guess there is no solution.

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  16. With the Hoboken Reporter and Hoboken411 in ignored by the general public and in the dumpster it appears that hijacking GA and MSV is the chosen vehicle of we Zimmer coven.

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    1. ...the chosen vehicle of the we hate Zimmer coven.

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    2. You confuse "we hate zimmer" with "we hate specific policies she has put forward". The two are very different. 90% of what she does we love, the other 10% just downright sucks.

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    3. How many people can a say they love 90% of what another person does? If you are lucky enough to find that 90% person, you marry them or in this case elect them to office. Just say'n.



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    4. I was a big supporter of the mayor for many years, I think I probably supporter 100% of her efforts at one time. In the last 12-18 months I've definitely become less of a supporter. If another reform minded individual runs, I'll weigh my options and vote for one of them (although I hope if another reform minded person wants to run, that either that person or the mayor decides to drop out of the running so only 1 reform minded person is on the ticket).

      If it's the mayor vs some jerk I know sucks, I'll vote for the mayor. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

      FWIW, I think it's great that we're close to a point where we are going to have multiple flavors of honest, well-intentioned candidates running for office.

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  17. I don't think anyone is confused or buys into your rationalization once you have been called out on the lack of civility in an increasing number of posts here on GA.s blog.

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  18. Since this project was approved by the council and not the zoning board, does that precluded city council members from buying three bedroom condos there?

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    1. You've out-stupided yourself this time.

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    2. Wait and see....wait and see.

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    3. Yeah the same way that councilmembers who voted to repave a street aren't allowed to drive on it.

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    4. In the past, after approvals were granted for certain development projects, ZBA members have moved into prime units in said buildings. Nothing illegal, but it does smack of impropriety.

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  19. Well, even The Council Majority was left with many unanswered questions last night. It's funny, The Mayor talks to the press and releases the plan to them and the public at the same time she presents it to the City Council as a whole. Funny, she sends out a defensive letter to them two days ago, yet never bothered to call them in for a presentation. No professional courtesy. This is not what Open Government is all about, nor is it how business works.

    Watch the meeting, listen to what Ms. Fisher says. I believe her over the Mayor's handlers and spin masters blogging ferociously in defense.


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    1. Is open government asking the Mayor to give a closed "special presentation" to the whole council. Or is it the council having a public presentation where the public can witness and comment?

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  20. I don't know much about this project other than: large buildings, small park, a gym and a pilot. Don't like the PILOT idea one bit. Does anyone know what kind of amenities will be at this park and gym?

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