Friday, March 16, 2018
That is until the chairman of NY Waterway Armand Pohan plead otherwise and concluded by saying the matter may need to be managed by "higher powers" among NJ officials.
Thursday, March 15, 2018
|Hoboken Democratic Committee member Rachel Hodes|
|Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher and Chair of the Hoboken|
Democratic Committee. She's guilty of not being a
Ravi Robot and uncooperative to their coup attempts.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
The City Council is expected to easily pass and finalize the ordinance dividing the appointment powers of the seven-member body: four for the mayor and three for the council. Two alternates would be also be appointed by the council under the ordinance.
The council may be looking to see the ordinance take effect immediately, waiving the 20-day waiting period. But there should be no rush to do so. Why?
|"Hold the frame bro" and wag the dog.|
Mayor Ravi Bhalla would prefer a war over council appointment
powers to take the glare off his second job with a NJ politically
connected law firm.
Mayor Ravi Bhalla will once again look to apply a flailing veto and "frame the issue" by declaring war using taxpayers resources in a possible legal bid challenging the final council vote.
He initiated the fight refusing to nominate to another term two senior board members: Cheryl Fallick and Michael Lenz. Both were strong backers of Councilwoman Jen Giattino last year in the mayoral race.
While Bhalla's warring, legal and otherwise doesn't promise to be effective; it will at least distract from the rising disappointment about Bhalla's second job with a politically connected Republican-leaning land use law firm.
Word is spreading about Bhalla's employment contract and Hoboken's electorate is learning how quickly a broken promise is reflective of true colors. They are swallowing the bitter truth neither enjoying the taste nor its ramifications.
So Ravi Bhalla is looking ahead to a war. Win or lose, he'd prefer battling over City Council appointment powers than how much money he's brought in to date in his second job or the conflict-rich potential it holds without any oversight at City Hall.
Talking Ed Note: Those who do speak to Ravi Bhalla should ask him how much he's earned to date with his second job at Lavery Selvaggi Abromovits & Cohen. Since he refuses to even admit it's a job with a $60,000 salary plus a rich commission structure; his answers should offer plenty of entertainment.
Correction: The council meeting in place of last week's cancelled due to weather is set for tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Intended to inflict punishment for an earlier council appointment bringing back former councilman Anthony Soares to the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, the new mayor finds himself in a quagmire of his own making.
Don't be confused; it's a quagmire. The City Council is taking only partial reins with three of seven regular seats to the Rent Leveling Board but for Ravi Bhalla it's another transgression where his focus lies: power.
Unfortunately for Ravi Bhalla and the obviously compromised Law Department, pigheaded and condescending "legal analysis" is not likely to change the tide where the ship of Hoboken is going with this board.
In 2009, the Hoboken City Council debated then opted to remove all appointing powers of the mayor on the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment. Then a councilman, Ravi Bhalla publicly endorsed the council actions and sanctioned it with his own vote joining the majority in the move.
This Horse is not a NJ municipal law expert but here we are with some of the same members in government who certainly did not forget that 2009 council action on the Hoboken Zoning Board. Councilman Peter Cunningham was working on the council with Ravi Bhalla when the Zoning Board seats became a council only appointment.
Monday, March 12, 2018
The inlet by the PATH station is described as the winning solution in a location for NY Waterway to fuel their commuter boats. Serving 30,000 customers on NJ's Gold Coast is their ultimate objective and other proposals were far too costly. The alternatives pointed to Bayonne or Brooklyn were not feasible but had been pushed "sacrificing" the environment with far more carbon emissions. But little Buffy and Biffy uptown would be spared what a gas station smells like.
What would go in its place at the Union Dry Dock site? Condos. Lots and lots of condos with seven-figure price-tags and unobstructed NYC views. This will be a mega real estate deal requiring Hoboken a "Port Imperiale" developer. Hoboken will get a wider sidewalk on Sinatra. Win-win?
So too, Hoboken will require lots of lawyers to sort out this complex real estate transactions valued in the tens of millions if not more. Can anyone provide a referral for a land-use zoning law firm who might be available from outside Hoboken?
The Mile Square City should sleep peacefully as the cash register goes ka-ching in the mayor's office. The Corporation Counsel's Office will review everything and make sure there's at least one other law firm signing off on the paperwork for public consumption to make everything appear kosher.
The more zeroes that appear in the deal the less conflicted we'll be told any of this is.
|Hoboken Mayor & Developer Leader Ravi Bhalla|
It's only the beginning of Ravi Bhalla's new development plans for Hoboken. While developers are cheering behind the scenes as the revolving doors are churning with them being welcomed into City Hall, the City Council is kept on ice.
