Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Grist for the Mill: Who gave the Hoboken approval to put Beth Mason on the HHA?

When word of the stunning appointment of the notorious Beth Mason to one of seven seats on the Hoboken Housing Authority board came, most reports focused only on the end of term outgoing governor.

Later MSV learned, State Senator Steve Sweeney was the impetus but he's not the representative of Hoboken, Brian Stack is.

The appointment reportedly had to be cleared through the sitting senator and mayor of Union City. The typical approval for a gubernatorial appointment then rests with the mayor of the operating municipality.

As the appointment was officially made last month, it would have reached the ears of Dawn Zimmer. She in turn may have noted her final days punting to Ravi Bhalla and suggest he give his approval.

If the approval came from the mayor-elect last month, what was the reaction to the idea of his and the City's long time nemesis being planted in the vote farming friendly confines of the Hoboken Housing Authority?

Add to the mix, the pointed battles and jabs between Ravi Bhalla and Beth Mason over the years. In 2010 they attacked each other on ethics allegations calling for their respective resignations. Some of the warring carried on for years in a proxy war and into his 2013 council race. Can you say ugly?

What deal could have been made to see Bhalla agree to put Beth Mason into the HHA?


Speaking of deals, who else is anticipating obtaining a job at City Hall? Well, that speaks to who you know and those who say they do point to a deal for someone who ran for mayor last June.

Second council meeting of the year is slated for tonight. While City Hall security upgrades are up for a vote, the only questions may seek answers for the overall cost and effectiveness. More importantly, there are already questions about the early hires compared to the Zimmer administration. It's gone beyond the previous one with two aides to the mayor: John Allen and Jason Freeman. That's one body beyond what the norm has been for eight years or more.

In addition, no matter how you slice it; that cost is way beyond the first term in last administration, less than 40K. Here it's likely more than four times that with Jason Freeman brought in at $85,000 and John Allen higher but at an unknown cost. Don't ask for an answer; it's a national security secret.

The City Council however is likely to question it as soon as tonight.

As for City Hall, questions on who in the Mile Square City gave the green light to see Beth Mason put into the belly of the beast in the HHA returned nothing but crickets. Funny how a couple of well posed questions causes the vault to shut. A zebra has never been so silent.

Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey? Send it to smartyjones@me.com. All email is kept confidential and is protected by Da Horsey's proven Reporter Privilege upheld under the NJ Shield Law in Hudson County Superior Court. In farm animals we trust.

MAYOR BHALLA ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FORCE

Official release:

MAYOR BHALLA ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FORCE

Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla is announcing the formation of the Mayor's Task Force on Public Safety to address violence and quality of life issues resulting from intoxicated bar patrons. The task force includes Police Chief Ferrante, Provisional Fire Chief Crimmins, Police Capt. Pasculli, Police Sgt. Kucz, Police Sgt. Montanez, Health Officer Frank Sasso, Battalion Fire Chief Buoncuore, Fire Captain DiVincent, Business Administrator Marks, Corporation Counsel Aloia, and Environmental Services Director Pellegrini. 

"We can no longer ignore the fact that a small number of establishments are creating a big problem for everyone else in the form of violence, property damage, and financial cost,” said Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla. “When a person comes from out of town and spits in the face of our officers, as has happened numerous times, that is unacceptable. When an officer is assaulted by an inebriated patron and receives a concussion, as happened to Officer Lombardi on Christmas Eve, I will not allow the status quo to continue.”

·         In 2017, there were 277 ABC violations by liquor license holders.
·         Of 133 liquor license holders, more than half received zero Tavern sheets in 2017 and more than ¾ received two or fewer Tavern sheets.
·         Half of all violations in 2017 were issued to just 11 establishments (8% of license holders).
·         Since August 2017, 15 police officers have been attacked, the majority occurring late at night by intoxicated patrons.
·         On SantaCon, 17 bars received Tavern sheets, while the remaining 87% of establishments were not issued violations.

"The Mayor’s creation of this task force is not about hurting the bar and restaurant industry in town," said Police Chief Ken Ferrante. "This task force is going to take a deep look into incidents, events, and problem bars that are contributing to a decay of our city's quality of life, causing injuries to our residents, visitors, and police officers, and hurting most of the businesses in town, including a majority of our bars and restaurants. The disruption that SantaCon brought to this great city, its residents, and business owners the week before Christmas and during Hanukkah, just so 10 to 15 percent of our bars can profit, is unacceptable!"

"I fully support this task force as a means to develop policies that protect public safety," said Provisional Fire Chief Brian Crimmins. "I look forward to working with Mayor Bhalla, Chief Ferrante, and community leaders to achieve this goal."

