Friday, December 10, 2010

Mayor announces citizen's hours to hear resident concerns next week

Office of the mayor announces:


 MAYOR ZIMMER ANNOUNCES OFFICE HOURS

Mayor Dawn Zimmer will hold open office hours on Wednesday, December 15th from 5pm to 7pm in her office at City Hall.

“I invite residents to come by and let us know how we can be more helpful and responsive to their needs,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Directors and other members of the administration will be available to assist in addressing resident concerns.


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Beth Mason's 2010 politics of personal destruction: her year in review

Councilwoman Beth Mason heralds a banner year if your measure is taken by the number of personal attacks you make on people who get in the way of power and ambition as the measuring sticks for success.

Early this year Beth Mason launched attacks on Councilman Ravi Bhalla with ethics charges - the story "broke" on Hoboken411, called Mason411 by many, concerning him voting on a resolution to complete legal work for a case over years the council unanimously approved.  Her call for his resignation blew up when analysis of her campaign street money surfaced with numerous unresolved ELEC problems.

She then took some shots at Councilman Peter Cunningham and his family in a City Council meeting while he was attending the funeral of his mother-in-law, also for an ethics complaint on the same unanimous vote.  It went nowhere and last MSV heard, Councilman Peter Cunningham returned and asked for decency re: an apology receiving none.  As he noted on the assault on him and his empty City Council chair at the end of a council meeting on his return, "that's politics." Rather than respond, Mason sat quietly for the the meeting to end and quickly exited.

Last June Beth Mason's campaign manager to her 2009 spring mayoral run, Jake Stuiver decried her behavior as she sought to rebrand herself the kinder, nicer Beth Mason.  He noted in a letter to the Hudson Reporter,

From the smear piece on Peter Cammarano’s personal life to the “expose” on Kim Glatt’s personal finances to the hit job alleging Keith Furman to have a nefarious agenda for having the audacity to criticize Ms. Mason on the municipal budget to depicting Mayor Zimmer as a chimpanzee and mocking Mr. Soares’ height, a local website known for relentlessly toeing the Beth Mason line and attempting to incinerate anyone who doesn’t is something Ms. Mason can no longer appear to condone if she is to have any credibility calling for civility. Her unofficial spokesman who at every council meeting calls pro-Zimmer public speakers disingenuous is promoting an environment in which some might shy away from speaking at meetings for fear of being attacked -- something Ms. Mason, with her own personal track record of civic activism, should seek to stop immediately.

Last summer, Beth's husband Ricky appeared on MSV noting concerns about Hoboken's political discourse.  But no longer is Beth Mason crying out for civility.  Now she is back to a search and destroy mission for anyone opposing her desire for power to be annihilated.  Often she receives support via Mason411, with her ghostwriter "friend" who will savage those who have failed to clear her path there and at every single City Council meeting.  More than one Hoboken resident has been personally attacked by her cowardly minion who does the dirty work but doesn't leaves a calling card, using his 100 screen names on various sites or on Mason411.

Here's a video clip from the last City Council meeting where Beth Mason rolls up her sleeves and takes up the mudslinging herself against your host here:



Now during this discussion on this resolution, MSV was filming and had no idea an off topic race baiting bomb would be thrown our way.  Councilwoman Beth Mason maybe amped up by the vocal heckling from Russo operatives in the room took her cheap shot and you can hear their voices in the background, including what sounds like a certain Hoboken Assemblyman's aide.  None of them were pleased City Council President Carol Marsh provided time to respond to Beth Mason's defamatory allegation.

Councilman Mike Russo who has often spoken about decorum oddly enough was the other recent example attacking a Hoboken resident at a City Council meeting - completely out of the blue.  MSV was in attendance when that attack was made on a frequent attendee, charged by Russo for improper non-verbal behavior.  No that's not a misprint, his non-verbal behavior in an audience of nearly 200 people.

