Today, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla invited New York Waterway CEO Arthur Imperatore, Chairman Armand Pohan and New York Waterway to attend a town hall meeting on Thursday, May 9, open to members of the Hoboken public. On Wednesday, New York Waterway attempted to present its renderings of a heavy refueling station to the City Council at session closed to the public, following another closed door meeting held for undisclosed individuals on April 17 at the Elks Club. Mayor Bhalla urged New York Waterway to solicit feedback from the Hoboken community through an open and public process.
Mayor Bhalla’s full letter and invitation is below:
May 3, 2019
Mr. Arthur Imperatore
Mr. Armand Pohan
New York Waterway
4800 Avenue at Port Imperial
Weehawken, NJ 07086
Dear Messrs. Pohan and Imperatore,
As you know, the Hoboken public is extremely concerned about the very serious public safety and environmental risks posed by a heavy refueling station at Union Dry Dock. As I’ve communicated in the past, it has been a decades long goal for Hoboken to have a public, contiguous waterfront, which would not be possible with your proposed plans. I would also note that New York Waterway was aware of Hoboken’s plans for a public park at Union Dry Dock before purchasing the land.
I believe it is critical to be as open and transparent with the public as possible. As I communicated to you via email, I applaud Council President Jen Giattino’s decision to deny your request to present your proposed renderings of a refueling station at a closed session of the City Council, without any members of the public permitted to attend. Previously, I understand you presented your proposed renderings at another closed door, private meeting with undisclosed participants – yet another attempt to shut out the public.
In the interests of transparency, I am willing to host a town hall meeting in Hoboken for New York Waterway, where you can present your renderings and plans to the public so residents are given an opportunity to offer you feedback. My office would be glad to assist and offer a third party to moderate the forum. Please let me know if you can join the Hoboken community the evening of Thursday, May 9 at 7:00 pm. We also extend this invitation to members of the Governor’s staff should they wish to join.
We eagerly await your answer, and to see if you are truly interested in an open and transparent process. Please contact my assistant, Joanne Buonarota at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know as soon as possible if you accept our offer to host a town hall meeting for you.
Very truly yours,
The copy of the letter sent from Mayor Bhalla to New York Waterway can be found by clicking here.