The council's interest in the northwest redevelopment is strong as they had urged former mayor Dawn Zimmer to coordinate on a plan. She declined and chose the path of least resistance for re-election before eventually bowing out entirely.
Ravi Bhalla has a different process in mind. He's given the cold shoulder to the City Council with a message, "Don't call me, I'll call you." Development in Hoboken will be his domain and the legislative body will only be told of anything when it's already formulated and ready for final approval.
It's the latest salvo in the war of the roses Ravi Bhalla prefers. The City Council wanted to work with the new mayor but he prefers capitulation to the office of the mayor or nothing. A majority of the council organized and aided the efforts on Union Dry Dock early this year but that's all forgotten now.
Hoboken is a money tree waiting to be shaken with new development. Development money holds the keys to the kingdom, more riches and political ambitions running right through the second floor at City Hall. There's only room for one political bank account for deposits.
In other war news, HudCo is in the midst of a civil war conflagration. For Hoboken taxpayers, it will generate a big yawn but services may be impacted. Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and State Senator/Union City Mayor Brian Stack have declared war moving to upset the current County Executive Tom DeGise.
HudCo mayors have been called on to choose sides as Hoboken and West New York quickly issued a follow-up joint statement joining the insurrection. The HudCo annual budget is well over half-a-billion annually. That's right, it's well over $500,000,000, although if you want to watch a meeting of its legislative actions via the Freeholders, it's next to impossible.
Even with a massive budget, HudCo holds its legislative meetings in the middle of the day at 2:00 PM and doesn't spend a plumb nickel to record and air them on public access TV or online. Hoboken contributes tens of millions to the HudCo budget each year but if they want to understand the ways of The Machine, there's little available but darkness.
Did Mayor Ravi Bhalla join the insurrection prematurely and put Hoboken at risk or is he signing up with the winning team? Nothing was released to the Hoboken public through an official press release. The stakes are high but as with his law firm employment contract, there's no transparency to date.
What would Senator Bob Menendez say? He's going to weigh in. Let's see how it goes.
Friday, March 9, 2018
At the October 21st, 2015 council meeting, David Liebler in the last of his five minutes crossed a bridge too far in the mind of council president Ravi Bhalla and was thrown out by the Hoboken police on his order.
Or was it an order from on high from former Mayor Dawn Zimmer?
No matter, David Liebler sued as did another ejected resident at the same meeting, long time Ravi Bhalla nemesis Perry Belfiore.
The Hudson County View recounts the First Amendment snafu leading to the proposed settlement.
Former mayor Dawn Zimmer was contacted for comment on this story. If one is made available, it will be added.
|The Plaintiff, David Liebler settlement amount is $135,000 with $95,000 being paid to the law firm Brach Eichler, LLC|
as shown in the City Council resolution.
Correction: Perry Belfiore never mentioned Stan Grossbard by name; only posing a rhetorical question about how much influence should a mayor's spouse have on a Hoboken board.
In a historic announcement late yesterday, the foreign minister of South Korea announced North Korea wishes to have a meeting with President Trump "as soon as possible" on its denuclearization. In the interim, North Korea vows there will be no more missile or nuclear tests.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
The terse, smirking 26 Q&A "answers" from Mayor Ravi Bhalla to the City Council questions about his law firm employment contract is a blueprint for how the Soprano State entitlement is executed in the Hoboken post-Malibu Diner period.
Let us all take a moment to thank former Mayor Dawn Zimmer for "only trusting Ravi" to pull a stunt like this and mock the entire Mile Square City a month into office while doing so. Legacy.
Look, 25 large in Fedex envelopes is so old hat. We're talking far, far more on the table. Let's feast!
But let's not kid ourselves. The money is already F-L-O-W-I-N-G, of this there should be no doubt. Recall, Ravi Bhalla's new law firm employment contract was backdated to Febuary 1st. Ravi could barely make it a month into the job before the money train started flowing right through the Office of Mayor.
What, you thought this law firm deal has nothing to do with the office? The office was the guarantor of the contract.
For evidence and evidentiary proof just see the second "executed" agreement between Ravi Bhalla and Lavery, Selvaggi, Abromivits & Cohen, the Republican-leaning land use and zoning law firm.
That employment law firm contract is designed with one purpose: generate profits for both the law firm and Ravi Bhalla using the long arm of government as the inducement.
The contradictory rewritten employment contract dated February 16th and 22nd was a hasty maneuver to make it appear on the up and up. The merest scrutiny reveals it isn't.
Let's delve into the gory details but be forewarned. This isn't good government. It's not even the appearance of decent government.
First, the employment contract details were first dumped to the Hudson County View on a Friday night not two weeks back. It was a cynical maneuver to as they say dump the body.
