Saturday, May 23, 2015

Senior Building fire in downtown Hoboken

The senior building fire on 400 First St. reportedly on the roof was quickly put out by Hoboken and Jersey City Fire with no injuries or reported damage to individual apartment units.

This report comes courtesy of ABC TV:

Friday, May 22, 2015

The HudCo Beast feeds on Hoboken

One more key slide showing the dreadful trend for Hoboken taxpayers. Sure, many have awokened sufficiently to support the Reform Movement and take back their rights here for decent government free of "special deals" the Old Guard feels entitled but that battle goes on too.

Short of going on to tackle the HudCo beast, this trendline isn't changing:



The tax levy for both Hoboken and by Hudson County on the Mile Square shows an unmistakable five year trend.

In 2010, the tax levey was $45.5 million for Hudson County. In 2015, as proposed Hudson County is increased to a whopping $67.3 million.

The City of Hoboken levy is $52.4 million which is actually down from 2010's $57.7 million.

When people talk about tax increases; it's due to the massive catastrophe ensuing on Hoboken from above via massive tax hikes by Hudson County.

Talking Ed Note: It's a grim picture and while successfully tending to Hoboken's backyard, there's a beast feasting on the Mile Square each and every year. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hoboken taxes held to zero as Hudson County ravages the Mile Square


HOBOKEN SEES NO TAX INCREASE BUT HUDCO IS KILLING THE MILE SQUARE WITH THEM

People believe all taxes are going up when they don't actually look at their tax bill. It's a refrain heard last night in the City Council when the Mayor's Administration delivered on its promise of fiscal restraint reducing an initial budge with less than a 1% increase to a flat 0.

Unfortunately, Hoboken is being utterly destroyed by Hudson County inflicting double digit tax increases to Mile Square taxpayers.

It's a divide which may be addressed when the County Freeholders hold a county meeting in Hoboken at City Hall on June 4th.

The time of the meeting is set for 6:00 PM when of course most taxpayers will remain at work in order to pay the dramatic annual taxes inflicted on them by HudCo.

Last night a short presentation illustrated the historical tax slaughter wielded by Hudson County on Hoboken.

WARNING: Please do not review these slides if you have a weak stomach.

How taxes are impacted in 2015 by each segment. Which of the 'Big' three does not belong?


This chart presented by the Hoboken Finance Director shows the tax levy for the County (HudCo), BoE and the Municipal Tax (under the mayor) from 2010 to 2015 on a percentage basis.


A five year sliding scale of taxes by County (HudCo), School and Municipal (Hoboken City Hall)

Last night, the Hoboken City Council passed a 0% tax increase with Mayor Zimmer by its largest margin under her stewardship 8-1. The sole no vote was Beth Mason who continues to complain about the existence of the good governance practice of maintaining a surplus. In the years of instituted budget hearings begun under Mayor Zimmer, she's delivered zero in budget saving ideas.

Hoboken's credit rating has dramatically improved under Mayor Dawn Zimmer while a number of other New Jersey Cities are in the news just yesterday for their negative direction being downgraded.

Talking Ed Note: Mayor Dawn Zimmer's Administration is getting it done for Hoboken with a Reform allied council. Many people deserve credit beginning with the mayor, Business Administrator Quentin Wiest, Finance Director Linda Dunn-Landolfi and reform council members.

The working Reform majority are: City Council President Ravi Bhalla, council members Jen Giattino, Peter Cunningham, Dave Mello and Jim Doyle.

In November, Peter Cunningham and Jen Giattino will be running for re-election.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Observer Highway name change? City Council @ 7:00



Tonight's City Council meeting holds one question on the agenda? Well, that's if it makes it onto the agenda at the start. An ordinance to change the name of Observer Highway to Ferry St. was submitted but it's unclear if it won't be going through the City Council process before being sent to the council subcommittee for further study first.

Should it move ahead, two meetings and a month of evaluation with public input would be required. MSV however, thinks it should be in subcommittee and work its way from that public process.

