Thursday, May 20, 2010

HHA with Superintendent Carter speaking on Connors, Special Ed and suspension

Mr. Carter and Q&A runs about 25 minutes.

Introduction - this segment is only a minute:

This is a short part of the Q&A - only two or so minutes

Superintendent Carter appeared last night at the Jubilee Center to discuss a number of issues with local parents and clergy on the Connors School and its temporary move to Demarest, suspension policies and Special Education.  The meeting ran about one hour.
(Due to wifi problems some of the meeting is not available.)

Claire Moses, editor of attended and will also be featuring a story tomorrow.

Mayor Zimmer weighs in on the garage

Statement from Mayor Dawn Zimmer on Municipal Garage

I am writing to assure residents concerned about a potential municipal garage site located at 6th and Monroe Streets.  My Administration is considering multiple options, none of which are ideal.  Relocating the garage, even temporarily, in this or any other residential area raises serious concerns. Those concerns were heard very clearly at last night's Council meeting, echoing publicly concerns that have been raised both internally by my Administration and by Council Members.

The lack of proper relocation planning in the five years since the garage was sold to fund operating expenses has been the single biggest challenge faced by my Administration.  There were no good options available in the very limited time we were given.  We have been working diligently to find the least bad solution.  I have every confidence we are nearing one of several options that will avoid the outcome rumored in recent days.

The Council has been briefed on alternatives.  In an effort to overlook nothing, we have been and will continue to consider additional locations through direct solicitation of property owners and the RFP process, which is scheduled to be completed on May 28th.  Results of the RFP process will be shared with the City Council and the public and discussed at a public meeting.

Residents may review the notices for two RFPs issued on our website at the following links:

Please email Juan Melli at in the Mayor's office if you would like to sign up for regular updates on the municipal garage site relocation.

As a final note, it is personally frustrating that I cannot further reduce concern by more fully briefing the public.  There are a great many moving pieces to this transaction, and I am firmly advised by counsel that premature disclosure could severely undermine the City's interests.  It would be far more comfortable to say more, but I will not do so if it means putting the City's interest at risk.


Dawn Zimmer

Horse Sense: Gaffes, garages and $6 million for tax relief?

With all the problems Hoboken and the State of New Jersey face, it's certainly fascinating how the light of a minor gaffe in a speech by a public official attracts more attention than insects to a bug zapper.  Mayor Zimmer misspoke the Governor's name and there was a lot of laughter including from Gov. Christie.
Gov. Christie: takes mistake in stride - "I'm here, he's not."

Last night's City Council meeting saw a number of unusual events including a large group of concerned residents speaking on the city's RFP process to identify a yet unannounced site of a temporary garage.  MSV is all but certain this outpouring of legitimate concern for one site on Jackson St. will generate the bulk of discussion as the scene is one that makes for good copy and drama - much like Monday's.  But were there other equally important developments in the five hour plus marathon meeting?

Moving the City of Hoboken from a fiscal year to a calendar year has many advantages, one being $6 million gained in the transition among numerous other accounting benefits on a yearly basis.  Likely to be little noticed, City Council President Peter Cunningham stated the savings could provide 5% in much needed tax relief.  To this the "Council of No" (a term coined by our colleague at the Hoboken Journal) sat firm in opposition, arguing numerous points in multiple ways with one bottom line: if Mayor Zimmer is for this, we're against it.

Now it's no surprise that the Russo clan would not favor such a move.  Even with numerous lengthy detailed explanations, former Director of Finance Nick Trasente included, no logic could budge them.  Long time resident Helen Hirsch later criticized the City Council for not being honest and being more interested in showing off business cards with the city logo or getting a "free meal" than doing the right thing.  One reader just posted here about witnessing one such free lunch taken.  Hey is that ethical?

Councilwoman Beth Mason reacts to the crowd's applause to Gov. Christie's response 
during one of her three questions at last Monday's town hall meeting.

But then there's the other member of the Council of No: Beth Mason.  Isn't she for reform and lower taxes?  Her government-in-exile supporters even posed with her fall campaign t-shirt at the last City Council meeting showing those exact printed words.  Apparently since her defeat at the hands of the voters last November, she's for neither.  The reform part comes as no surprise, Councilwoman Mason jettisoned reform since she aligned with the Russo Association earlier last year.  Now she can add no tax cuts to her list.  Does anyone think that when that comes up next she'll see the light?

What was the tally of Councilwoman Mason's contribution last night?  She wants resumes.  Resumes obtained by the mayor in the earlier search for a Business Administrator.  Although she's been advised they are available via the mayor's office for weeks now, she's declined to do so instead first requesting they be made available to the City Clerk's office, and then yesterday insisting Corporation Counsel Michael Kates intervene and obtain them.  Mr. Kates offered to do so since the Councilwoman has not and apparently will not contact the mayor's office to arrange such a viewing, although that again was discussed as an easily accessible option.

The Corporation Counsel advised the Councilwoman he could make such an arrangement but only after she commits to preserving the confidentiality of the applicants.  Not only is the Business Administrator position now filled, but the candidates still hold their existing positions and would expect their names not to be made public by anyone involved in the city's hiring process.  On this point, Councilwoman Mason refused to make any commitment though she was given numerous opportunities to do so.  Each time she changed the subject to her aggrieved victim status, finally agreeing to discuss the matter "offline."

