Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.       

                                                    Matthew 28:6

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What happens when you "mess" with Vision 20/20 and "politicians"

MSV has previously written of evidence of direct threats made against Hoboken resident Jessica Coco. There's more to that story.

What you weren't told were the threats made against this editor.

The continuing political efforts surrounding the undocumented plan Vision 20/20 and the hostilities surrounding its lack of approval have led to numerous antagonistic actions, games being played and pawns pushed into the fray.

For the first time, MSV will make public the evidence of a threat directed against this editor.
It ended thusly:

You should hope that your home doesn't get vandalized like Ms. Coco's did. Don't mess with politicians. 

Things won't end well.

Complete details were turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Have a great holiday everyone.

MSV Exclusive: Carmelo Garcia's paid staff and accountability to the People

Carmelo Garcia and his important but controversial dual roles as HHA Executive Director and Assemblyman saw that issue arise this past week in both the HHA and last night's City Council meeting.

A question was posed to one of his staff members Patricia Waiters, when Councilman Ravi Bhalla asked if she was a paid staff member of Carmelo Garcia.

Waiters responded "no" and provided a long confusing dually confessed and obfuscated answer. She along with several others is in fact on the payroll of Assemblyman Garcia.  Councilman Ravi Bhalla finished requesting a legal opinion if it's appropriate to vote someone on as a HHA commissioner who is also a paid staff member of Assemblyman Garcia.

It's discussed near the end of public portion:

In the video, Waiters also claims among other problematic issues surrounding antisemitic remarks alleged at the Thursday HHA meeting to being harassed and said MSV was "chasing us" and "that's why we had him removed out of the meeting."  MSV categorically denies all the false allegations.

A complete transcript from the April HHA meeting will be made available to the public.

The following people are on the taxpayers payroll as paid aides to Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia:

Former Hoboken councilman and
former Hoboken resident                           Chris Campos - $40,000

Former Chief of Staff to former
Mayor Sal Vega of West New York           Daniel Ortega - $38,000

Communications professional:                  Frank Rosner - $15,000

Hoboken resident                                       Patricia Waiters - $10,000

Former Hoboken resident                          Nick Calicchio - $7,000

MSV is adding Patricia Waiters to the short list of public officials receiving taxpayer funds who will no longer be contacted on occasion for comment on issues of public concern. While she has called MSV a few months back seeking advice and she had been called once a month ago, there's been an obvious change in demeanor since her new job with Assemblyman Garcia.

After her appearance in City Council a month ago, a text conversation that evening ended with a question unanswered if she was being paid by Carmelo Garcia. A conversation followed the next day and she did admit she worked under him "for constituents." Told getting paid and doing work was no issue but that comments made outside of accepted political norms was problematic, Waiters would finally agree and the conversation ended on an up note.

None of that information however was reported until details could be verified.

It's not been an up note with the public remarks made before the HHA and City Council since.  MSV will allow the public to draw its own conclusions and stands by its first person account of the last HHA meeting a week ago.

The other person who is on the "no questions" list is fourth ward Democratic Committeeman Matt Calicchio who filed false charges claiming he was being "followed" by MSV after a single phone call asking about his upcoming trial. He however continues to approach MSV (from behind) or on the street and makes less than savory remarks which won't be printed here.

Those false charges were later thrown out of court.

Carmelo Garcia even as a public figure holding dual taxpayer paid public positions is the other person who is not contacted in any private setting. While there's no concern about his recording a conversation, there's been too much of the "woe is me" cries to do so without witnesses as in a question on a single public matter last year he refused to comment and threatened to file a complaint he was being harassed.

Since then, Garcia's filed frivolous lawsuits and it appears the aim is more of the same.

Anyone in the public, resident, constituent or citizen journalist has every right to ask elected and appointed officials a question in person, by phone or text. Doing so does not constitute "harassment."

Of course anyone has the right to comment here or contact MSV on any concern of public policy. That's the accountability to the public owed. Too bad some elected and paid government officials believe they are exceptions to that obvious fact.

