Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is Hoboken lacking fiber? More City Council madness tonight

No, we're not talking about dietary fiber but a different kind entirely somewhat missing at the last City Council meeting.  MSV lost count on the number of abuses of the rules, protocols, and courtesies normally extended by members to each other.  It's like nothing we've seen at City Council meetings before and there's been a checkered past there at times over the years.

A new voice has emerged, one with dignity and strength and respect for our traditions.  We're not talking about Hoboken's government traditions of theft, bribery, extortion, nepotism, etc., but of our Republic - the rule of law.  It's T. Paine.  (see below)

As former City Council President Carol Marsh said at the last City Council meeting during one brouhaha, "We follow the rules when we want," - the less than honorable Beth Mason presiding.

She was one fine Council President.  Hoboken lost when Carol Marsh surrendered the gavel.  The midnight power grab brought to you courtesy of Tim Occhipinti and his Beth Mason funded 575 paid 'campaign workers.'  Thanks again Beth!

Tonight Hoboken gets an introduced budget and another 5% tax reduction from the mayor, a police union agreement, the POG ordinance final reading - less that pesky anti-wheeling provision Beth Mason really doesn't like to hear about - at all, and of course an endless display of bad governance, items rotated back to committees where they started meaning no additional outdoor cafe time as that's been stalled too.  (Local businesses can thank Terry Castellano who is against them and enjoys kicking this one round and round.)

The Hoboken Journal is doing yeoman's work with live coverage beginning at 7:00.

Here's some notes from the mayor on the meeting tonight:

Dear Friends,
Until we meet, here’s some quick highlights:
  1. Budget introduction tonight includes 10 percent tax cut since FY 2010
    (5% Transition year 2010 + 5% SFY 2011)
  2. Responsible cash surplus level of approximately $5 million - 5 percent of total budget (Any lower would be fiscally irresponsible and damaging to our bond rating.  Beware of politicians falsely claiming that we have $25 million of available surplus – We Don’t!).
  3. Reached agreement with the Police unions that saves Hoboken $700,000 over previous agreement negotiated by Judy Tripodi.

    The agreements also provide ongoing annual savings of an estimated $200,000.  (In addition to multi-million dollar annual savings from restructuring of the Dept).

    Finally, the agreement on the agenda tonight gives both our Police officers and our citizens the security of an agreement going into the future for the first time in many years.
  4. Parks initiatives:  Tonight, we are proposing a $20 million bond, funded entirely by the Open Space Trust Fund that Councilman Cunningham and I sponsored a few years ago.  This funding is crucial to enabling us to stop talking about acquiring new open space and actually move ahead and get it done

Rising from the ashes: Patricia Waiters reborn, cites first hand account of vote buying but ignored by media

In Hoboken, partisanship can reach levels in its political circles making New York City officeholders and their kin look like absolute pikers.  Paid political operatives take their work so seriously, long term unemployment is accepted if it means venting hatred to a political opponent and extends some happiness to their joyless life.  The volume is amping up again with the elections in May nearing but in that toxic mix there's some room for optimism.

Patricia Waiters a perennial candidate for various elected offices for some time was part of the old guard camp and a strong back of former mayor Peter Cammarano.  For a while she defended the arrested and now convicted mayor but last year a change occurred.

A run for a volunteer position on the Hoboken Board of Education seat came up short and she was not too pleased about it.  In the meeting after the BoE elections that saw a Kids First sweep, she voiced her displeasure about voting machine problems feeling it was the difference in her campaign.

But in the fall, something happened.  Patricia Waiters turned on the old guard and decided she would back Lenz for Council.  She appeared at a kickoff event speaking to various attendees.  After that her life became more complicated.

While attending a Hoboken High School football game with her family on a Friday night, her car was vandalized with an anti-Lenz message.  Waiters appeared publicly before the City Council and retold the story that was covered in the Jersey Journal saying she did not appreciate the attacks especially while she was with her family.

Two weeks ago Patricia Waiters spoke at the City Council in the public portion.  Although the mayor was known to be scheduled to issue a proclamation, there was no seat set aside near the front of the room for her.  Waiters noted mayors in other nearby towns were treated with more respect and asked why certain Council members talk about demonstrating it but fail to do so.  Beth Mason interjected a lack of knowledge the mayor was coming although the proclamations issuance was known to all council attendees in advance.

This was merely a sidebar to what Patricia Waiters would say before the Council.  She railed against the attacks on herself that evening noting an Old Guard political operative had attacked her in the City Council Chambers calling her "poor."

Waiters goes on to say people of the 4th ward are being exploited and are vulnerable describing how an old Spanish woman showed her a $10 bill with the letters 9D written on it instructing her to vote.

Waiters also passionately states, "I would never sell my vote."  She railed against exploitation of "vulnerable people," in the ward among other things.

Here's part two of of that segment:

Did you see a mention of this in the Hudson Reporter?  No, but they did cover another complaint by Margaret O'Brien, this on the public information policy.  She made a warning that although she is employed as a crossing guard she wouldn't be silenced.  The Corporation Counsel stated earlier personal speech of city workers is not impacted in the policy.  Still the HR felt it was a great quote overlooking Patricia Waiters who spoke previous.

"Someone else's crime is not your defense," Patricia Waiters said in pushing for an anti-wheeling measure.  Sometimes you have to wonder if the local press will understand that too even as the crimes Ms. Waiters speaks of have reached the desk of the NJ Attorney General's Office.

Oh and who was 9D on the ballot last November?  Tim Occhipinti.
The more you know...

Street Fight begins: Eric Kurta Takes Hoboken - with 1st Ward Outdoor Signs!

Eric Kurta seizes the day with a new campaign sign at a Hoboken bus stop.  That's getting the name out!

Eric Kurta's big outdoor sign,  is seen on Washington and 2nd St. (click to enlarge)  

Eric Kurta - with sign in background.  This is NOT a drill

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