Here's the latest updated agenda and the proposed ordinance does not appear to be on it.
http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda15//revised_ccm-5-20-15.pdf

Of immediate importance, Hoboken's final budget is up for a vote. The initial modest 1% increase is after some efforts of the administration and council members back to zero. No tax increase at all.

Proving once again, Reform is on the move: quietly, efficiently with no drama. Elections for six ward City Council seats are however up in six months this November. (That's six of nine council seats total.)

Let the good times roll; but remember it's up to you to make it roll.

Segments of the meeting are available at the link:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/beta-council-meeting

Hoboken Democratic Chair goes Armageddon

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE



Beth Mason rumored to be still offering illegal campaign funding to Michael Russo and Carmelo Garcia council bids in exchange for Democratic Committee votes for Chair

A raging war enflaming Hoboken and county points beyond is threatening Armageddon with the stakes starting with Hoboken City Council President on one side and Hudson County and Northern NJ unity on the other eyeing the highest elected office in the entire state: Governor of NJ.

Once again, it's the corruptive qualities of the Mason family checkbook causing both a laugh track and blowback of a different quality than the cost of injustice hammering down on the Harridan household of upper Hudson Street as reported on Grafix Avenger.
Beth Mason desperately wants the ceremonial post of Hoboken
Democratic Chair and she's reportedly still willing to illicitly fund
Old Guard council races this November for it.
If it means putting a knife into the unity behind a potential
NJ Governor in Mayor Steve Fulop, she's armed and ready.

Multiple independent sources now say it's not solely the Russo clan looking to sponge Mason family dollars for a council run this November. Add the highly controversial Carmelo Garcia among those with hands out looking for Mason's rumored illicit financial sponsorship.

Individual maximum contributions are officially capped at $2,600 by law. When was the last time Beth Mason showed any respect for NJ campaign laws?

Beth Mason's impervious campaign flouting forced the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission to issue a complaint against her listing almost four-hundred violations. The fines were finalized in an agreement earlier this year making Beth Mason one of the top all time campaign violators in NJ campaign history. (She's #14.)

Does anyone have the US Attorney's or NJ Attorney General's phone number on speed dial?
It will take that level of law enforcement to stop the illegal plan reported here earlier funding the Old Guard ward elections this November.

A vote for Hoboken Democratic Committee Chair won't come until after the June Democratic Committee elections but the rift on the Mason checkbook strategy is already fracturing at both the Hoboken and county levels. One reliable source says Freeholder  Anthony "Stick" Romano among other county level officials is most definitely not on board backing Beth Mason. The diplomatic Freeholder wants to stay above the fray and keep away from anything remotely damaging (or illegal) with Mason monies spraying every which way as he eyes a potential run for mayor in 2017.

The venom invested by Beth Mason against sitting Chair Jamie Cryan is evident in the malarkey being pushed by her political operatives. First, Beth Mason is not going to run any "ticket" for Democratic chair next month. The election slate of candidates for Democratic Committee is already set and the Russo clan will be holding the vast majority of the seats citywide. Those voters will decide who's Hoboken Democratic Chair.

Putting aside the aid of Hades in a write-in ballot, no effort citywide will see another slate successfully elected come June for Hoboken's ceremonial party leader.

The only avenue available to Mason is to buy the votes for the existing slate of expectant Democratic Committee winners and that's the only avenue she'll be taking. Michael Russo and Carmelo Garcia will need to weigh the risks of being on the wrong side of the law in taking the piles of illegal Mason family loot rumored on the table for their respective council runs this November.

Garcia is currently staying above water as the Hoboken Housing Authority is under federal investigation after several subpoenas for irregularities under his watch. Michael Russo is looking beyond a Third Ward council re-election come November to wield control over Hoboken with a council majority and assume the reins as City Council President.

For the moment, it appears a dance with the devil is one some may be willing to take. Stay tuned.