As many people know, the Old Guard is using the courts as a tool of real intimidation in their personal politics of destruction. It's what some do who can't muster a rational argument.

Correction: MSV has written Carmelo Garcia is on the public taxpayer roles in three positions: HHA Executive Director, NJ Assemblyman and as an aide to Freeholder Anthony Romano.

The last position is no longer true as Garcia no longer holds that $5,000 position as aide to the Freeholder effective last fall. The position of aide to the Freeholder was one Garcia originally obtained through appointment of the former Freeholder, the late Maurice Fitzgibbons.

No Master Plan, zero transparency as Beth Mason pushes the Vision 20/20 scam

One of the aspects of Hoboken's changing political climate is the never say die mentality of those who stand in the way of not just good government but decent government. It's the shame of our City.

How else to explain this video of Councilwoman Beth Mason speaking on Vision 20/20? As has been pointed out numerous times, this monstrosity was thrust upon the Hoboken public and the unsuspecting residents of the HHA with zero transparency.

To date all the public has seen is a bunch of words and a glossy brochure.

A brochure.

To date, there is no Master Plan, this is a Master Scam being offered by an emperor with no clothes.

There's reference to mysterious support in Washington and New Orleans who it's claimed back the undocumented Vision 20/20 project. How or why anyone in New Orleans would back an undocumented massive redevelopment in New Jersey is not answered.

When the vaguest question on opposition to Vision 20/20 is asked, Mason offers not a single shred of illumination. There is no argument to the lack of a Master Plan or anything remotely resembling same to the Office of the Mayor, the City Council, the Hoboken Housing Authority or the Hoboken public at large.

How does one argue against criticism of an undocumented massive redevelopment of the HHA?

The first proposed structure turning over the management rights of the building featured a cool, clean one million dollars in profit.

The plan calls for well over a dozen more similar buildings with oversight rights removed and a fat subsidy, a PILOT of course courtesy of you the taxpayer.

Whatever happened to the promised tenant "Bill of Rights?" That too doesn't exist.

Shameless, absolutely shameless. Here's Beth Mason:

Video courtesy of Hudson County TV

Talking Ed Note: One commenter at HCTV is not amused by the "infomercial" without any credible information.

No kidding.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Attack of the Carmelitos @ 7:00

Tonight's City Council meeting comes with a fairly light agenda although there's some financial moves for budgeting on deck but without a neutralized reform council member absent, MORTe (Mason-Occhipinti-Russo and Terry Castellano) can not hope to stop merely delay or obfuscate needed approvals on budget matters.

But the war over the fiefdom of the HHA's contracted and self-appointed leader Carmelo Garcia should see some noise coming from his small, merry band of Carmelitos this evening.

Posters up within the HHA buildings are urging residents to come out and support Garcia's unilateral control before the City Council. At the HHA meeting last week, the race card is de rigueur and antisemitism is being openly voiced on the record.

Led by Carmlo Garcia's employee/Assembly aide Patricia Waiters, the Carmelitos are noisily fighting to stem off any oversight of the Hoboken Housing Authority and liberally apply the race card in the attempt to keep any professional not reflexively willing to vote in favor of the secretive Vision 20/20 plan. (The seat expiring held by Eduardo Gonzalez up next month becomes the swing vote since the vote of commissioner Judy Burrell has flipped backing Garcia's agenda.)

Some of the Carmelitos may actually believe Garcia saying Vision 20/20 is what he "says" it is even as none of the residents in the HHA received any "bill of rights" promised with the massive, undocumented  redevelopment proposal.

Others in the HHA think they will benefit with the powers of the HHA Executive Director used to benefit some (think bigger HHA units in favorable locations already allocated for bellowing at the microphone as his spokespeople.)

How do the other HHA residents feel about being sold out? MSV has heard its divided some and ended friendships with others who tried to enlist them saying they would be "taken care of" and it's everyone for themselves.

One who has raised her voice in skepticism about Vision 20/20 has seen a series of criminal attacks on her property and home since last year with the mere suspicion she was not "on board." That resident and the criminality evidenced prior on MSV in the person of Jessica Coco has been overlooked entirely in the "debate" as MORTe has intensely backed the razing of the HHA with some undetermined monstrosity in its place - exceeding its existing density and size more than twice over in the brochure put forward.

All this with not a single page of a Master Plan produced to the Mayor's Office, the City Council or the Hoboken public.

In the face of this utter outrage, it's Councilwoman Beth Mason who has voiced support of Vision 20/20 in recent council meetings and also in a new video.

This from the woman who has made a career of saying she needs "more information."

When it comes to Vision 20/20, Mason like her MORTe allies don't need a single, solitary page.

'Develop or Die!' Or is it overdevelop and get rich or die trying? 

Tonight's agenda:

City Council @ 7:00 but network problems may blink out live broadcast

There's been networking problems at City Hall and live broadcasts of the City Council meetings have been down in recent weeks. Unclear if that's fixed for tonight.

The last meeting led to the first interview with Councilwoman Beth Mason on her and her husband's hundreds of campaign violations, (Richard Mason of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz)

Speaking for the first time on their state violations where up to seven figure fines are on the table by NJ's watchdog agency, Beth Mason made her first public comment on the controversy. 

Her comments however were not congruent with the complaint against her 2011 and 2009 campaigns. She claimed the "numbers are false," and NJ Elec, the oversight agency 'doesn't write their own stuff.'

It's unclear where the review process Mason called "hyped up" stands or if the rumors floating around on Grafix Avenger are true - that the Mason family is unhappy with pending fines for their lawbreaking.

Back later with more. This City Council meeting may be live but it won't be available on Maxell.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Report: NJ Mayors suffer for not backing governor

The parallel investigations between the US Attorney's Office and a state committee investigating missteps into the BridgeGate and SandyGate swarm rolls on. With it the latest report from today's Star Ledger details how the governor's staff was allegedly directed not to work with mayors across the state who weren't politically supportive of the governor as he sought re-election last November.

The issue is illustrated here with the statement of an aide for Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno upon leaving a Shoprite parking lot after speaking privately with the mayor. The aide testified upon departure from Hoboken the Lt. Governor said "Mayor Zimmer was not playing ball."

While the conversation isn't directly linked to the mayor's contention she was told a quid pro quo for Sandy aid required her support for the proposed billion dollar Rockefeller project in north Hoboken, the theme of "playing ball" is central in today's Star Ledger report.

The Lt. Governor's comments aren't featured in today's SL story but were highlighted in the governor's office internal report.

Hoboken gets a nod in relation to Hurricane Sandy assistance and the mayor's failure to endorse the governor:

Mayor Zimmer supported many of Governor Christie's initiatives and spoke of the many positive things he did as governor but came short allegedly in the eyes of the governor's staff for her refusal to endorse him leading into last November's election.

With no small amount of irony, Governor Christie was the top vote getter in Hoboken last November, seeing 200 more votes than Mayor Zimmer herself.

As bits and pieces continue to emerge, the Mayor's statements tied to her allegations appear more not less consistent. That should give many pause.

Mayor Zimmer addressing Hoboken residents during the Hurricane Sandy emergency has withstood another storm
in the political wake of SandyGate. Evidence emerging in the case appears to support her allegations Hoboken saw
inadequate aid after Hurricane Sandy for political reasons.

Related: Playing ball.

Governor's staff accused of bleeding over to political operative work to re-elect the governor.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Gangsterism at the HHA as Chair Rob Davis orders MSV ejected for being yelled at by Patricia Waiters


A first hand account and analysis of the HHA meeting Thursday night

At the Hoboken Housing Authority Thursday evening, the official standard of a federal meeting is it’s open to the public and all are welcome to attend including the taxpayers subsidizing the agency. Theoretically, that includes without fear of reprisal, harassment or worse.

In the land of the Carmelo Garcia Banana Republic however, none of these laws apply. Submitted for your approval a federal meeting of the Hoboken Housing Authority held at Fox Hills in the confines of uptown Hoboken. Said federal meeting broke out into a political rally attacking those who are feared overseeing their desired contractor in the form of the Executive Director, Carmelo Garcia.

Before the meeting began, MSV and Patricia Waiters arrived at the same time. No friendly chatter, not even a hello at the entrance outside. Minutes later, a joke followed at the front of the room Da Horsey would be “hijacking the meeting 20 minutes" in so if that was an objective doing so five minutes earlier might be the way to go.

That joke would prove prophetic.

HHA commissioner Dana Wefer during the billing review asked a host of questions on payments, contracts and HUD governing rules while absorbing a barrage of constant verbal attacks from select members of the audience over the course of thirty minutes. On limited occasions, they were asked by Chairman Rob Davis to settle down. No warning was given to any member of the audience yelling out re: Carmelitos. The disruptions continued throughout and Wefer maintained professional composure ignoring the personal attacks.

Later one outburst led to Chairman Davis in a rare instance replying to the crowd, “Okay let’s have some respect” as commissioner Wefer was attempting to obtain some clarification on HUD policy with Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.

His admonition was followed immediately with quite literally a double wink to the audience. MSV seeing this, said aloud “wink, wink” easily within hearing range of the Chair. Was that an incentive to eject this reporter when yelled at by Patricia Waiters later?

After the agenda was completed, the public portion was scheduled to begin. The stenographer got up and stepped away from her seat for a short break but Patricia Waiters, who is on the payroll of the Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia had already taken his microphone.

Carmelo Garcia strikes a pose for MSV before the HHA meeting as his Assembly aide employee Patricia Waiters checks in
to "work." Waiters disrupted the meeting early with regular outbursts and later took over while the stenographer stepped away momentarily so she could politick or as she said "address the crowd."

Waiters declared she was going to “address the crowd” while the stenographer was off the record, not transcripting the meeting away from her seat. As she began to let fly her political brand of Waiterisms, MSV began filming the hijack but looked to the Chair and Mr. Garcia saying, “She’s politicking? She’s suppose to be addressing the board.”

Garcia immediately saw this as problematic. Last April, the Appellate Court overruled Hudson County Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Bariso making toothless the Hatch Act allowing Garcia to be paid as a federal contractor to the HHA while running for the partisan Assembly seat he now holds.  

Here was the failure of enforcing the Hatch Act live and in action. Garcia stood attempting to dissuade Waiters from continuing her "State of the HHA address" to the audience. She initially ignored him and then turning at her leisure decided to face the commissioners after she she felt it adequate to denigrate commissioner Wefer to the audience with the stenographer still “off the record.” 

Waiters then looked toward Wefer and continued her litany of personal attacks, all unrelated to the work of a commissioner on the federal agency. “She doesn’t live here… She’s from Bergen. She lost twice...” Waiters bellowed from the mic as some Carmelitos in the audience chimed in. Ironically, commissioner Wefer along with fellow commissioners Dave Mello and James Sanford live adjacent to the HHA downtown while Waiters lives in an Applied Housing building uptown closer to the Hudson Tea Building than the HHA.

The stenographer was still not in her seat. Commissioner Wefer sat passively absorbing the tirade. “You lost too Pat,” MSV said 10 feet from her left with the smartphone filming, distracting her from her verbal attack. Waiters turned and began to let fly in the opposite direction toward Da Horsey. “That’s okay Roman, you can write I’m an animal tomorrow.”

“I’ve never written that about you ever Pat,” came the immediate reply. As a matter of fact, in over four years, very little has been written about Waiters, although she’s often been a candidate in elections and spoken many an absurdity before the City Council. (Her perennial candidacy recently ended with her latest petitions to run for Freeholder being pulled; one source says at the behest of her boss, Carmelo Garcia. Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano is running for re-election and Garcia is also on that public payroll, $5,000 annually as a Freeholder aide.)

Repetition of ugly comments followed with Waiters defending same at a recent City Council meeting several weeks ago where she ended her remarks in public portion complaining about the recent appointments to the HHA with something approximating ‘People should should do the right thing but people (council members) are doing the white thing.’  (That close followed with Councilwoman Terry Castellano's exclamation: "Good for you Pat.")