Wonder what she'd say to the question of why she didn't take the matter "offline" with the mayor's office to begin with?

Last, another effort by the Councilwoman to change the conversation and elevate her image after her violations of ELEC laws emerged by restructuring the city ethics ordinance exploded at liftoff.  Since the early 90s, the controlling entity on such matters is the State and Corporation Counsel explained any proposed changes have to go through Trenton.

Does this mean she will be getting back to the Hudson Reporter and the public on her investigation of street money illegally distributed in her mayoral campaign last spring?  A video she posted on her website earlier this week claimed she had "nothing to hide" and she didn't distribute any cash to any "campaign worker" in her mayoral bid last spring.

Well of course you didn't Councilwoman.  Your campaign did.


Bright lights, big city - Hoboken's summer lineup

City of Hoboken announces:


Mayor Dawn Zimmer & the City of Hoboken are proud to announce the schedule of events for Summer Concerts at SinatraPark, Family Fun Nights at Shipyard Park, and Movies Under the Stars at Pier A Park.

“All events are free to the public and are paid for by sponsorships and grants, not tax dollars,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “They’re a wonderful way to enjoy our waterfront with friends and family this summer.”

“We’re excited to continue this yearly tradition,” said Supervisor of Cultural Affairs Geri Fallo. “The opening night concert and the Grease re-release are particularly noteworthy events.”

Paramount Pictures is re-releasing Grease as a sing-along, and Hoboken has been chosen as one of the cities to premiere this new version of the popular movie.

“We invite everyone to dress up as their favorite characters from the movie and come by and strut their stuff,” added Fallo.

The opening night concert on June 3rd at Sinatra Park is a tribute to Pete Seeger. It will feature over 200 children from many of Hoboken's Schools, as well as and some of Hoboken's favorite musicians.

During the months of June, July and August, Summer Concerts will take place most Thursday nights from 7pm to 9pm, Family Fun Nights are scheduled from 7pm to 8pm every Tuesday. Movies Under the Stars are scheduled for 9pm most Wednesday's in June and July and around 8:15pm in August, unless noted in the schedule below.
A pdf document of all summer events can be downloaded at:

For information about these events, please contact the Hoboken Cultural Affairs Office at
201-420-2207 or online at

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Summer Concerts at Sinatra Parklocated at Sinatra Drive between 4th & 5th Streets
from 7pm to 9pm • Free

June 3rd - Pete Seeger Tribute Concert
Check website for complete list of performers.

The complete list is at the jump below -

Cammarano Exits - Stage Left


A reader submitted a photo of a moving van on this fine sunny day.  Hardly eventful except the client is one we all know well: Peter Cammarano.

As the ex-mayor and convicted crook awaits sentencing later this August, he's been trying to sell his home.  Perhaps he found a buyer or maybe he thought it better to get out of Dodge leading into a sale.

For some it will mark another sad day.  But even his die hard umbrella holding coalition has melted away and moved on from their rock hard support of standing up to the media glare and speaking in the City Council to defend Mayor Cammarano's right to exclusive control of the Zoning Board.  We're not going to belabor the point by naming names.

Good luck Petey boy.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Photo: A moving van sits in front of the home of Peter Cammarano on Bloomfield St.
All rights reserved.

Ya gotta have park

City of Hoboken announces:


The public will have an opportunity to comment on proposed improvements planned at two Hoboken parks.

The City will hold two on-site public meetings to discuss improvements to Church Square Park and the park adjacent to the Boys and Girls Club, 123 Jefferson Street.

Both projects involve replacing existing parks equipment with minor modifications to their layout.

“Residents have asked to be involved in improvements to our parks and public spaces and this is their opportunity to learn more and to provide their feedback,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

The meetings, hosted by Environmental Services Director Jennifer Maier, will be held on Saturday, May 22 at 10 am at the Boys and Girls Club park and at 1 pm to discuss improvements to Church Square Park at the site of the existing play area.

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Where can I park?

City of Hoboken announces:

Challenges Hoboken Businesses to Introduce Similar Policies

As part of Bike-to-Work Week and the Zimmer Administration's continued commitment to making Hoboken more bicycle-friendly, Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced today that municipal employees may park their bikes inside City Hall.

"Lack of secure parking is one of the leading deterrents to potential bicycle commuters," said Mayor Zimmer. "This is just one part of our comprehensive plan to make Hoboken the most bike-friendly city in New Jersey."

Mayor Zimmer extended the challenge to other employers in the City.

"I challenge all businesses in Hoboken to allow indoor bike parking for their employees," added Zimmer. "Everyone in the community benefits from healthier employees, less traffic, and less pollution."

Businesses who institute a Bike Friendly policy are urged to contact the City’s Department of Transportation and Parking at in order to be added to a "Bike Friendly Business" list to be featured on the City's website.

New York City instituted a "Bikes in Buildings" law in 2009 as a result of repeated studies indicating that a lack of secure parking was one of the top reasons preventing people from cycling to work.