Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mayor letter on meeting with St. Ann's Father Vinny Fortunato

The Hudson Reporter posted a story with a letter by Mayor Zimmer on her meeting with Father Vinny Fortunato of St. Ann's Church today and their discussion outside of the church after mass last Sunday.  That discussion became a tool for political attacks after a fusillade of innuendo and character assassination appeared about "the incident" on Hoboken411.  Two news outlets Hoboken Patch and the Hoboken Now received some choice criticism from readers for linking to the "story" that had all the earmarks of a hit job from Hoboken411's angry minions.

That Hoboken411 "story" was posted with not one identifiable or quoted witness.  Zero.  (This is a regular pattern with these guys, this zero witness thing. More on that later.)  That's business as usual though for the angry Beth Mason minions at Hobo411.  They did obtain support from Beth Mason allies, the Russos.  Michelle "five dollars a tow" Russo was spreading word the mayor was "screaming" at the priest.  Councilman Mike Russo  claimed to be a witness but isn't quoted as to what he witnessed on the Jersey Journal.

MSV has learned from first hand sources only a few people were close by when Mayor Zimmer spoke with Father Vinny outside of the church after the mass and no one was close enough to hear much of anything they discussed.  Neither the priest nor the mayor have shared the details of the discussion and both have refused to fuel the attempts at divisive hatred some are attempting to use for political purposes.  Father Vinny who declined comment is quoted on Hoboken Patch as saying, "It was not that big of a deal to me."

Michelle Russo 'prays' for a Hobo411 story of hate to her Democratic Committee friend Lane Bajardi at a City Council meeting about a month back.  Her prayers were answered with a typical Hoboken411 hatchet job and she's been spreading word the mayor was "screaming" at Father Vinny.  
In the letter, the mayor reveals some of her thoughts on Father Vinny's sermon.
MSV obtained a copy:

Last Sunday I attended the St. Ann’s service dedicated to honoring Hoboken Police and Fire fighters. I went to the service to show my appreciation for all of the work that the HPD and HFD do to protect our residents.

Father Vinnie’s sermon was powerful, thought-provoking, and extremely relevant to the issues facing our city. It had a profound effect on me, and I spoke emotionally to Father Vinnie after the service.

While I regret approaching him immediately after the service to have what should have been a less emotional and private conversation, I am thankful that this has led to a dialogue with him. As a result of our meeting on Thursday, we are committed to joining together to try to heal the divisiveness in our community.

The tone of the last several weeks has been extremely concerning to me. I fear that these tough economic times have the potential to truly divide our City. During these challenging times it is important that all Hoboken residents, and especially our elected officials, focus on the need to heal and not exacerbate our divisions.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Father Vinnie for meeting with me on Thursday and agreeing to work with other community leaders to develop and implement initiatives to bring our community together.

Thank you.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

38 Jackson - Zoning Board update

A reader submitted this follow-up after the last Zoning Board meeting on the 38 Jackson St. project:

This past Tuesday night, the Zoning Board continued the hearing on the variance request for the proposed 348-unit condo project located at 38 Jackson.  This was a continuance from the first meeting which took place back in July.  During the meeting, the applicant’s traffic consultant was questioned by the attorney representing the applicant, followed by questions from the Board and general public.  A special meeting was scheduled for next Tuesday, September 28, to hopefully complete the hearing on this request.

The traffic consultant testified that the proposed 348-unit building will have minimal impact on traffic.  He also mentioned that he believed this development would result in a reduction in traffic congestion.

It seemed as if the Board will make every effort to complete this hearing at next Tuesday’s special meeting.  The applicant still has another 3 expert witnesses that will testify, each followed by questioning from the Board as well as members of the public.  Afterwards, members of the public will have the opportunity to share with the Board their thoughts on the proposed development.  This will be followed by a discussion by the Board, and then hopefully a vote.

On tap tonight at the Hoboken Library: Corruption!

The Hoboken Public Invites You to Join Us for:

A Lecture on Repairing Politics

On Thursday September 23 at 6:00 PM, the library will present the first in our Fall Lecture Series.  Dr. Jonathan Wharton, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, will discuss his views and research into political corruption. There will be a Q&A afterward.

Please call 201-420-2347 to RSVP... We look forward to seeing you there....

In Hoboken, skullduggery is a full time job

Update: Here is the actual language and details available on the funding of the robocall.
Although a developer could be responsible and have the money for this operation, the timing of it along with it's attacks on certain council members suggests that it's somehow attached to the Council of No, perhaps the monied member.  Anyway, MSV is leaving the original version up as well since google has no doubt gotten ahold and put it in the cache.

Da Horsey really doesn't know who is responsible but if Beth Mason or Mike Russo want to help, we'll be glad to do an update on this story.  Thanks Council members!

Yesterday the City Council had a budget workshop.  Added to the agenda was an item to begin the process for reviewing the Western Edge Redevelopment plan and have the proposal move to the Planning Board for review and additional revisions before it is then returned for the normal multi-step process back in the City Council.  Those steps would involve multiple opportunities for public input.

But someone had other ideas and decided to put out word it was a done deal.  A robocall push poll went out yesterday and made enough noise that one resident may have received it and come to the meeting believing it was the last opportunity to speak on the issue.

MSV received a complete audio copy of the robocall.  Da Horsey has no idea who could be responsible.  Do you?

That was some fast work pumping that propaganda out at light speed.  Congrats to whoever has that big a budget and resources on hand to execute it all in one day.

A big thank you to Hoboken's Wiley Coyote who provided the audio for this story.  

Talking Ed Note: On the November 2nd special election front, there's two hot stories on absentee ballots.  Yesterday Grafix Avenger posted an intriguing piece yesterday.

And today, Timothy J. Carroll of PolitickerNJ just posted a blowout story on the absentee ballot plans going on that could send some people to jail.  From the story:

“I think you’re not going to see 200 absentee ballots in the 4th Ward, or else somebody’s going to jail,” said another anonymous campaign supporter of Occhipinti, veteran of Hoboken elections.

A big horsey hat tip to Timothy Carroll and PolitickerNJ.  More on this to come.