Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Maurice Fitzgibbons: I'm with Tim Occhipinti, lashes wildly against Lenz and 'racist blogs'

Tim Occhipinti backer Maurice Fitzgibbons announces:

It is certainly not my style, having served in public office for 15 years as a Hudson County Freeholder with an unblemished record, to take the time to publicly answer a campaign candidate who is not my opponent.

When is Michael Lenz going to face his opponent Tim Occhipinti instead of running a campaign against Peter Cammarano?

Although the New York Times called Michael Lenz Hoboken’s own Karl Rove, I am sure that his strategy is to attack anyone in his way that is even remotely supporting Mr. Occhipinti. For months, supporters of Mr. Lenz have repeatedly attempted to tarnish me and my reputation using the various blogs affiliated with his campaign, blogs which regularly see fit to promote racism, attack ethnicity, and belittle an individual’s sexual preference. Mr. Lenz would have liked to run on his reform playbook. However, since he is now the candidate and not the campaign manager, reform does not apply to him.

Michael Lenz, who served as school board president in 1993 orchestrated the firing of the first Hispanic Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin Duroy. His actions subsequently were called into question with several school board members calling for an investigation. Today, Michael Lenz serves on two taxpayer-funded public payrolls – one a patronage job to which he comes and goes as he pleases. He is also the political “boss” with a grip on both City Hall and the Hoboken Board of Education.

To attack me with my record of public and community service for over 30 years and a former president of the New Jersey Association of Counties is simply a pathetic sign of desperation. I am proud to support Tim Occhipinti, as I was to support elected officials in the past including Senator Bill Bradley, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Robert Menendez, State Senator Bernard Kenny, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and most recently President Barack Obama. All were appreciative of my role in their campaigns.

I also say to Michael Lenz that attacking businessman Michael Novak who represents the so-called “new” Hoboken living here for over 20 years has done more in community service in one year than has Mr. Lenz in his entire time living here in Hoboken.

Let Mr. Lenz deny that he has recently been seen campaigning in the 4th Ward with an individual whose own home was raided on the morning of July 23, 2009 with some 30+ other individuals.

I also ask Mr. Lenz if he did not on two separate occasions ask me for my support for his candidacy.

In closing, if the public had to choose between me and Mr. Lenz in an election today, it would be my biggest victory to date.

Talking Ed Note: Maurice Fitzgibbons, the former Freeholder who liberally throws around the term 'county hack' now that he no longer serves as such is standing up for his adopted candidate Tim Occhipinti.  After introducing and promoting his last protege Peter Cammarano to Hoboken, Tim Occhipinti is now Maurice's new "independent" he hopes will bring him back from the political wilderness.

First MSV can't speak for any other unnamed blogs Maurice attempts to tarnish but if he wishes to claim this website serves Councilman Lenz, let's see the proof.  The truth is no one was harder on Councilman Lenz on the North Hudson Sewage Authority vote among other notable issues.  None of it endeared the Councilman to MSV but the dialog and disagreements between us have been squarely on the issues.  On some, such as advocating the payment of the $4.2 million retirement fiasco, the Councilman in fact proved correct.

Now Councilman Lenz has a record and if you want to attack his voting record on the City Council, Maurice Fitzgibbons could certainly do so.  But he doesn't.  The reason: any objective watcher of the City Council meetings since Councilman Lenz came on board can't criticize his effort and work or in fact many of his votes.  He's far exceeded expectations and that's not something MSV anticipated but it's out there for anyone who wishes to look and learn for themselves.  Lenz's voting record on the City Council has been excellent and he's acted as a leader on any number of key issues from reducing the budget to obtaining inexpensive bonds to buy back the Municipal Garage.  (That garage was costing Hoboken taxpayers $100,000 a month in a lease over years.  Through Councilman Lenz's persistence the vote to obtain favorable bond financing for Hoboken removed that lease cost and the city now owns the property paying only in the neighborhood of $20,000 a month - quite an achievement.)

The idea Michael Lenz is some kind of Karl Rove however, a phrase often tossed about by supporters and opponents is for lack of a better term frankly nonsensical.  The defense of Mike Novak as some sort of new Hoboken leader is equally farcical.  Mr. Novak was part of the inner circle for Peter Cammarano, appearing on his ticket and leading his transition team.  There were no bigger Peter Cammarano backers than Maurice Fitgibbons and Mike Novak - and both are eager to obtain insider power again leading the Old Guard power structure with Councilman Mike Russo in the hopes of spearheading the Tim Occhipinti campaign and all the benefits of a controlling swing vote on the City Council.

Maurice Fitzgibbons delves into wild unsubstantiated charges against websites he claims are working on behalf of Michael Lenz.  He also lets fly with the usual gutter charges of someone who is bereft of any substance tossing out the race card, bigot card, etc.  If he has any evidence he should put it forward and name those he claims are responsible.  Otherwise he looks like a whiny, bitter ex-Hudson County rat politician.

Unlike his proud public stance for Tim Occhipinti, MSV doubts the long time taxpayer subsidized Church Towers resident has the courage to do so.  

Maurice Fitzgibbons brags of his flawless record but he is in fact on a short, special list of those who have been fined $2,100 for blatant ELEC violations.  

Typical of many Hudson County pols, being cited for such violations doesn't preclude you from bellowing to the heavens of your "unblemished record."  Hoboken should expect nothing less from the man who brought you Peter Cammarano.

Note: Maurice Fitzgibbons press release comments and photo come courtesy of NJ.com via the Political Insider column.