Add Carmelo Garcia to the short list of people pushing Beth Mason for the ceremonial post of Hoboken Democratic Chair. He's on board with the Michael Russo plan which would mean he's also qualified to receive lots of Beth Mason family loot. Garcia is hoping to avoid the cross hairs of a federal investigation in the Hoboken Housing Authority and planning a run for sixth ward council.


State Ledge graphic courtesy Grafix Avenger

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Timmy Time?


As MSV mentioned in its rumor column "Grist for the Mill," the occupant of the fourth ward council seat, Timmy Occhipinti had a soft launch for re-election last week. The "event" took place last Thursday.

Although Frank "Pupie" Raia is sticking with his horse, word is the buzz was not there.

Over the weekend Sully wrote in his weekend column another Old Guard candidate was looking to get in the mix. That reference may in fact be true although an actual filing is not clear to this point.

That potential candidate, fourth ward resident Jamie Cryan who is the standing Democratic Hoboken Chair responded to MSV's request last month on his interest in the fourth ward seat via email writing:

I love living in the 4th Ward and even though I'm not sure where the buzz about me running originated, I'm truly honored to be mentioned. I probably sound like an award show nominee by saying that, but I'm of the opinion that public service is something to be celebrated, and it would be an honor. 

It's not something I have given much thought to. The 4th is the best section of Hoboken and has produced some great leaders over the years but too many have tried to use it as a stepping stone to something "bigger and better". Whomever wants to sit in that seat needs to understand that the people of the 4th Ward are first and ambitions should be a distant second.


Multiple sources say Jamie Cryan is not taking the challenge to his role as Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party laying down and Beth Mason's attempt to buy it via purchase of council members Michael Russo and Terry Castellano is most unwelcome.

Is the Russo clan going to pull off another sale of Hoboken?

Tune in tomorrow as MSV uncoils more truth on the error ridden Hudson Reporter on this question.

MAYOR ZIMMER PROTESTS HOBOKEN RUSH HOUR PATH CUTS

Office of the Mayor announces:


MAYOR ZIMMER CALLS ON PORT AUTHORITY TO REVERSE HOBOKEN PATH SERVICE CUTS

14% Service Reduction Without Public Process as Ridership Grows 11% in Two Years

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer wrote to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman John Degnan to urge the organization to reverse the recent PATH service cuts for Hoboken that were implemented on April 26, 2015 with no public process. The City of Hoboken learned about the issue due to complaints from residents who noticed the change in service.

"It won't surprise anyone who has tried to squeeze onto a rush hour PATH train to learn that ridership at Hoboken has grown 11 percent in the last two years - more than at any other station in the State," said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. "We should be talking about adding more capacity, yet the Port Authority cut rush hour service by 14 percent overnight with no public input. It defies all logic. In Hoboken, we have created a walk-friendly, transit-friendly, mixed-use community, but our residents and our economy are completely undermined by this action. Enough with the service cuts, enough with the short-sightedness. Let's invest in a 21st century transportation system that will truly support our growing region."

The service change reduces peak service on the Hoboken to 33rd Street line by 14%. Between 7:30am and 9:30am, service from Hoboken to 33rd Street has been cut from 19 trains to 16 trains. From 4:30pm to 6:45pm, service from 33rd Street to Hoboken was reduced from 24 trains to 21 trains. Late evening service from 9pm to midnight was reduced from 11 trains to 9 trains.

"I would invite any of these decision makers to come along for a ride on the PATH during the morning commute from Hoboken and provide their honest assessment as to whether or not the system needs more or fewer trains," said Hoboken Council President Ravinder Bhalla. "Residents who keep their cars off the road and use public transit are repeatedly being punished with fare hikes, overcrowded trains, and threats to their primary mode of transportation. I fail to comprehend how an increase in ridership leads to a decrease in services. I find it unacceptable that while the Port Authority spends billions on other projects, they are penny-pinching in Hoboken, punishing their most loyal customers. I hope the Port Authority will reverse this decision and invest in a transportation system that rewards riders."

Ridership at the Hoboken PATH station has increased by 11 percent since 2012. According to publicly available Port Authority data, the Hoboken PATH station had an average of 19,890 passengers per day in 2012 and 22,078 passengers per day in 2014.

Mayor Zimmer’s letter to the Port Authority can be found at: www.hobokennj.org/docs/mayor/5-18-15-Letter-Zimmer-Degnan.pdf

PATH Service Schedules

PATH Ridership Reports


Monday, May 18, 2015

Telephone poll hits Hoboken with arching development theme

Reader reports suggest a telephone poll is ongoing questioning attitudes about local government officials with a development theme.

The telephone poll which began soliciting Hoboken residents' attitudes is interested in public opinion on Mayor Dawn Zimmer and ward council members Beth Mason, Peter Cunningham, Jen Giattino, Timmy Occhipinti and Michael Russo.

All six council seats for each of Hoboken's six wards are up for election this November. The telephone poll does not appear to ask a single question about any of the three at-large council members.

Hey whaddaya think, maybe Mayor Russo?

A lot of the questions focus on development: favorable or opposing  to downtown Hoboken development specifically inquiring on positions toward tall skinny buildings or a smaller variety.

A focus on opinions about Hoboken's downtown post office centered on thoughts for a Hilton Garden developed at that location.

In general, the poll appears to be interested in whether Hoboken residents think development in the Mile Square City is good or bad.

Some messaging apparent with a claim of a million in tax proceeds for the City annually if the hotel goes up downtown asking what the monies should go toward.

Councilwoman Jen Giattino is the focus of a wildly effective take down on the Hudson Reporter's self-censorship of a story on Grafix Avenger. The pro Old Guard paper had so much egg on its face for its extreme anti-Reform bias in Hoboken, it censored its own story last week on the popular councilwoman. You had to be in Jersey City if you wanted to read it. Hoboken residents were instead fed "news" on North Bergen instead. They capitulated after a Grafix Avenger story exposed them running it a full week later in Hoboken without explanation. They hate the Hoboken Reform movement's guts.

Talking Ed Note: With MSV being the biggest website covering government, politics and corruption opinions here are not only widely read by City Hall and local activists but other interests of all kinds.

Unrelated: Last week Grafix Avenger had a rather unique week. Breaking the story on the Hudson Reporter's suppression of their own story on Councilwoman Jen Giattino's long time work supporting the Hoboken Homeless Shelter hit a political nerve at the pro Old Guard rag.

In an apparent effort to sully Giattino leading into Hoboken's ward races this November, the Hudson Reporter which had called out Giattino previously as heartless and against the downtrodden, was forced to eat its words when it sought out verification of the popular councilwoman's efforts long before she ever considered running for office.

It led to bizzare self-censorship with a feature on supporting the homeless shelter being published in Jersey City and spiked in Hobokent itself.

If you missed The Mother's Day Dis on Grafix Avenger, it's a must read.

Grafix Avenger also had a mano-a-mano takedown of Anthony Petrosino, the former assistant school board attendant who sued the Board of Education and lost a double dipping "low-no-show" gig while working full time in Texas.

GA's challenge of some questionable data led to that blog post disappearing into the internet ether.
That's gonna leave a mark.


Michael Russo telephone graphic and Hudson Reporter Star Trek editor abduction monster courtesy of Grafix Avenger.

Council President Ravi Bhalla endorses Annette Chaparrao and Raj Mukherji for NJ Assembly

From the desk of City Council President Ravi Bhalla:




HOBOKEN COUNCIL PRESIDENT RAVI BHALLA ENDORSES ANNETTE CHAPARRO AND RAJ MUKHERJI FOR 33rd DISTRICT ASSEMBLY


 “I encourage all residents of Hoboken to vote for Democratic Assembly Candidate Annette Chaparro and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji on Tuesday, June 2 in the 33rd District primary election. 

“Annette and Assemblyman Mukherji will together provide a strong voice for Hudson County.  They are committed to working with our State Senator, Brian P. Stack, and local officials to ensure that the 33rd District is well represented in Trenton, and establishing a powerful partnership between our elected officials in Hoboken and those representing us at the state level. I am privileged to have met with and discussed the issues with both of these individuals, and believe they will be an integral part of a team that Hudson County can be proud of in Trenton.  I look forward to seeing them work together and continue to move New Jersey forward, and I hope you will find time on June 2 to vote for Annette and Raj.”

Sunday, May 17, 2015

American Pharoah coasts to biggest Preakness win since record setter Smarty Jones

With a thunderstorm booming over the Pimlico racetrack just minutes before the start of the day's biggest race, the Preakness saw one of its best performances in years with American Pharoah cruising to a seven lengths victory.

American Pharoah blazes off the backstretch in a driving rain to take the Preakness yesterday.


American Pharoah's seven length win is the biggest win since the record setting 11 ½ lengths set in 2004 by America's most beloved horse Smarty Jones.

The victory in chaotic weather conditions sets up a potential Triple Crown showdown with several Kentucky Derby horses rested in wait to stop American Pharoah from the ultimate prize.

Next month it's the ultimate Test of the Champion Belmont Stakes with a full mile and a half test. A record setting crowd of more than 120,000 saw Smarty Jones go for the Triple Crown in 2004, a Belmont Stakes record.


2004 record setting Preakness victory by Smarty Jones




Talking Ed Note: With Smarty Jones' record Preakness victory highlighted in the news, could similar big news be exploding off the backstretch for Da Horsey?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Peter Cunningham: Irish Festival, Western Edge Meeting and new stop sign

From the desk of Fifth Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham:


Good morning neighbors, friends and family,
There is lots to report happening in and around Hoboken, and will continue to do my very best to inform you of important matters of interest.   

First, TODAY is the Irish Festival at Sinatra Park.  It is from noon until 6pm.

http://www.hobokennj.org/content/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Irish-Festival-Flyer-2015.jpg

Secondly, we have the Western Edge Community Meeting this Thursday, May 21st at the Jubilee Center at 7pm.  I chair this committee, and we have spent a considerable amount of time planning the future of western Hoboken from 9th street to 14th Street along the light rail and 14th Street Viaduct.

In my opinion, we have provided for many mixed use opportunities while considering the importance of infrastructure improvements around flooding and transportation.  Here's a link to the City's website for additional details.

http://www.hobokennj.org/2015/05/public-meeting-to-be-held-for-western-edge-redevelopment-plan/
Let's discuss paving.  Please see the details at the following link.  There are inconveniences with paving in the south end of town starting on Monday.  Please be aware and plan accordingly.  Paving associated with PSEG Gas Main repairs will happen when they are done - which should be soon.
Lastly, warrant studies finally came in on a number of intersections throughout the 5th Ward - 10th and Bloomfield, 9th and Garden, and 9th and Willow.  9th and Willow was the only intersection to warrant a stop sign.  Better yet, I have suggested a flashing RED light (which is on order), and parking to be restored to the northside of 9th street between Clinton and Willow.
Please pass onto you friends and neighbors, and let me know if you have any additional questions.  Stay tuned as in a couple of weeks I'll be hosting a community meeting to update the community on some exciting developments up and around the Upper Grands.

Thanks, Peter
--
Peter Cunningham
201-562-7071

Friday, May 15, 2015

HHA Shocker: $2.5 million reserve loss turned into 500K surplus

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE



DANA WEFER UNANIMOUSLY RE-ELECTED CHAIR

In a complete and shocking turnaround, the Hoboken Housing Authority announced its second quarter financials at its monthly meeting yesterday and the results are a stunner.

Last year, the agency left in shambles under controversial Executive Director Carmelo Garcia rode through a $2.5 million hit on the agency reserves.

With temporary ED Bob Divincent and HHA commissioner David Dening, the head of the finance committee, the agency announced it completely eliminated the hit on those reserves losses with numerous problems reversed and retains $500K in reserves.

The amazing turnabout comes in less then a single calendar year.

Reasons for the dramatic turnaround are effectuated by tightening contracts, computerized controls over inventory not in place previously and elimination of other 'back door' avenues. (MSV highlighted the problems previously in an exclusive audit report of the agency.)

Bob DiVincent addressed the turnaround and the full details in a telephone interview saying, "By streamlining the agency, concentrating on inventory, utility consumption and improving collection and occupancy rates we were able to make up the reserve losses."

DiVincent said when he last ran the agency six year ago, it was $3 million in the red and when he left it was a six million dollar swing into the black on his departure.

But last year, $2.5 million in the agency's reserves had been depleted and numerous procurement controversies were exposed and highlighted in an audit with questionable contracts.

Additional reasons for the dramatic improvement mentioned: the inventory system coming fully online several weeks back, (pieces going onlines over some months) and structural changes in "tightening up purchasing" and cutting back on overtime and part time work.

"We cut back on a lot of overtime and part timers doing 40 hours a week," DiVincent who concluded saying,  "It all contributed to the savings."

The HHA Board also voted to approve a $264,000 contract to install a front door locking systems to all its building by mid-summer, a welcome development since Superstorm Sandy for all HHA residents

Of additional importance, after two years six generators are almost set in place. They had been lingering in the HHA parking lots raising eyebrows across Hoboken.

Dana Wefer was re-elected to serve as chair an additional year in a 5-0 vote. HHA commissioner James Sanford was elected Vice Chair. Commissioner Dave Mello arrived after the reorganization vote and Judy Burrell was not in attendance.

Interim Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Bob DiVincent
delivered a stunning turnaround in the agency's $2.5 million reserve loss.
The second quarter finances now show a $500,000 surplus.


Talking Ed Note: The HHA commissioners working in tandem with the interim Director deserve a ton of credit for all their efforts to get the agency on track - and then some.

Correction: The story earlier noted a deficit not a hit on the $2.5 million reserves and has been updated accordingly.

photo courtesy Hudson County View

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grist for the Mill: fourth ward drug busts not over?

The recent wave of drug arrests in downtown Hoboken last Friday isn't over based on a Facebook entry by Julian Braxton of lower Jackson St.

Although an Advanced Media story indicated more than a dozen of those arrested in a months long investigation and sweep are not out on bail, at least two of the original 18 arrested may be including Braxton himself.

A comment on the investigation pins the recent effort on the Feds, perhaps mistakenly - not the Hoboken Police Department and Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.

Reference is also made to two additional arrests of "Pean" and "Jordan" leading some to believe the rumor of addtional arrests may be correct.


Some have asked how the alleged drug related arrests may lead to implementation of the HUD "one-strike" rule applied when certain types of criminal activity occur.

A Hoboken Housing Authority meeting is scheduled tonight at 221 Jackson St.

Talking Ed Note: MSV does not know what the original bail for Braxton was and it's not been publicly available in recent news accounts nor who posted it on his behalf.

Julian Braxton was paid $250 by Councilwoman Beth Mason as a fourth ward resident on her 2011 second ward council campaign. As usual, no local media has pressed Beth Mason for an answer and when exposed in such indelicate matters as this, she simply hides from any inquiry before resufacing.
Mason has not issued any press release explaining either.

Last November, Beth Mason was in attendance at the League of Municipalities in Atlantic City to further align herself with NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney. One source in attendance during the gala political events described her as "a walking joke down here."

While those in and lobbying government were in great attendance, a Grafix Avenger story noted the source recounting that Beth Mason had bused Hoboken Housing Authority residents to Atlantic City for the soiree and they were all playing slots.

Were any of the Braxtons, closely connected with support and employment to former HHA Ed Carmelo Garcia in attendance?


Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey. Submit it in confidence to smartyjones@me.com.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Western Edge Redux

City of Hoboken announces:


PUBLIC MEETING TO BE HELD FOR WESTERN EDGE REDEVELOPMENT PLAN



The general public is invited to a community meeting regarding the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:00pm at the Jubilee Center at 601 Jackson Street in Hoboken.

Maser, the City’s planner, has prepared the Redevelopment Plan for the Western Edge Redevelopment Area with input from Mayor Zimmer and the Hoboken City Council North Subcommittee and is seeking additional input from the community. The Western Edge was designated as an Area in Need of Redevelopment by the City of Hoboken in 2007. The area consists of approximately 11.15 acres on four separate properties located in the western portion of the City of Hoboken at the foot of the Palisades.

The Western Edge Redevelopment Plan provides a framework for the redevelopment of a number of properties in the northwestern portion of the City in proximity to the Ninth Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Station. It sets forth standards and guidelines for land use and design, circulation and parking, and open space and recreation. The Redevelopment Plan incorporates flood management strategies outlined in the Rebuild by Design “Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge” plan.

At the community meeting on May 21st, there will be a presentation and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of the City’s professionals regarding the Redevelopment Plan. The plan will be posted on the City website, www.hobokennj.org, prior to the community meeting.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Drug arrests in HHA lead to query on Hoboken Vote by Mail controversy

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE


Beth Mason paid $250 to Julian Braxton arrested by the HPD for alleged multiple counts of drug distribution


The weekend announcement from the Hoboken Police Department of 18 drug related arrests mostly connected to the downtown Hoboken Housing Authority features some intriguing political overlap.

One question arose over the weekend in the comments section about any connection to the Vote by Mail machine, a staple within the Hoboken Housing Authority at election time.

From the 2013 mayoral race, one name stands out in the Hudson County VBM report:


In 2011, Julian Braxton is listed as the recipient of $250 for his "campaign work" on behalf of the Beth Mason campaign for her council re-election in the second ward.



On Friday, Julian Braxton was listed as arrested for multiple counts of drug distribution. According to a 2013 Hudson County Vote by Mail report, his home address is 310 Jackson Street. Bail amount was not immediately available.

The same address is highlighted for Ramona Braxton, Robert Braxton and Arlette Braxton: 310 Jackson Street. All four ballots handled by vote messenger Dio Braxton were nullified due to voting irregularities not identified in the county report.

The Hudson County Board of Elections implemented a higher standard of scrutiny on the Vote by Mail ballots in the 2013 election.

Arelette Braxton has been a vocal supporter of Carmelo Garcia and would often be seen near the front of HHA meetings. She's also appeared at the City Council speaking in favor of Carmelo Garcia and claiming there was a conspiracy to knock down the HHA buildings.

She is believed to be the grandmother of Julian Braxton.

Julian Braxton of 310 Jackson Street.
The hand sign is common to
the Bloods street gang.

Related: Support for Carmelo Garcia when he was Executive Director was captured in this first hand May 2014 feature story.

Arlette Braxton is mentioned in the story for her remarks after an outburst by another HHA resident.

Talking Ed Note: MSV recently noted the positive impact under the leadership of HHA Chair Dana Wefer and Police Chief Ken Ferrante. The tangible efforts of both are coming to fruition and the community needs to continue its support of their efforts.

The Hoboken Housing Authority will be holding its annual reorganization meeting this Thursday at 221 Jackson. Dana Wefer is thought willing to continue to serve an additional year as chair.

Common sense suggests it should be a unanimous vote.

Back in the day: Councilwoman Beth Mason reviews some papers with
former HHA ED Carmelo Garcia before its board meeting.
The connections between the second ward and fourth ward are uncanny.

Will anyone be asking Beth Mason what services she paid $250 for to fourth ward resident Julian Braxton?


Beth Mason's Facebook took great pride about something called a "good neighbor" award.
Beth Mason in the second ward is a good neighbor to the fourth ward according to the local NAACP?

What says Gene Drayton now?