Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Yet another waste of Jersey City taxpayer money

Developers can say they'll do a lot of things "for" Jersey City when they come hat in hand before the planning commission, city council et al. Some say they'll build a small elementary school downtown, in the richest area, a school kids from Greenville have zero hope of attending. Some say they will do something down the road, like Toll Brothers who probably lied when they said to get their abatement for The Morgan said they'd build a community theater. Word on that from sources downtown say it'll never be built, Toll will cry poor but Johnny digresses. A lot of promises are made to take your tax money "in lieu of payment" ie taxes like you pay.

Shuster, when they wanted tax money to build their very unnecessary igloos on First St., (Shuster is, by the way, complaining about the new city law that requires them to pave side to side after tearing up a street -- how's that for gratitude?) the Art House and The Jokeman said they would provide the city with parking out front of both places, roughly an entire city block they would dedicate to parking and charging of electric vehicles, ie Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs etc. This was Shuster's "giveback" to the city for getting huge abatements.

Problem is, the spots are never in use. By never we mean never -- as far as EV's are concerned. Shuster contractors and employees now get FREE PARKING out front of their buildings because NOBODY is using the 30 or so electric spots. Shuster guys just move the cones for their own contractors and workers and YOU pay for that. Yes Jersey City, YOU pay for Shuster employees to park for free on city streets.
Now, the city in it's infinite wisdom was using this EV charging location as a test case, ie can we do this elsewhere and have it work. No doubt developers all over Hudson County would line up to get the abatement deal Shuster got, we'll GIVE you the parking spaces, just contract someone to come put in chargers. That's it. Simple.

Johnny is going to make a bold statement but he's pretty certain he can back it up with his long history in auto media; Nobody from Jersey City got down and did the full research on exactly how many EV's there are in Hudson County, how many are registered in Jersey City or the surround. Nobody did a count, nobody thought to look around message forums or boards looking for EV drivers around the Tri-State looking for downtown plug-in parking. If the city did any of this Johnny would be A) Surprised B) Our subpoena for JC's data on this would be immediate from the Jersey City Desk legal team.

Bottom line, somebody THOUGHT this would be a great idea. But, instead of running a test program in another slice of downtown, they built in millions in abatements around a failed plan. Instead we have an utter waste of millions of taxpayer dollars.

FAIL to city planning (again), FAIL to City Council (again) LOSS for Jersey City taxpayers who had a block of parking taken away and handed to a contractor to collect money off your street that has no cars.

Johnny has one more prediction on this; When someone from the city government does read this (and they do, Johnny sees their IP addy's coming in) they'll simply think the program is an even bigger hit than they'd hoped because someone is talking about it, it's how Jersey City government works.

No comments: