Sunday, March 6, 2011

Giattino Rebukes Nino Giacchi on Lack of Concern for Open Space and Heavy Handed Tactics

Jen Giattino for Council announces:

Jennifer Giattino, candidate for City Council in Hoboken's 6th Ward, challenged Councilman Nino Giacchi for attempting to squash the consideration of an ordinance to acquire $20 million in bonding for open space at this week's public Council meeting.

"Had the introduction of this ordinance failed, the residents of Hoboken would have lost the opportunity to discuss this important issue," Giattino stated. "The intent of this bond is not to create a new tax, nor raise an existing one. The City is merely planning to use the current Open Space Fund as a safety valve needed to pay for desperately needed open spaces we all deserve, " Giattino said. "That just makes good long term sense."

"Due to the poor management of past budgets by previous administrations under which Mr. Giacchi has served, our tax dollars have not been utilized to their best potential. If we had been using our money wisely we would have had the funds to maintain our existing parks," Giattino continued.

"If we spend more wisely from now on, we will have the money to maintain our shared resources in the future. It is time to look forward, and not backward. It is time to start working together, instead of suppressing ideas based on petty politics and personal animosities. That kind of outdated thinking is hurting Hoboken taxpayers and has to stop," Giattino emphasized.

"This failed attempt by Mr. Giacchi to cut off even addressing this critical issue is just the latest example of Councilman Giacchi's lackluster performance in office. It is indicative of his constant failure to adequately serve the people he is supposed to represent, and another reason why we need new leaders on the City Council," Giattino concluded.

Thank you,
Jennifer Giattino

On March 3, supporters of Greg Lincoln's candidacy for 3rd Ward City Council came together for Greg's Kickoff and Fundraiser event, held at Willie McBride's in the heart of the 3rd Ward. Speaking at the event were City Councilman Ravi Bhalla, Former City Council President Tony Soares, and Mayor Dawn Zimmer. A transcript of Greg's speech is attached below.

A video of the event is available here: 
Press photos are available here:
Greg's bio and platform are available at the campaign website:

Any follow-up questions should be directed to:
tel: 201-468-0605

Ex-mayoral campaign manager Jake Stuiver blasts Beth Mason's wheeling hypocrisy

Dear Editor:

I was a bit puzzled by Council President Mason’s explanation of her support for Timothy Occhipinti in her letter last week. Ms. Mason has the right to support whomever she wants, but her fixation on Michael Lenz’s acceptance of the city health benefits that are available to all council members does not jibe with her own past conduct on such matters.

Ms. Mason’s concern for Mr. Lenz’s acceptance of city health benefits was apparently great enough to prompt her to find ways to circumvent campaign-finance limits she once held as the centerpiece of her political career in order to funnel $13,400 to his opponent’s campaign. I’m just curious how she reconciles that with her reinstatement of her own council salary and benefits and back-pay request less than two years ago, which seemed reactionary against the public for not embracing her mayoral candidacy.

During Ms. Mason’s spring 2009 mayoral campaign, of which I was part, she frequently touted the fact that she was foregoing her councilperson’s salary and benefits as a display of sincere commitment to the community and the beleaguered budget. Yet within weeks of losing the election, she reinstated both her salary and benefits and even sought $8,816 of back pay. When I reminded her that she had held up the salary forfeiture as a selling point, she dismissed the notion, saying the public obviously didn’t care.

Mr. Lenz had never promised not to take city benefits. His decision to do so and receive a stipend for giving up the benefits from his county job may not have been the most politically astute move for a candidate facing a tough election, but it was not hypocritical. Ms. Mason, on the other hand, claimed to be nobly giving up salary and benefits on principle while running for mayor, then hypocritically reclaimed them once the election was over. And while her wheeling $13,400 beyond the $2,600 individual-contribution limit to Mr. Occhipinti’s campaign was apparently technically legal due to a loophole in the law, it was a legality of precisely the nudge, nudge, wink, wink sort that Ms. Mason once claimed to vehemently stand against, rendering herself a leading proponent and would-be perpetuator of the very political tactics those of us who once supported her thought we were helping to end.

I found Ms. Mason’s arguments to be wholly disingenuous. She did not facilitate campaign-finance reform, she neutered and scuttled it. And she did not wheel money to Mr. Occhipinti because she disagreed with a decision by Mr. Lenz that was benign compared with her own salary shenanigans. I believe she did it because she wanted to be council president and Tim was the swing vote to clinch her ambitions. Such false claims are insulting to people’s intelligence, and unfortunately the only transparency to be found under Ms. Mason’s council presidency is in her cynical rationalizations for bad government.


Jake Stuiver

Talking Ed Note: Jake Stuiver is currently a Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner.  This letter was featured in the weekend Hudson Reporter.

The Hoboken Journal posted an exclusive story on Beth Mason's attempt to have a political sign promoting her council candidacy in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.  His story includes an actual picture of the sign not allowed by the parade organizers to appear.  The complete story:

Former Fire Chief Richard Tremitiedi to Council - use the caucus system

Council caucus requested in 2008 and needed now, more than ever

There are too many extra long Hoboken city council meetings, some going seven hours.
This is not good for the public interest since it acts as a filibuster to the public portion of the meeting causing many to leave, those who remain get tired and who really wants to be there, talk or listen at 2 am the next day. At the last session one citizen said shame on the city council and another said that they are alienating the public. I concur with both statements and something has to be changed.

This condition is of long standing.  During the lengthy council meeting of March 19, 2008, councilman Nino Giacci recommended a return to having a caucus to expedite council business.  This has merit since items and issues can be discussed, consensus gained and new items can be pulled if the council needs more study time or requires additional information. My letter to the Editor, Hoboken Reporter, was published March 30, 2008, [Bringing back council caucuses will improve productivity] suggested change. I have also spoken at council meetings in follow up.  Unfortunately, it could not gain a council majority.

 In my opinion, planning and organization will be greatly improved by having a council caucus before the meeting. Accordingly, I am again recommending this with the hope that the city council will now seriously consider implementation for improved time management to better serve the public. The governing body should set the example and act professionally.  Personal politics should be reserved for their individual campaigns

Richard Tremitiedi

Republicans of Hoboken fete local politicos, author Christopher Whalen

The Republicans of Hoboken hosted author Christopher Whalen with a sold out wall to wall crowd of 100 in attendance last Tuesday night.

Almost every City Hall official and likely council club runner was in attendance and the mayor arrived late for dessert and the speaker as well kicking off the official city wide ward council races throughout Hoboken May 10th.

The Republicans of Hoboken speaker series was a hot event and not a seat was available as they had to turn away some late door arrivals but Da Horsey was invited to stand near the kitchen as honorary mascot.  

Here's our pictorial essay on the big shindig:

Christopher Whalen author of "Inflated: How Money and Debt built the American Dream," didn't have good news although he threw some red meat for a more conservative Hoboken audience saying more bad news is coming with inflation and a weak economy sure to follow the build up of bad American fiscal policy.   2nd Ward candidate Tom Greaney looked sharp and confident with a prime seat (center) for Whalen's remarks.
Mismatched: James Sanford, Young Republicans Hudson County Chair (center) bemused at his table sitting next to anti-Administration leader and head of the local Chamber of Commerce Mike Novak with 4th ward Council seat holder Tim Occhipinti.  Across from James is politico Perry Belfiore who is collecting petitions for another 5th ward council run against incumbent Peter Cunningham
5th ward Councilman Peter Cunningham listening to the speaker looked confident in his 5th ward home base

6th ward Councilman Nino Giacchi has a friendly discussion with 2nd ward resident Scott Siegel who has been sharply critical of the Mason-Russo 'majority' on fiscal and free speech issues.
4th ward council candidate Rami Pinchevsky (left) listens intently to Christopher Whalen's bad economic news.  Far right former Republican Congressional candidate Henrietta Dwyer took in the bad news with somewhat less surprise.  In blue center is Forde Prigot, a local Republican who is a staunch advocate of Mayor Zimmer and her responsible fiscal policy.
3rd ward council candidate Greg Lincoln (rear right) during the dinner.  While his opponent Councilman Mike Russo was not in attendance, seated to his right was BoE commissioner Leon Gold.
6th ward council candidate Jen Giattino attended and has been out and about of late at city events showing she's making a serious bid against long time incumbent Nino Giacchi.
5th ward resident Scott Delea allowed MSV permission for this isolated photo.
Although he's not declared for the 5th ward council seat his name surfaced that day in a costly Bet Mazin poll.
Scott is the founder of "Party with a Purpose" and has not declared his intentions to run again for council.
5th ward candidate in waiting Perry Belfiore enjoyed the dinner.  To his right Tim Occhipinti looks for guidance on which fork to use.  There was no room for any instructional binders at the sell out event.
2nd ward Councilwoman Beth Mason worked a table during the dinner.
She left shortly before the speaker as did other politicos on her side of the fence.
The reform minded candidates scattered across the room including Peter Cunningham all stayed.

Das book - lots were available but only one left without a new home 

Mayor Dawn Zimmer arrived late for the event but found a seat for the heavy fiscal message by Christopher Whalen.  Behind her center is host and organizer for the event Republicans of Hoboken chair Diana Davis.
Congratulations to her and the ROH for a superb event.
Wall to wall: not a seat could be found for the sold out ROH event.  

All pictures taken without the use of flash as not to interfere with the diners.

City offers free parking for residents in flood areas

Free Garage Parking For Residents In Flood Prone Areas

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for our area. Due to the potential for flooding, the City of Hoboken is providing free parking in municipal Garage B (located on 2nd Street between Hudson and River streets) through Monday, March 7 at 8am for residents who reside in flood prone areas and have a valid Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit placard.

The offer is available on a first-come first-served basis. Due to the large amount of visitors for this weekend's festivities, parking in Garage B is more limited than usual.

A map of flood-prone areas is available on the City website: