Dawn Zimmer stepped up as Acting Mayor at a difficult time for our City, following Peter Cammarano’s arrest for political corruption in the summer of 2009. Zimmer immediately set to work restoring trust and putting our city back on the right path. Since her election as Mayor in 2009, Zimmer reduced taxes, instituted sound budget practices, and implemented cost-efficiencies, putting Hoboken on a sound long-term fiscal path. She also put in place sweeping reforms, providing a more transparent, open and modern city government, promoted state-of-the-art environmental initiatives and made many quality of life improvements, including the addition of over 9 acres of open public space.
Zimmer ably led Hoboken through the difficult days of Super-Storm Sandy, demonstrating her crisis management skills. She is now working on devising an integrated, comprehensive approach to flood prevention and securing the resources essential for implementing it– preparing our City for the step-up in intense storms that scientists say is a likely consequence of climate change. She led the effort to acquire $230 million as part of the Rebuild by Design competition to help Hoboken protect from storm surge events, like Super-Storm Sandy. Zimmer also led the efforts to secure two flood pumps in Hoboken with North Hudson Sewerage Authority to dramatically reduce the common flooding that occurs during flash flooding events.
As Mayor, Dawn Zimmer’s sound fiscal management enabled Hoboken to break free of state fiscal supervision. She established and has maintained a responsible cash surplus for the first time in many years. Following audits of the police and fire departments, restructuring and redeployment allowed the city to save millions of dollars per year while enhancing community safety by putting more police on the street. Through a successful effort to recruit a private owner, Zimmer saved the City’s cash-strapped hospital from closing, preserving more than 1,200 jobs, and relieving taxpayers of a $52 million bond guarantee. Mayor Zimmer modernized city government making use of new technology to more efficiently deliver information and services directly to residents. Under her watch, Hoboken has become a nationally-recognized leader in progressive transportation initiatives, such as Corner Cars, the first on-street, city-wide car sharing program in the country.
Additionally, Mayor Zimmer has been a passionate advocate for additional open space for Hoboken residents. Under her watch, Hoboken has acquired land and created additional park space in all areas of the City, including the creation of the new Southwest Park, two-acre park at 7th and Jackson, and six acres in Northwest Hoboken. She also oversaw upgrades to all of Hoboken’s major parks, including Church Square Park, Maxwell Park, Elysian Park, and others.
Prior to serving as the first woman Mayor of Hoboken, Zimmer served as the 4th Ward Councilwoman. She first became involved in civic life as an advocate for park space. Before taking time off to care for her two sons, Dawn worked in communications for a large Japanese trading company and did crisis communications for one of the top public relations firms in the country.