After he was challenged by the resident, Councilman Russo quickly apologized ending the matter.  But Councilwoman Mason doesn't do apologies even when tossing out racist innuendos.  It's all in a day's work, just not on behalf of the people of Hoboken.

Here's the reply to Beth Mason reading the exact text from the MSV article "Tim's street money time," that happens to be featured in the middle at the top of the MSV home page with the complete sentence.  Beth Mason either couldn't or wouldn't read the actual sentence.  She's lobbed a live bomb - racism, and she isn't going to be dissuaded by anything like the truth.



Usually the councilwoman has her dirty work handled by her bottomless checkbook of paid political operatives, consulting firms and the Mason411 ghostwriting minion.

Prior to this incident, a colleague remarked how difficult it is to reach out to his informed friends in town and have them speak out on any issue in the City Council.

They are afraid because of concern they might be subjected to attacks like this.
Can anyone blame them?

Talking Ed Note: There's been a great deal of discussion about the squalor in the political environment in Hoboken.  Last summer the discussion revolved around rebuilding the damage done to the Mason brand and a group of people complained her children were under attack on some various websites including NJ.com.  Seems like a long, long time ago now.

Although it's flattering to be hit with a defamatory charge of racism by Beth Mason considering her street money election problems in the fourth ward, it's surprising she would make it so easy to set the record straight.  Well she didn't plan it that way.

Thank you Beth!

When MSV talks about the problem of money being put to questionable use in the fourth ward, the Queen of Street Money is absolutely included.



Related: Grafix Avenger has a timely piece on the sewer feeding recently erupted (again) over at Mason411:


http://grafixavenger.blogspot.com/2010/12/playing-at-next-city-council-meeting.html

Terminal Redevelopment Update - NJ Transit meeting Tuesday!

City of Hoboken announces:


Update On Hoboken Terminal Redevelopment


njtransitbusterminal
The City of Hoboken is working to move forward with the redevelopment of the Hoboken Terminal and is providing the public with a status update and background on four parallel initiatives regarding this site:
1. NJ Transit’s request to have a 1.8 acre portion redeveloped as a first phase in order to make improvements to the terminal and bring in a major commercial business.
Update: NJ Transit has scheduled a second public meeting for this Tuesday, December 14th at 7pm at the Hoboken Terminal. NJ Transit intends to provide the public with an update on their proposed plans based on feedback received at the first public meeting in September.
2. Enacting an interlocal agreement between NJ Transit and the City of Hoboken to establish the process for proceeding with the redevelopment of the site in order to follow the New Jersey Redevelopment and Housing Law.
Update: The City sent a draft agreement to NJ Transit in August which was been reviewed by the Attorney General and NJ Transit. NJ Transit agreed to provide the City with feedback on the agreement by noon on Friday, December 10, 2010. The City’s redevelopment attorneys will review the feedback at that time.
3. Selecting a redevelopment planner for the City to prepare the redevelopment plan for the entire 52-acre Hoboken Terminal Redevelopment Area and begin the visioning for this area.
Update: In late September, the City received 11 submissions in response to a Request for Qualifications for a planner for the Hoboken Terminal and Rail Yards Redevelopment Plan. A review team was formed consisting of the Zoning, Planning and Economic Development subcommittee, the Community Development Director, a member of the City’s sustainability green team, and a member of the Hoboken Rail Yard Task Force that was formed in coordination with the Quality of Life Coalition. The team met in October to evaluate the submittals and the list of firms was narrowed down based on the criteria being considered. The redevelopment attorney conducted a technical review of the submittals, and in November, the review team further narrowed the list down to four firms to interview. The review team will hold interviews at the end of December and is expected to make a recommendation based on those interviews.
4. NJ Transit Studio Class for Rutgers University and Hunter College graduate planning students.
Update: In addition to the redevelopment planner, the City will be coordinating with the NJ Transit Studio Class. This studio class, starting in January and going through April, is geared toward improving the transportation modes at the Hoboken Terminal. Both the City of Hoboken and NJ Transit are eager to improve and rationalize access to Hoboken Terminal, given both the needs of each transportation mode and economic development initiatives citywide. This studio will afford students real world experience by exploring, researching and recommending improvements from transportation, land use, and urban design perspectives. The goal is to give NJ Transit and the City a unique opportunity to make the Terminal not only an efficient transportation facility but also a great public place that is fully integrated into the fabric of Downtown Hoboken. Issues to be addressed include bus operations, pedestrian flow, bicycle access and storage, ferry terminal and Warrington Plaza operations and potential commercial uses, taxi drop off and waiting, van/shuttle drop off and waiting, private vehicle drop off and waiting, urban design issues, economic development issues, and signage for the terminal and wayfinding. This studio class will include a public input component and will coordinate with the redevelopment planner’s efforts.


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Chris Christie scores victory with arbitration legislation

Gov. Chris Christie reached a milestone in state reform when state Democrat officials in the Assembly reached a compromise yesterday on a key part of his toolkit - arbitration.  A compromise for a new formula will limit the increases to 2% annually for police and fire contracts.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer an early advocate of the Governor's reforms will see an impact locally when the legislation reaches Gov. Christie's desk.  Final approval is expected by January.

Currently Hoboken's police and fire unions have been in negotiations with the city, all four operating without a contract for several years now.  Many speculated the logjam would result in the entire matter going to arbitration.

Back in September the police unions' leadership expressed confidence an agreement would be reached.  The political reality of this arbitration legislation may hasten that process.

Here's the video with Gov. Christie announcing the agreement:



Some of the key areas in the agreement:


• 2 percent annual limit on pay increases. Pay can increase more than 2 percent in one year, however, if a multi-year contract averages 2 percent.
• Health care and pension costs are exempted from the 2 percent increase limit. The leaders promised to take up pension and health care reform early next year.
• Arbitrators cannot create new non-salary costs that don’t already exist in the contracts to get around the 2 percent limit
• Either party can request arbitration on the day the contract expires
• An arbitrator has 45 days to make a decision


Link to the NJ.com story:
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/12/nj_gov_christie_announces_deal.html

City offers free parking incentives to local businesses

City of Hoboken announces:


HOBOKEN OFFERS NEW FREE BUSINESS PARKING PERMIT OPTION
Option can save businesses $1,000 per year while creating more parking for customers

As a result of feedback received from the business community, the City of Hoboken is now offering businesses a new free parking permit option allowing discounted parking in municipal garages. The new option, which can save businesses nearly $1,000 per year in parking costs per vehicle, is only valid in combination with the purchase of $5/day merchant coupons to park in municipal parking garages and does not permit on-street parking. The original $200 business permit that also allows on-street parking is still available as an option.

“I am glad that by working with the business community, we are finding solutions that work for both businesses and their customers,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I hope businesses will take advantage of this new option, and we encourage everyone to do their shopping in Hoboken and support our local businesses this holiday season.”

On December 3rd, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs met with approximately 30 members of the Chamber of Commerce to discuss parking and transportation concerns with the business community. One of the concerns raised by business owners is that parking is incredibly difficult for customers. At the meeting, Director Sacs noted that nationwide, 40% to 60% of on-street parking in retail areas is occupied by business owners and their employees, and many attendees agreed with the statement. As a result, the turnover of those spaces is very low and makes parking more difficult for their own customers. Director Sacs mentioned that those with business permits can already park in municipal garages at the discounted rate of $5 for 12 hours – less than the $8 it costs to feed the meters for 8 hours, which is technically not legal. By saving $3 per day, a business can save nearly $800 per year compared to feeding the meters for on-street parking. While this alternative was well received, one owner noted the high upfront cost of paying $200 for a business permit, only to have to pay an additional $5 per day. In response, Director Sacs committed on the spot to creating a new free business permit option in addition to the normal $200 permit.

Permits must be clearly displayed on the dashboard at all times when in Hoboken. This new permit option is available immediately at the Parking Utility in the basement of City Hall, 94 Washington Street.



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