Then the answers to the City Council questions didn't come in the form of any public release from the mayor's office but were dumped to its paid political operative's website with a fanatical bearing to protect her paymaster. Hoboken411 only dreamt of making it this far with Beth Mason.
The lunatic asylum at Sybil's Cave has its privileges.
Ready for more of this Soprano State stew? Let's dumpster dive into the gory details. We begin with Ravi Bhalla answers to City Council questions 1-14.
Question 1. "I have no specific responsibilities." Those throw-in clauses about mentoring law firm associates and providing strategic advice? That's over. The Hoboken public didn't buy it, so Ravi Bhalla ain't selling it.
We're moving on and going with the more craven HudCo "Hey, look at my no-show job." Now pay me $60,000 and I'll move clients from Florio Perucci and everything in my Rolodex at City Hall pronto.
Question 2, 3, 4 - Ravi Bhalla says, "See that PR rewritten employment law contract. Pretty funny, no?"
Question 5 - "How much time will I spend on this? See answer no. 1. Didn't I tell you this is a no-show job? Where's my $60,000 annual salary?"
Question 6 - Think of this Ravi Bhalla answer along the lines of "My smartphone and mobile banking app is my office." Ka-ching!
Question 7 - See answers to questions 1 and 5. "Why won't you take 'no-show job' for an answer?"
Question 8 - 13 - See that tragicomedy Soprano State employment law firm contract. Funny stuff, right?
Question 14 - Travel to a job? See answer to question 6. Nifty ain't it?
Question 15 - Put this in the, "We're sticking to this no matter what gets exposed on the "Trading Places Contract Carousel" down the road. Oh, there's a market trading on NJ municipal contracts but you're not invited to the party.
Question 16 - See no. 15 and "Hey, that's the official answer. Our lawyer told us to stick with it."
Question 17 - See 15 & 16, "Under advice of counsel, I will never admit to a conflict. Ever."
Question 18 - "Meet with clients? I just make it rain right here on my smartphone. It's a Festivus Miracle."
Question 19 - "I assure you the Fox is guarding the Henhouse with my authorization."
Question 20 - "My political contributor assures me all is well in the Hoboken Corporation Counsel Office. And I believe him."
Question 21 - See no. 19. "I'm quite fond of the 'Fox guarding the Henhouse Model.' I've perfected it."
Question 22 - "Any politco who says they don't like me is fodder, let's milk the hell out of it."
Question 23 - "I'm an expendable city resource and I plan to expend as much to enrich my bank account as possible."
Question 24 - "Mission Accomplished. Hey don't ticket that Brinks Truck out front of City Hall, it's authorized."
Question 25 - "The Corporation Counsel assures you it'll be kosher. But first he'll write me another check. Thanks Brian."
While some may find all this Soprano State - Hudco wordplay entertaining; the joke is most assuredly on you - the people of Hoboken.
|Sure, thanks Ravi.|
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
A Millennial alcohol-fueled party on Washington St. ended Saturday afternoon when Hoboken police officers arrived and issued a disorderly house summons breaking up the gathering.
Online threats later by alleged tenants and their friends say the action may lead to legal action taken against the City.
Or will it?
The house party in full swing by the second-floor tenants of 508 Washington St. on Saturday afternoon saw four Hoboken Police officers make a visit eventually ending the booze-fest.
MSV in this exclusive report has pieced together many of the facts leading to the party's being issued a summons for disorderly house.
Magee Hickey of WPIX 11 filed this report and spoke to two of the four tenants who saw their house party shut down. One woman tenant said she didn't "understand" why there was any problem as each of the four roommates had invited "8 or 9 friends to their party."
Another tenant admitted in the interview they "created some sort of nuisance I guess."
Feelings about the party being shut down changed at some point. Online, the alleged tenants and their friends have begun making threats of legal action against the City of Hoboken for their bash with dozens being shut down.
|A twitter attack against Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the HPD appeared after a Millennial party at 508 Washington St. went bust. |
12 cops with rifles and shotguns? Where's the evidence?
MSV has collected some details to the story and it does not fit the narrative being offered by the Millennial-lawyer and other alleged injured partygoers online. Attempts to see the tenants comment on their story were ignored.
According to well-placed sources, a complaint Saturday afternoon by a young Hoboken resident near the scene was made to the Hoboken police. The number of people in the unit above was thought a possible danger to the ceiling and restaurant below.
Four Hoboken police officers in regular uniforms went to the door of the house party, knocked and asked to speak to a tenant of the apartment. No rifles or SWAT unit appeared and no Glock-issued guns were drawn. With music blaring, a person answering the door attempted to slam the door in the face of the officer who managed to keep the door wedged open.
