Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grist for the mill: What's the matter with Maureen?

The Hoboken Journal posted a story with a graphic depicting this question and sadly it's a fair one.  We hate to agree with that HCDO political hack vegetable (and most often don't).  Da Horsey agrees in this and most instances the application of the term "hate" (along with racist) is almost always the empty vindictive argument of losers and certainly a losing media strategy just down the rung from the code of silence.  And MSV has gotten plenty of the silent treatment from Maureen Sullivan, the BoE member who trumpeted her "resignation" from Kids First and complained her perspective was not heard before the jolly green giant let fly with a cartoon lampooning the new self-proclaimed goddess of reform.

But the big green vegetable did offer Maureen Sullivan opportunity for a full rebuttal and is still doing so.  More than a week later after a half-dozen email and public invitations to chat from MSV, no luck arranging any conversation whatsoever either.  Maureen appears completely tied up by a certain Red Elephant, the Hudson Reporter and a few unlucky souls on the end of her her wrath in dusk to dawn emails and blogging blasts noting her woeful victimization (at the hands of the those emailed of course) and their betrayal in not giving her an opportunity to weigh in.  Are we beginning to see a pattern here?  Maureen there was this device created a while back.  It's called a phone.  Just dial D-A-H-O-R-S-E-Y but leave out the Y, as in why no horsey chat?

And now word on the street: Councilwoman Beth Mason was reportedly seen with Hoboken411's hate merchant Perry Klaussen recently at an uptown coffee shop no doubt issuing instructions on how best to further serve the Masonite crown. (Did money also pass under the table ala Malibu Pete?)  We doubt she was filing an in-person protest for the Hate411 diatribe using the holocaust in an ugly, demented and cheap political stunt against the mayor's public call for the release of the State's police audit.  (Sorry Perry, you lose again!)  Well Maureen Sullivan is probably just following the Masonite script, either by orders of the queen or just in a bad post election imitation - loudly proclaim your bonafides but answer no real questions, even on your own platform, I mean perspective.

The BoE election filing deadline for board candidates is this Monday.  We'll guess Maureen and her husband John of M&M First as in Maureen and Mason, or is it Mason and Maureen are working hard to meet it.  We wish them luck, well sorta in the best phony frenemy kind of way.  More evidence of the Masonite connection is the appearance of the political operative better known as Hudsonshark.  His recent post out of the blue on the Hoboken forum decrying Zimmer supporters with predicted personal attacks on Maureen Sullivan proved empty but he was obviously there in his Majesty's service.  Hey Sharkie did that check clear yet?  Remember it's retain before you defame, and the client best not complain.  This political operative biz is like stolen goods, strictly cash and carry.

Does this meet any standard remotely close to the self-proclaimed banner "all about transparency"?  Have you noticed there's a lot of self-proclaimed stuff flying around in town of late?  But there's no "there" there.
What a sham.
Councilwoman Beth Mason - still suffering from Equinophobia.

Talking Ed Notes: Not even two days before the the Maureen First letter was published in the Hudson Reporter, MSV had its first ever phone conversation with Theresa Minutillo of Kids First but later that very evening a "surprise guest" bellied up to the bar at Moran's - none other than Maureen's husband John.  He made clear the recruitment drive was well underway, notwithstanding her letter's technically accurate claim she was not doing so in the Hudson Reporter letter.  To that hit job we'd like to say Salud!  Maureen for the record and since MSV can't even get 10 minutes with you on the phone, Da Horsey might as well give you some free political advice here - when family goes out on a political operation, it's good to buy a media person at least one beer.  We know times are tough all over but gee this is Hudson County after all.  A Guinness doesn't guarantee good press but it can't hurt good will.  Dangling a carrot, even one that's not organic in front of Da Horsey for more than a week to just chat on the other hand....

Now the out of box idea MSV offered on sorting out the so called "spending" differences within Kids First died a quick death upon Maureen Sullivan's denouncing Kids First.  (She still asks how Theresa's list is going in reply to MSV's numerous email requests to chat as if her Hudson Reporter letter never happened.  Helloooooo.)  To her credit, Theresa Minutillo, showed no hesitation in agreeing to the MSV's Kids First spending reduction proposal in our first brief chat.  Maureen Sullivan on the other hand has consistently refused to agree to any time to chat with Da Horsey in over nine days now.  (MSV is still awaiting "I'll have to get back to you on a time" to our last offer to speak on Sunday.) Meanwhile Theresa Minutillo and Kids First are pounding on the stable door, demanding, get this - to ANSWER QUESTIONS on the record to discuss just about everything, including ALL of Maureen Sullivan's grievances.

The whispers in the stable is the Beth-Klausfuherer coffee chat will also yield a new BoE "voice" penning smooth stories about the Board race on Hate411 and a possible full slate with your usual Masonite retreads along with a possible Revolting Kids First reject. (On that point, all Da Horsey can say is there's shopping and then there's BoE slate shopping:  loyalty and principles last!)  Clearly Beth Mason has no problem being seen with the Hate411 owner if it serves, well, Beth Mason. (Does her rabbi know about this?)  Will Maureen Sullivan be writing under her own name as an elected BoE official or will it be the typical underhanded Perry Klausfuher's anonymous penmanship?  On Monday at 4:00 pm, we'll see what's what, who's who and how all this comes together in any potential Maureen-Mason Revenge First ticket.  Whether they get it together or not with a full slate, we just have one last question.  Which of the two is the true Queen of Reform?  Their can be only one self-proclaimed Queen. And Hoboken just ain't big enough for two reform Queens.