The ranting continued as Waiters recounted a private conversation between us following that public portion “performance” and how race baiting was not acceptable before any Hoboken government body.

Video still of Rob Davis, Chairman of the Hoboken Housing Authority after ordering MSV's ejection. Seconds earlier, the woman on the left approached before public portion saying during an impromptu exchange while Patricia Waiters hijacked the meeting, "You need to shut up."

A woman (photo above) came over filming on her camera phone saying “You need to shut up.”
The stenographer seeing the scene unfolding moved to take her seat reluctantly to begin recording as Waiters continued ranting her right to claim racial victimization. (One can surmise for the Hoboken City Council declining to appoint her, an employee of Carmelo Garcia to be a HHA commissioner.)

Chairman Rob Davis watching the situation unfold, then addressed Da Horsey complaining/saying what sounded like a request to go to the back of the room ending with “you’re instigating.” His complaint to MSV came during the actual political hijacking of a federal meeting as the stenographer had stepped away. 

Did Chairman Davis miss Patricia Waiters, an employee of Carmelo Garcia who is paid with taxpayer money politicking to an audience directly in front of him at a federal meeting?

“OK, sure” was the response followed with the urging, “Mr. Chairman control your meeting.” With that, Chairman Davis rose from his seat walked to his right from the dais, several feet away and without warning announced the immediate ejection - of MSV. He then called the two police officers over who suffered a low key boring affair to that point.

What is coming next may jeopardize the safety of HHA commissioners. Consider this story fair warning.

A video still of Carmelo Garcia Assembly aide Patricia Waiters
as she hijacks the HHA meeting on a brief break before public portion
delivering a political speech attacking commissioner Dana Wefer.

Talking Ed Note: We’ll have to await the transcript of the meeting to see more of Patricia Waiters' political attack in action. We’ll spare the public the ludicrous video of the ridiculous ordered ejection.

Patricia Waiters is reportedly earning $10,000 annually as an aide to Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia.

Repeated calls to speak to Chairman Rob Davis after the meeting failed. The first call he said he couldn't hear and hung up. Several calls followed unanswered and a voicemail was not returned.

Is this transparent or gangster?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reflecting on Phil Cohen's contribution to Reform and Hoboken

The Democratic primary on June 3rd will be decisive to Hoboken selecting its representative who will legislate at the county level.

One of the people who stood up for Jim Doyle and his original appointment upheld by Hudson County Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Bariso was the Refom movement's Phil Cohen.

He did so repeatedly as Hoboken's ability to move forward was blocked in a cynical use of the courts.
As we approach election day on June 3rd, it's important to revisit and recognize the contribution Phil Cohen has made to Hoboken.

Consider this Exhibit A.


Judge Bariso's Order to MORTe and Phil Cohen's remarks

Sometimes a dispute leads to going to the videotape.  In this case, there was some grandstanding on whether council members Beth Mason, Tim Occhipinti, Michael Russo and Terry Castellano were ordered by a judge to finally appear at the same council meeting and vote as a body on the Jim Doyle appointment.

Laughably and to no small consternation across the table, Tim Occhipinti claimed not to be aware of any court order compelling him to be at the City Council meeting and vote on the Jim Doyle appointment.  Speaking last before the vote, Councilwoman Terry Castellano would feign ignorance herself saying she "never received anything from the judge."  Council President Peter Cunningham would read directly from the court order (below) causing more agita for MORTe who were squirming at Occhipinti's disingenuous pretense there was no court order calling for he and his allies to vote.

In order to help MORTe and Masonista political operatives struggling with the facts, here is Judge Peter Bariso's actual court order.  It clearly states MORTe - Mason, Occhipinti, Russo and Terry Castellano are expected to participate in the same meeting on the matter of the council seat's vacancy.

Judge Bariso's order came in December but was delayed further by an appeal MORTe made to the Appellate Court.  The appeal rejected on Friday paved the way for Judge Bariso's order Wednesday night.

Phil Cohen also spoke on the issue for the third time, utterly rejecting the premise any special election was possible under the law in this circumstance.  His statement of fact on the council appointment countered misinformation on Hoboken411 repeated by Beth Mason in a mailer to Hoboken residents.

