The grandstanding on a $25 recreation fee was on full display (again). The personal animosity ginned up created a number of outright attacks far beyond the value of $30,000 in an almost $100 million budget. The fee generates additional recreation services for all the children of Hoboken but garnered cursing from one long time political operative at the microphone who quoted part of a sentence from MSV just yesterday.
All of this would be sufficient to declare this meeting nothing short of a cluster you know what but that's only part of the sad disrespect shown the public here as a whole. Sadly, nothing can sway this Council of Four No (plus linchpin Nino Giacchi) from behavior on a practical level wasteful on every level including political capital.
Somehow they believe this will garner votes for the spring Council elections.
The animosity and selective badgering was unfortunate and a sign of true anti-democratic values for all to witness. Councilwoman Terry Castellano used her time on the issue of a $25 recreation fee to attack a member of the public claiming falsely he compared children to tolls. The vindictiveness was evident in more than just those remarks. She's still burning over the public's speaking on the Corner Cars program and couldn't contain her agitation for their gathering on behalf of the program last month.
Councilman Mike Russo, elevated to Vice Chair threw a handwritten trial by surprise temporary budget on the table forcing the Business Administrator to review the plan on the fly. His excuse for not doing so in advance of the meeting? He claimed he was not given the information from the Administration in order to do so. Well how did he muster the information to craft one leading into the meeting then?
Councilwoman Beth Mason acting as chair appeared initially to attempt to maintain an even keel during the meeting following a tough fair minded shortened term by Councilwoman Carol Marsh. Unfortunately the game plan hatched in advance of the meeting by her allies disintegrated, with much petty squabbling on minutia people expect to be done off camera.
Even worse, the new City Council President allowed the worst grandstanding on the town's finances putting basic required services at risk for nothing more than to stab the mayor in the eye with a hot poker. Beth Mason is now on the hook for any practical problems that occur as a result.
Add to the overall ineptness, grandstanding and utter waste of the public's time, the new City Council President failed to exact decorum applying the gavel but selectively made a point of going after a political critic - Da Horsey. For the second time in recent Council meeting she's gone off the agenda to take issue with MSV. The first time in order to plant a race baiting charge with the use of the word plantation in an earlier column here listed at the top middle of this page. (How'd that work out Beth?)
Last night, as an agitated political operative repeatedly took up cursing from the back of the room, Council President Beth Mason halted the proceedings to call out and ask Da Horsey "to stop moving around." This she directed to the stationary horse standing among almost a dozen surrounding people from the right rear of a room filled to standing room only.
Meanwhile the Michelle Russo Facebook Army was permitted to yell out and heckle at will throughout the evening. They did so with relish using expletives following the lead of the cursing offender at the microphone who she failed to even admonish let alone gavel for being out of order. (To be fair, she did appear taken aback and surprised by the display.) A police officer came in to restore order in the rear of the City Council Chambers as Plan B Perry departed, while Beth Mason did nothing from the front.
Perhaps the worst offender: was that the actual former Freeholder in attendance yelling unchecked the most caustic remarks at Councilman Ravi Bhalla to get out of Hoboken while the Councilman spoke?
And nary a word of complaint from the Council President or the other members of the Council of No. The selective application of decorum is leading to a very bad atmosphere in City Council Chambers. We're told it's not dissimilar to how things were under the reign of former mayor Anthony Russo.
Is intimidation the tool they have in mind? Well welcome to the Machine and the...
Related: Hoboken Patch has a story on the negative fruit of the vindictive clamps being placed on keeping the city from operating.
Congratulations to Beth Mason and Mike Russo. You know they will have no problem turning around and blaming the mayor for the problem they are creating.