Police Officer and past president of the Hoboken PBA Vincent Lombardi, who suffered a concussion from an assault by an inebriated patron on Christmas Eve, supported the Task Force’s efforts, stating, "The escalation of disorderly and violent behavior by inebriated bar patrons against police officers, of which I am a recent victim, has spawned into a quality of life crisis. I welcome and fully support Mayor Bhalla’s decision in addressing this ugly trend for the sake of officer safety and serenity within our city."

The first step in the Task Force's efforts, based on the recommendation of the Hoboken Fire Department, is to increase the fines levied for overcrowding and other imminent hazards during all high-volume events to the maximum amount permitted by the Uniform Fire Code Statutes and Regulations. Fines for non-compliance will increase to $2,500 for a first offense and $5,000 for subsequent offenses. Additional steps will be taken by the Task Force in the coming weeks.

“At Little City Books we are grateful to Mayor Bhalla for addressing this issue,” said co-owner Kate Jacobs. “On the corner of 1st and Bloomfield, we are surrounded by bars that are generally very good neighbors, keeping our surrounding blocks lively. The ‘Cons,’ however, are severely damaging to the success of our business --  especially SantaCon which occurs on a Saturday before Christmas, a critical day for a low-profit margin business like a bookstore, which should be our most profitable day of the year. On the ‘Con’ days, our staff is harassed and intimidated by drunk people and we have always had to close early, with business down by about 40 percent. Our store is a destination for families with children, and no one brings children into that neighborhood when it is so out of control and vile from morning until night. Curbing the excesses of the ‘Cons’ would be a great thing for our business, for the residents of Hoboken, and for the reputation of the town.”


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "Today we received a second bite at the apple"

Official release:

 
 
Dear friends and neighbors,
 
It was because of so many of you - your letters, emails, phone calls and presence - that today we received a second bite at the apple.  The resolution to approve NJ Transit's acquisition of the Union Dry Dock site from NY Waterway was removed from the agenda due to lack of support from voting board members.  So no vote was taken.  This was our second choice; first choice would have been a decided "No" vote.  But both get us to the same place which is a much needed pause so we can have an opportunity to find a better solution for all stakeholders
 
I first want to say what I often say - More Voices are Better.  Followed by another top choice of mine - Your Voice Matters.  We had one mayor, five council members, advocacy groups and over 100 Hoboken residents attend the meeting today and TOGETHER we showed NJ Transit how important this decision was to Hoboken.  And even though we did not speak individually, our crowd spoke volumes, and they heard us.
 
As I said yesterday, what a delay gets us is more time.  More time to get in a room with all stakeholders.  More time to find the way to complete our waterfront that started 30 years ago.  But as importantly, more time to try to help find a solution that supports the critical ferry service used by 30,000 commuters each day (2,000 Hoboken residents).  We are expecting NJ Transit and NYWW to be part of our solution, we need to be part of theirs.  
 
It was unfortunate that on a day we should have been honoring the legacy of MLK and his commitment to service, we had to be distracted with the need to protest.  So if you too were distracted by all this, here is a great piece that I found to inspire you to make a difference any day.  All the ways you can make a difference this MLK Day. 
 
Please call me (201-208-1674) or email me (hoboken2nd@gmail.com) if you have any questions or want to discuss.
 
Thank you,
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
 
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”

Monday, January 15, 2018

HCV: Video of Mayor Ravi Bhalla & Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher on NJ Transit pending purchase of Union Dry Dock delayed

The following video report comes courtesy of The Hudson County View:



City of Hoboken issued this release on today's event:

IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM MAYOR BHALLA ON NJ TRANSIT’S PLANS TO ACQUIRE UNION DRY DOCK FOR FERRY MAINTENANCE FACILITY

Today the NJ Transit Board of Directors was scheduled to vote on purchasing the Union Dry Dock property and leasing the property back to NY Waterway for use as a ferry maintenance and refueling facility. The meeting was abruptly cancelled due to a lack of quorum. Following the cancelled meeting, NJ Transit issued a notice for a rescheduled board meeting at 10am on Friday, January 12, 2018.

“Today was a tremendous victory for Hoboken, and more importantly, for good government,” said Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla. “Hitting the pause button on this rushed and ill-conceived plan provides NJ Transit the opportunity, under the leadership of the incoming Murphy Administration, to begin a deliberative and transparent planning process that considers input from all stakeholders, including the public.  Any further attempts to subvert this process will be met with fierce resistance from me, and I pledge to use every resource at my disposal to protect Hoboken’s interests.

Thank you to Governor-elect Murphy, who understood the need for local voices to be heard on this matter. Thank you to Senator Menendez and Senator Booker for their advocacy. And a big thank you to Senator Stack, Assemblywoman Chaparro, Assemblyman Mukherji, the Hoboken City Council Members, and all of the advocates and residents who have been united on this issue.”

For more on this story, please see the Hudson County View:
http://hudsoncountyview.com/in-unexpected-twist-nj-transit-pulls-measure-to-acquire-hobokens-union-dry-dock/

Hoboken United wins second delay on NJ Transit-NY Waterway vote for Union Dry Dock

According to a report by the Hoboken Resistance & Advocate, today's NJ transit hearing to approve the purchase of the Union Dry Dock for use by NY Waterway is suspended.

Almost 100 members of the Hoboken public joined Mayor Ravi Bhalla with Council President Ruben Ramos and council members Tiffanie Fisher, Jen Giattino, Vanessa Falco and Jim Doyle united in opposition to the NJ Transit plan to purchase and give NY Waterway use of the location. Former councilman Dave Mello also joined the effort.

Tomorrow, the NJ governor-elect Phil Murphy will be sworn-in taking office as NJ Governor. With his term, Murphy will play a pivotal role in attempting to fashion a solution to the conflict.  NJ Transit wants to purchase the property and "sell" its use to NY Waterway so its 30,000 boat customers can see their vessels refueled at the site of the Union Dry Dock. The town of Weehawken is pushing NY Waterway off their location for development and a refueling pitstop is critical for continuing its business operations.

Some in Hoboken point to Bayonne or Brooklyn as "better" refueling depot options but the additional travel time and fuel consumption is costly. Additionally, it adds to pollution and the output of carbon which some argue causes global warming climate change.

The news on Martin Luther King Day shows the unity of almost 100 Hoboken residents who turned out joining Mayor Ravi Bhalla with council members Tiffanie Fisher, Jen Giattino, Ruben Ramos, Vanessa Falco and Jim Doyle may have had a positive impact.

No matter the result here which Hoboken does not ultimately control, the unity of its local government proves there is no reason for discord where the agenda of the residents is primary and leadership for Hoboken is held paramount.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla is surrounded in support by City Council President Ruben Ramos and council member Jen Giattino
and Jim Doyle at the NJ Transit meeting Monday morning. Council members Tiffanie Fisher and Vanessa Falc not pictured here were also in attendance. The NJ Transit agenda was tabled meaning the matter of Union Dry Dock's purchase and future use will be further weighed under the pending NJ governor-elect Phil Murphy Administration.


Talking Ed Note: Mayor Ravi Bhalla utilized the support from residents and council members alike in a strong show of force and unity. No matter what transpires on this issue, this is a positive sign of how Hoboken's local government can effectively work together.

There's no reason to expect anything less.

For more coverage on this story, please see the Hoboken Resistance & Advocate:
http://hobokenresistance.blogspot.com/2018/01/nj-transit-suspends-vote-on-union-dry.html

photo courtesy of the Hoboken Resistance & Advocate

MLK Day... still dreaming




What kind of world or country could it be if people were measured as individuals not by group identity?


Saturday, January 13, 2018

NJ Transit vote set for Monday as governor-elect Phil Murphy criticizes late action

The delayed NJ Transit vote last week rescheduled for Friday is postponed to Monday.

Or is it.

The governor-elect came out on Saturday criticizing the late vote before he assumes office following an earlier action seeking the resignations of top officials in the agency.

From the Saturday NJ.com article:

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has demanded that NJ Transit postpone a vote scheduled for Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on the controversial purchase of Hoboken waterfront property for use as a ferry maintenance yard.
The article outlines the divide on NJ Transit paving the way for New York Waterway to use the former Union Dry Dock site:
The measure being considered by NJ Transit's board of directors would authorize staffers to purchase the 3-acre Union Dry Dock site from New York Waterway, then lease the site back to the company for its use as a ferry maintenance yard. New York Waterway purchased the property in November for $11.5 million from the company that formerly operated the dry dock -- Hoboken's last working shipyard -- and NJ Transit was expected to pay about the same price.
New York Waterway says it ferries about 30,000 daily commuters between New Jersey and New York, and NJ Transit says the ferry system is a key component of the trans-Hudson transportation network, both on a regular basis and during emergency situations like last year's "Summer of Hell" rail service restrictions at Penn Station New York. 
The NJ governor-elect came to Hoboken today on his scheduled stops in Jersey City and North Bergen to discuss
transportation issues. Here's Phil Murphy pictured with Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro.
Hoboken council members were aware of the visit but apparently only his slate members Jim Doyle and Emily Jabbour were invited.
Isn't the election campaign over?

The Storm...

is upon them. 

                             

Didn't anyone warn you?

What happens when it was the "investigators" under investigation?

Did you think rumors about "crap" would carry the day?

In the end, The Republic wins...


and the dominoes begin their fall.

RelatedDeclassified memos show FBI illegally shared spy data on Americans with private parties

Talking Ed Note: Media/FF conspiracy efforts to attempt counter/distraction but can't stop justice coming.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Grist for the Mill: Hoboken Sweeney Todd


It was the barber on Jackson Street by way of Camden and south Jersey who got Beth Mason the appointment to a seat on the Hoboken Housing Authority.

If not a full Sweeney Todd production, a reliable source at the state level says "Sweeney was the one who got her (Beth Mason) the appointment. The favor was for Sweeney."

The reference is to the powerful southern NJ State Senator Steve Sweeney (D-3) who also serves as the state majority leader.

For years, Beth Mason funded the political aspirations of the powerful State Senator's and would host parties in Atlantic City during the annual League of Municipalities conference.

Mason pitched herself as a Lt. Governor on a potential Sweeney bid for NJ governor. However, the eventual expectation of a run for governor never occurred as Phil Murphy, the former Ambassador to Germany and a well-off former player at Goldman Sachs exerted his financial capabilities on key Democratic county chairs.

The entry of Murphy vying for governor on the Democrat line forced Sweeney to rethink entering the race. He would decline after another potential rival, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop announced he would support Murphy's gubernatorial bid and forgo one of his own.

Beth Mason "hosting" a party for State Senator Steve Sweeney
in Atlantic City back in 2013.
Senator Sweeney had been a sometime ally of the outgoing Governor Chris Christie and built up a good working relationship. In the end, all the vast expenditures by the Mason family purchased not a path out of Hoboken but back to it in the form of a seat on the Hoboken Housing Authority.

Talking Ed Note: While a contribution to the state effort against opioid abuse is welcome, it's not the driving force in the appearance of Beth Mason onto a seat in the HHA.

Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey? Send it to smartyjones@me.com. All email is kept confidential and is protected by Da Horsey's proven Reporter Privilege upheld under the NJ Shield Law in Hudson County Superior Court. In farm animals we trust.

She's back! The terror of Beth Mason descends on the HHA as she reenters Hoboken politics

The following is MSV analysis/opinion on the breaking news of Beth Mason's reentry into Hoboken politics.

Governor Christie appoints Beth Mason to an open seat on the Hoboken Housing Authority

The horror returns. 

The first question on everyone's minds; what contribution did the Mason family wallet make?

As part of a slew of gubernatorial appointments, Gov. Chris Christie appointed the notorious and destructive Beth Mason to an open seat on the Hoboken Housing Authority. Some speculate the price was a hefty contribution to Gov. Christie's campaign against the far-reaching impact of opioid abuse in New Jersey.

The Hoboken Housing Authority seat, one of seven was open for well over a year and is appointed by the sitting NJ governor.  On his way out the door, Gov. Christie who once allied with former mayor Dawn Zimmer and then became partisan opponents in 2014, gets the final parting shot.

Held in abeyance by the now defunct Hoboken Reform Movement, the appointment of Beth Mason to the Hoboken Housing Authority likely means a political power play to see her assume control over the board there and follow with her resuming attempts to obtain elected office. She's failed twice to be elected Hoboken mayor and other avenues sought such as NJ Assembly and Lt. Governor closed.

Mason allied with former HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia who left the agency in shambles in 2013 and ruled with an iron fist over a banana republic fiefdom. Garcia is pending on final HUD approval on a $700,000 payout settlement for his "ethnic cleansing" civil lawsuit where he claims he was victimized when his five year contract was terminated.

Back in 2013, it was former Councilwoman Beth Mason who stood at the front of the council chambers as a mob almost took over the room in an attempt to stop a vote terminating Carmelo Garcia's contract. (This editor was a target of the mob and theft close to full-scale rioting as Mason looked on in silent approval as seen below.)

The video is now simply known as The Fracas.



Mason had tried to use her seat on the city council and her family wallet to leverage the HHA population for higher office while keeping them under the thumb of Garcia. Now she returns holding one of seven HHA board seats.

Beth Mason who acted as the wallet funding the worst Old Guard political operations against Hoboken, (trying to shut down the hospital in 2011 being one) resumes a public office and becomes a Hoboken political personality. She's likely aiming to buy her way up the political ladder in Hoboken if not Hudson County or beyond.

Once again, a casualty of the Hoboken Reform Movement being detonated by the back room deal between Dawn Zimmer and then councilman Ravi Bhalla last year will see the most vulnerable population of Hoboken pay the price.

It will not end there.

Talking Ed Note: Beth Mason was not contacted for this opinion piece. Her most recent public appearances in 2016 surrounded her phony criminal charges against MSV thrown out of Jersey City Municipal Court mid-trial.

The judge ordered a continuation of mutual no-contact between the parties:
Beth Mason criminal charges against MSV thrown out of court as First Amendment rights preserved.

Related: The inside story with emails obtained in litigation with the plot to destroy the hospital and the Zimmer administration.

The Hoboken Resistance & Advocate takes a view on the shocking news.