Phil's comments follow:

Council members and members of the public, my name is Phil Cohen.

It’s simply amazing, and incredibly disappointing, that it took Judge Bariso in December, and then the New Jersey Appellate Division last Friday, to force four of our council people to show up and vote at one time on whether to appoint Jim Doyle to the City Council, given the real work  we face in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation.  But I thank Judge Bariso for being the “adult in the room” and telling our council people “to go to work”, “do your job” and stop the nonsense.

So, now, the four of you finally have to vote. 

Now, when you first considered voting on Jim Doyle’s appointment, on October 3rdthe meeting Councilwoman Mason stayed away and made no arrangements to participate, a number of you talked about how you didn’t like the idea of appointing Jim Doyle to fill the council vacancy because the people should decide, in a Special Election.  And, indeed, in the lawsuit that Ms. Castellano, Mr. Russo, Ms. Mason and Mr. Occhipinti filed, you asked Judge Bariso to order a Special Election to occur.  But a lot has happened since October 3rd.  There have been numerous hearings and conferences before Judge Bariso, including the hearing that led to his issuing his Order in December that compels the four of you to finally vote on this question tonight.

What has Judge Bariso told you about a Special Election?  He has told you there will not be one.  He has told you that New Jersey law does not allow for a Special Election in these circumstances, and like it or not, Judge Bariso is running the show.  So, you all know that there will be no Special Election to fill this vacancy.

So, let’s be honest with the Citizens of Hoboken.  There are only 2 options for the City of Hoboken’s City Council this year.

Option 1:  Gridlock and dysfunction.  Instead of having 9 council people, we have 8.  A 4-4 deadlocked, do-nothing council.

Option 2:  A fully staffed City Council, able to do the People’s business, operating with a 5-4 majority as elected by Hoboken’s voters a year and a half ago, which resulted in Councilwoman Mason’s turning over the gavel as Council President to Councilman Bhalla.

While it is disappointing that it has taken Judge Bariso to order you four councilpeople to vote on whether Jim Doyle should be appointed to the City Council tonight, and while it has cost the City tens of thousands of dollars to get us here – essentially to compel you to do that which you are paid to do – cast votes on critical questions for the future of our City – you four still have a chance tonight to stop the games, stop dragging out your lawsuit, and get on with the business of rebuilding our City.

Tonight, the Council Minority has an opportunity to cast an honest vote.  Everyone knows you four oppose Jim Doyle’s appointment to the City Council.  For goodness sake, you sued to have him removed from the dais, and forced the City to spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting you in Court to overcome your well-designed plan to never vote, all four at once, on Jim Doyle’s appointment within 30-days of Carol Marsh’s resignation, preventing a 4-4 tie from ever happening, so Mayor Zimmer could never cast the 5th, deciding, vote appointing Jim Doyle Councilman. 

What do I mean, “cast an honest vote” tonight? 
I mean, Ms. Castellano, Mr. Russo, Ms. Mason and Mr. Occhipinti, VOTE NO TONIGHT!
Vote no tonight.  End the games.  Vote no tonight.  End wasting the taxpayers’ money.  Vote no tonight.  Stop dragging the City through even more trips to Court, generated by your Farce of a Lawsuit.

Do not abstain, and then run to yet another judge, and argue your abstentions don’t count as no votes.  Man up, be honest, and VOTE NO. 

Do you remember when Judy Tripodi came before the City Council with a proposed budget when Mayor Roberts’ administration was operating under State control?  It was an important vote, and Councilwoman Mason and Councilman Russo forcefully stated it was an “act of cowardice” for a councilperson to abstain on such an important vote, and that it was an “abdication of responsibility” for a councilperson not to vote yes or no.  Do you remember how you bitterly criticized then-councilwoman Zimmer for abstaining on such an important vote?  I remember that. 

Well, tonight it’s your turn.  Cast an honest vote.  Vote yes or no.
Stop suing the People of Hoboken.  
Stop wasting the People’s money.

Thank you.

Original comments from the story at the jump:

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