No Hoboken police officer entered the apartment at any time with estimates of up to three dozen people inside. A disorderly house summons was issued and the party-goers eventually peacefully filed out.
But another twitter commenter attempted to portray the incident as an overblown unwarranted reaction featuring threats to party-goers. The Boken twitter account requested any photographic evidence. None however, was offered.
Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante offered a written response to the complaint and action taken by the Hoboken Police on the scene and invited anyone with evidence to submit it. "We have not received any video or pictures at this time from anyone who witnessed the event; either from inside the building, bar or the outside. I welcome and respectfully request that anyone who may have a video to please send them to our Internal Affairs so we can review."
The summons will see an appearance before Judge Michael Mongiello in Hoboken Municipal Court where the tenants will face charges of Disorderly House with a fine of up to $2,000.
Talking Ed Note: Additional efforts for comment from the alleged tenants failed to obtain a response. It doesn't appear this story will lend itself to these Hoboken Millennials making a case to join the "Greatest Generation" of Americans who fought in World War II.
All the evidence is apparently not collected but when it is, the idea of a lawsuit against the City of Hoboken may prove foolhardy.
Full disclosure: MSV previously had exchanges with the alleged lawyer tenant who days ago supported Mayor Ravi Bhalla and dismissed reports here his second job law firm employment contract is a big deal. How the worm has turned.
Monday, March 5, 2018
The "talk" is a radio show hosted by Fernando Uribe who wandered into the issue. He had some difficulty raising the question but finally, some discussion about the secret law firm employment contract spilled out.
The deal began a month after Ravi Bhalla took office as Hoboken mayor and broke a promise to end his legal work at Florio Perrucci and focus on Hoboken full time. Since the details came out about a week ago, more questions and attention are being raised by Hoboken residents, the City Council and wary legal beagles who see an inherent problem with Bhalla returning to a legal sales role while inhabiting the upstairs at Hoboken City Hall.
Here's a key segment transcribed beginning at the 53-minute mark.
Host Fernando Uribe:Just a couple of more minutes of your time I appreciate it. Since I have you on today I'm sure it's a question you've been inundated with and I wanted to ask you about it because it's sort of ... I don't want to call it the elephant in the room but speaking of the city council I know recently you've come under some criticism from members of the city council about employment that you've seeked out. I don't know if you're legally able to sort of discuss it on the air tonight or what you have agreed to elaborate on but again some city council members have gone on record let me rephrase that ... council members have gone on record about expressing concerns there's been a lot of chatter online about a recent report in the Jersey journal that mentioned your name around the 20th I believe a few days ago. Anything you want to share with us tonight for our listeners about what's accurate about the attacks what's not accurate, do you feel you're being unfairly scrutinized whether it's by residents or members of the city council about any potential outside employment you're seeking Sir?Mayor Bhalla:Yeah... It's par for the course. You know a lot of it is politics. A lot of it is misunderstanding and miscommunication. I just want it to be clear I am a full-time mayor. I sleep, eat and breath Hoboken 24/7. I was at a fire at the 500 block Observer Highway until two o'clock in the morning last night and the things we've achieved in just six or seven weeks as mayor you couldn't do that if you didn't have a full-time mayor. Again the AA+ bond rating, fighting back NJ Transit you know the accomplishments we've done in just such a short time are reflective of my commitment to Hoboken as being a full time mayor. So you know people can say what they want and that's fine it doesn't bother me that's just the nature of beast. But I do want to make clear that my sole priority is the City of Hoboken that's why I ran it's my only, only job to be the Mayor of City of Hoboken.Host Fernando Uribe:
Just to be clear again because I'm not an attorney and certainly I don't know the legal language but is there any conflict of interest whatsoever that can arise from this because there has been that accusation and for our listeners tonight a lot of them are Hoboken residents just to be clear is there any conflict of interest whatsoever that's entailed with this?Mayor Bhalla:No. I mean anything is possible. If I were a dentist you know there could be a conflict of interest that could arise with respect to my dental practice and if that were to happen that would be addressed the same applies for you know any law firm that I have an affiliation with if there were a conflict you know that would be addressed promptly but my focus 1000 percent is on the City of Hoboken and being the best mayor I can be. Being a full-time mayor is the primary focus of myself and I think the last seven to eight weeks have reflected that commitment.
Talking Ed Note: The Lepers of Leprecon washed out with the promotion undercut by the closure of participating bars downtown. No promotion; no mayhem as the bars that did a promotion used the theme Hoboken St. Patrick's Day, an imaginary holiday where revelers pour in and act out their version of mardi gras.
Arrests dropped to four versus 11 the prior year. Service calls dropped at the Hoboken Police Department from 488 last year to 386.
The Leprecon event has been in decline year-to-year since 2012.