Sign of the Times: Mike Russo takes the media for a ride

The Russos (Mike and Terry Castellano) take the media for a ride today on a story Mike Russo later admits was just a rumor.  He claimed the HPU office was being moved even though he hadn't spoken to the Director of the Hoboken Parking Utility Ian Sacs.  To the right of the camera is Mike Russo's mother, Michelle Russo.  In FBI documents she was recorded on government tapes telling the owner of Pino's she wanted $5 per tow for a city contract.  Michelle Russo was the HPU Director at the time.  Proving once again, truth can be stranger than fiction.

Mayor Zimmer disputes Councilman Russo on HPU office move

MSV requested a response from the mayor's office on the matter of Councilman Russo charges on a potential move of the HPU office.  As MSV noted earlier, a problem of termite infestation in the current location has been an ongoing problem.  The issue had surfaced in an interview with the mayor earlier this year.

Mayor Zimmer's office issued the following statement in reply:

“It’s true that for decades – at least since the Police Department occupied the space currently used by the Parking Utility – City Hall’s basement has had a very serious, unaddressed termite problem. Employees have been known to put chewing gum into the wall to keep the termites out, and swarms of flying termites are not uncommon. These conditions are not fair to employees and sometimes cause them to leave work early, which is why my Administration has been looking for space to relocate the Parking Utility during repairs and renovations. The Midtown Garage is a potential site being considered, but it is still very early in the process and no decisions have been made. Relocation of the Parking Utility to the unused space in the Midtown Garage has been contemplated since the garage was originally built, so exploring this idea is not new and certainly not news. If Councilman Russo would like to seriously discuss the issues, I’d be more than happy to have that conversation, but this is nothing more than an election year political stunt.”

Mayor Dawn Zimmer in City Hall

Councilman Russo complains about office move

Councilman Russo announces:

Mike Russo at last City Council meeting.  How do we change the subject?

Talking Ed Note: MSV did not receive this release but a reader provided the details.  Councilman Russo is invited to submit releases as any public official.  Of course he may prefer a less transparent method for doing so and that's his right.

As this was not released to MSV, the policy of not commenting with a release doesn't apply.

The HPU offices as MSV understands it has a structural problem due to termites working away at the area over a period of years unchecked.  If there is a cost in moving offices on a temporary or permanent basis, the question needs to be asked, why wasn't the problem dealt with sooner and why hasn't Councilman Russo addressed the infrastructure problem?

No doubt you can read the twisted tales of this from every angle but reality from the usual hate mongers.  This looks like a distraction from the focus on the 4th ward special election.  Much of the news coming out has been of questionable value for Mike Russo's candidate, Tim Occhipinti.

MSV will not be attending this manufactured press conference.  There's not even any there there.  No one has confirmed that any official move of offices from downtown to midtown is in fact occurring.
Lenz for Council announces:

  Chat with Mayor Zimmer and 4th Ward Councilman Mike Lenz
Tuesday, October 5th | 7 pm -- 9 pm
Campaign HQ - 60 Madison St

There have been many positive changes at City Hall over the last few months and there is still plenty more to do. Come share your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns with Mayor Zimmer and Councilman Lenz at this Meet and Greet.

Councilman Mike Lenz is a key member of the Mayor's team and is the deciding vote to lower taxes,stop out of scale developmentfix flooding, and make City Hall more efficient. Mike's opponent is planning to turn back the clock and return to the failed policies that bankrupted our town, drastically raised taxes, sold us out to developers, and lowered our quality of life.

Come hear why this election is so important to the future of the 4th Ward and the entire city.
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Occhipinti criticizes temporary soccer field at 1500 Park

Occhipinti for Council announces:

Occhipinti says Lenz deserves ‘red card’ for conditions at soccer field

No water station, no rest rooms, no benches, and barely enough room to play soccer. Hoboken soccer moms are fuming over conditions at the temporary soccer field at 1500 Park Avenue and the city’s response to their concerns. Rather than trying to help, officials warned parents to pick up after themselves and to stay out of nearby buildings.

During a visit to the supposedly temporary soccer field at 1500 Park Avenue, 4th Ward City Council candidate Tim Occhipinti met with moms who complained that the city has ignored their calls for action on the field, which has no restroom facilities, no place for families to sit, and has become a bare patch of dirt.

“This is appalling. This administration has literally dropped the ball when it comes to soccer for our youngest kids,” said Occhipinti. “They’ve done nothing to bring the soccer field at Sinatra Park back on line, and they have done nothing to make this supposedly temporary field any more user friendly for soccer families. These moms have every right to be livid, and deserve to know where their tax dollars, not to mention their new $25 per child recreation fee, are going.”

Occhipinti said, to add insult to injury, parents were told this weekend to stay out of nearby private buildings, which they are sometimes forced to use if their young child has to go to the bathroom. Then, they were threatened with tickets if they double-parked, despite the lack of adequate parking near the field. Lastly, they were reminded to “clean up” after themselves.

Over a year ago, the Zimmer administration closed Sinatra Field to the public because a portion of the pier had collapsed. Despite the installation of large protective sheet barriers that have shielded the park from any further damage, plans for further repairs at Sinatra have been frozen as the city council majority, led by 4th Ward Councilman Michael Lenz, bungled the project.

“Instead of creating opportunities for new soccer fields, Michael Lenz is supporting a flawed plan for Western Edge redevelopment that includes NO space for recreation fields,” Occhipinti added. “Michael Lenz has also done nothing to move a plan for a Southwest Park forward. The 4th ward deserves a real park large enough for our kids to play ball on. He has claimed to support such a plan for years when it has served his political agenda, but has done absolutely zero to make it happen.”

Tim Occhipinti