Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brian Stack covers up the shame Hudson County style

Union City Mayor Brian Stack issued this communication in response to the Fox 5 Shame Shame Shame on You episode revealing the use of a fully fueled, insured, vehicle for his estranged wife Katia Stack.  In addition to the vehicle, the report showed the local day care center is hosted by a city owned building paying nothing for its use.

Brian Stack Shame on You

A Hoboken reader who submitted the document offered the following comment:

I received this in the mail today from our "esteemed" State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack. It's a response to the expose that "Shame on You" did on Brian Stack's administration which exposed the free rent, free cars and free gas his administration gives his former wife, Katia Stack and her place of business.

Brian Stack's excuse is that the City owned car was never purchased with tax dollars. While this is true he neglects to mention the city would have benefited by selling the car or using it instead of purchasing other vehicles. This doesn't explain the cost of free gas and possibly maintenance on the vehicle.

Brian Stack feigns ignorance on the matter but how was his former wife able to take free gas? I doubt anyone can do it and some sort of identification or card must be needed. If so who authorized Katia Stack to take gas on the tax payer's dime? Who was afraid to say no to Brian Stack and why?

There are many questions raised by the "Shame on You" investigation but instead of addressing them or taking responsibility for his actions Brian Stack is blaming the fraud not only his ex-wife, who could not have done this unaided, but he also blames the investigator who helped uncover the fraud.

Defrauding the taxpayer is a crime but don't expect Katia Stack or the people who authorized her to steal gas to be prosecuted. This is just another example of the Hudson County machine flagrantly using our dollars to give benefits to their privileged class.

Shame on Brian Stack, Shame on Katia Stack and shame on all of us for not holding both responsible.

Katia Stack - estranged ex-wife of Union City Mayor & State Sen. Brian Stack

Talking Ed Note:  Katia Stack currently serves on the board of the North Hudson Sewerage Authority.  She was the campaign manager for ex-municipal judge Kimberly Glatt's 2009 mayoral campaign.

Union City Mayor Brian Stack made a rare visit to Hoboken's 4th ward prior to the November special election and is closely aligned with Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. 

Related: Grafix Avenger did a feature on this noting the typical disgust among estranged spouses.  For some reason, the Hudson Reporter found this to be worth mentioning - not only naming GA's website but even providing a link.

MSV notes most of the mentions of the work here are anonymous and not linked unless it's Old Guard sexy, like a disagreement among reform minded Hoboken websites or such.  On more than a few occasions Da Horsey has seen a story making reference to a local Hoboken website after the fact and noting, oh that's MSV.

The Hudson Reporter editors are clearly biased against horses.  Here's the link to Grafix Avenger if you must see this story and the best satire in Hoboken but this one didn't touch the earlier story about people reading GA on vacation:

Photo courtesy Fox 5

Horse Sense: Proposed Rent control ordinance so 20th century

Hoboken is decades removed from the days of "On the Waterfront," but the psychology and expectations dominant among some subsidy seeking residents suggests although the calendar shows it's the 21st century, Hoboken's rent control ordinance will retain its 20th century character.

Outside of removing the most heinous penalty to owners inheriting buildings where ticking time bombs lie dormant over decades with outdated regulations and city operations leave them at risk of huge rent liabilities, the proposed rent control ordinance does little more than add a wrinkle around the edges while removing that lone bomb.

Rent control ordinances borne of an economic era long gone by hardly warrant the support local officials give it in reactionary fear of hitting "the third rail."  The need to pander and be all things to all people has kept the current ordinance on the books far past the motives in its intended creation.  Worse, it's fostered an unfair burden on the people who should be given fair consideration as much as anyone - the small homeowners who pay the bulk of the freight in taxes for the whole town.

If the City wishes to be serious about this issue, the debate needs to go to the central point of its usefulness and application overall.  Is there intellectual strength sufficient in government for that to occur?  Well obviously not.  The issue sat in subcommittee over months and months before emerging with hardly any change at all.  Then where does the leadership need to come from to tackle the numerous discriminatory aspects of the proposed outdated ordinance?

Like much of the impetus to update ideas long overdue, answers clearly need to come from the Zimmer Administration.  Notwithstanding the heavy burden of political capital needed to further correct problems in the ordinance, there's no other officials remotely willing to fully engage this issue.  The City Council is now overtaken by the political pandering class in the form of Beth Mason, a group happy to ignore the rights of taxpayers who seek a modicum of efficiency in city government.

MSV requested a position statement on the Administration's willingness to sign off on the existing proposal on the rent control ordinance and was told the mayor would be addressing the matter this week.  The mayor should consider further action tackling deeper the inherent problems in an ordinance several decades old and apply the same consistency for all of Hoboken as it's philosophically positioned with the reval.

Failure to do so means the continued tinkering at the edges will retain the vast discriminatory impact to residents who bear the brunt of a burden unfairly because they lack the political clout of big developers who typically escape the onerous rent control provisions.   The winners in the proposed ordinance are new residents who by luck score a good deal because they were looking for new digs in the mile square.  Why create another entrenched favored class?

It's time for Hoboken to stop pretending its decades old rent control laws are helping existing residents here.  It stopped doing that a long time ago but for a select group who retain the eternal benefit in their existing tenant agreement.  Outside of those who merit such protection, it's mostly aiding people who luck into it by chance who move into Hoboken while placing an undue burden on the small owners who are not politically connected.  If the mayor tackles the issue, it has a chance to be at least slightly better than mediocre.  If not, it's just more of the same with one less onerous bomb removed.

Regardless, the buck stops at the mayor's office.  It's long past time that one group of owners no longer be forced to carry the weight of social engineering by local government. Fairness as in the reval itself requires at a minimum simply that.