For the record, MSV has attempted to speak to Councilwoman Beth Mason too.  There's been no reply to interview requests outside of two impromptu chats in City Council Chambers on meeting breaks since the November election, the last request coming as recently as this morning.

Graphic: "All hail the Goddess Of Reform" by Grafix Avenger courtesy of the Hoboken
               Equinophobia graphic with Pimpette and Maureen    
               Sullivan courtesy of the Grafix Avenger.

Talking Ed Note: Grist for the mill is a rumor column but in this instance much of the information comes way of first hand experience.

Related: The Hoboken Journal just did a story showing the breakdown of all Superintendents compensation in Hudson County and also a recent Hoboken Superintendent.  Doesn't look so out of line in that light.  Will Maureen Sullivan see that?  More importantly, will she care?   

Judy Tripodi - Responds to the police audit


Judy Tripodi, the state fiscal monitor emailed a statement on the State Police Audit:

I did not have a draft copy of the report since the summer.  I received a
copy the same day as it was received by the mayor.  I played no role in the
writing, editing or release of the report. 

I believed that I had the authority to approve the contracts, but have since
been told that I do not. I have always acted in the best interests of the
taxpayers of this City.

For the record, page 7 of the Police Audit states "While this report's
recommendations may affect the staffing and City's fiscal obligation to the
HPD, this report has no direct role in the contract negotiations."

Talking Ed Note: The state fiscal monitor states she did not hold a draft copy of the State police audit on the Hoboken Police Department since last summer.  In that regard we'd note MSV wishes to issue an apology and correction to our earlier Horse Sense editorial, "Audit Avalanche" stating she held a draft.  We've asked when Ms. Tripodi may have seen a draft and should that become available, we'll update accordingly.

Update: Ms. Tripodi noted she had seen an earlier draft but did not give it weight as it was not a final State approved document.  MSV thanks the fiscal state monitor for her statement and this clarification.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer in a tweet yesterday noted she met with the State to discuss the police audit.  This story is breaking.  Stay tuned on this and another breaking story.

Horse Sense: Audit Avalanche

The fallout from the State Hoboken Police audit is reverberating across town with Police Chief Falco and Police Union head Vince Lombardi each extending preliminary thoughts.

Police Chief Falco appearing at a meet and greet in the 6th ward Monday suggested he would speak to the mayor at the proper time but his initial reaction to the report's release is to ask for more headcount.

Police Union President Vince Lombardi expressed little confidence in a negotiated settlement not a month since a leak to the Hudson Reporter of a pending agreement while the fiscal state monitor Judy Tripodi was on vacation.  The story titled "Police payout coming to Hoboken" veered off the news path and predicted defeat to any resistance of the mayor's City Council coalition, stating Judy Tripodi would have the final say in approving the agreement.  The fiscal state monitor had all but indicated finalization of the police contract most recently in an email exchange with Hoboken Revolt just last week.

Judy Tripodi has been silent since the stunning revelations of the police audit released early Monday.  Public anger in some quarters on her lack of action to curb spending in any significant way since she took the financial reins has given way to a larger resentment for not acting on her earlier plan last spring to reorganize the police department leading into the city's mayoral race.  Some felt that announcement was political giving police allies a cause to rally around heading into the mayoral election. (The police union came out strongly for Peter Cammarano who stated he was against any staff reductions.)  The fiscal state monitor has held a copy of the near finished police audit draft since at least the summer.   In an interview last month with MSV, Ms. Tripodi cited ex-mayor Peter Cammarano's arrest as the reason she had not followed through.  But the fiscal state monitor has not expressed any interest in her initial stated plan or explained her lack of action most recently since.

Acknowledging the new playing field, Vince Lombardi told the Jersey Journal earlier Tuesday, "It is probable we will file for arbitration."  Late Monday, Councilman Mike Lenz called the police audit "a game changer" and stated the City Council had no appetite to approve any retroactive pay.

MSV invites the fiscal state monitor Judy Tripodi to comment on the results issued in the police audit.  Hoboken deserves to hear her statement sooner than later.

Talking Ed Note: Beth Mason's attack dog, the political operative known as Hudsonshark posted on the Hoboken forum asking where's the mayor's police plan not a day after the audit's release.  Well Sharkie, maybe a reasonable question is where is Councilwoman Beth Mason's statement on the matter?  Councilwoman Mason recently stated she is through being "nice."  MSV has emailed and called the Councilwoman on this and other questions but as yet no reply.  Perhaps the Hudsonshark will have better luck and can share that answer since her interview "All about transparency."  

For someone claiming their done being "nice" the Councilwoman has yet to offer anything on spending cuts - not a single word on Public Safety costs and no votes of any significance unaligned with the Russo clan against the mayor's City Council reform coalition excluding those that were unanimous.  Her only significant proposal since the November election has been to go after illegal apartments which she raised in a recent City Council meeting.  Watch the tape: she almost mentions that problem in "her" neighborhood before she stops and corrects herself. 

(Yes MSV caught that too.  We're also done being nice.  More on that soon.)

Now let's give all public officials a chance to weigh in first ya big catfish.