Friday, February 19, 2010

BREAKING: Mayor Zimmer to Police Audit: Welcome to Hoboken

In the Mayor's twitter, word is now hitting the street: the long awaited police audit is now officially in Hoboken.  Although further details will come with a complete press release Monday morning, the saga is now truly over.

Earlier MSV had expressed confidence the changing of the guard with Acting DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa's arrival would mean the State's follow through was likely sooner than later.  And now just about a week later, the promise made has been fulfilled.

We feel better having already thanked the Acting Commissioner.

You can find the Mayor's twitter at: or add twitter and a list following with: dawnzimmernj.


Hospital Authority - The New World Order

Recent changes on the Hoboken University Medical Center hospital board is adding some flavor to the big push to propel the hospital into surplus' projected to year's end.  The new commissioners appointed to the Hospital Authority are very active, getting up to speed and requesting lots of information.  Earlier commissioners are weighing in more too and it's showing signs of being a very dynamic, positive mix.

Of course, there's going to be some growing pains in an evolving process and we'll say more on this later with video.  For the moment, here's the report.  Things are most definitely looking better for the hospital.  There's numerous areas heading in the right direction and the seriousness of the changes and improvements are significant.

Last, a recent charge made about Hoboken being on the hook for $65 million in union contracts appears to be completely erroneous.  It was discussed again in the Q&A.  Hoboken has $65 million in bonds out to the hospital but no other liability should the hospital falter and close.

Related: Mark Mauer at the Jersey Journal posted a story after attending the meeting as well.

Dear Councilman Russo: 'bout that law thingy

Wednesday night was a long and busy night but there's always time for a little showboating and grandstanding, especially if you don't get your way.  Hoboken saw plenty of that leading into November and it was well, bloody awful the only way to describe it.  Political reality has changed some (but not all) of the grand designs of the not so young and ambitious.  Just when you think things have calmed down into a semblance of normalcy something will flare up and here's just one example from the evening.

There's pretty much unanimous agreement Hoboken should obtain the final results of the State's police audit (cheap political ploys by Hobo411 notwithstanding) and just when you thought everyone was on the same page, Councilman Mike Russo, the yet unannounced mayoral candidate for 20?? decided that going to the mayor's office the next day was a wise and noteworthy idea to obtain the draft version of the State report.  Unfortunately, that's not exactly legal but then again, when did legality have anything to do with how the Russo clan have operated Hoboken?  Councilman Ravi Bhalla takes his colleague for a little schooling and at first you feel a bit bad for Councilman Russo, perhaps he just misspoke.  Then he doubles down and forces Councilman Bhalla to call him on the carpet.  Councilman Russo finds this all quite amusing and entertaining until the camera shifts back to him and then his laughter and smirk quickly reverts to serious legislator.  Later, on a discussion of the budget, the Councilman was stunned by audience reaction when his tedious budget questions led to the Council President recommending he pose them via email to the appropriate parties as Councilman Mike Lenz noted the discussion was far off the track of budget appropriation.  The crowd burst into spontaneous applause.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  More to say on the meeting to come.

Related: Reporter Claire Moses of has a good summary of the evening's events.

Update: Late Friday, Mayor Zimmer announced via Twitter the report is in Hoboken.  Earlier the mayor had indicated after giving a week for Police Chief Falco and Public Safety Director Alicea to review, the report would be made public. So let's all huddle over to Mikie Squared for a week and we're good to go.