Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Greg Lincoln, 'After the latest Russo taxpayer looting, knock him out of the chair on finance'

Lincoln for Council announces:


LINCOLN CALLS ON MASON TO REMOVE RUSSO AS CHAIR OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE
 




Dear Council President Mason,   Last week Mayor Zimmer released audit findings revealing that former Mayor and convicted felon Anthony Russo was receiving city health benefits that he was not qualified to receive following his conviction and imprisonment for taking bribes and illegal cash payments.    

In response to questions, Councilman Russo has not denied prior knowledge of his father's benefits; nor has Russo denied covering up his father's benefits during an investigation he personally conducted in 2008 into former employees illegally receiving city benefits. Instead of addressing these allegations, Russo has attempted to shift blame to the business administrator and Mayor Zimmer for conducting an audit that saves the city money.   


Russo’s evasiveness in this matter speaks volumes about the manner in which he conducts city business and manages our tax dollars. Russo’s actions show he is incapable of conducting himself with the objectivity and impartiality that the position of Chair of the Finance Committee demands.  The residents and taxpayers of Hoboken expect the Chair of the Finance Committee to act first and foremost in the best interests of the city, to be beyond reproach, and to avoid any appearance of impropriety.  


In view of Russo's questionable behavior and the considerable indebtedness of the Russo family to the city, there is a blatant conflict of interest to have Councilman Russo remain as Chair of the Finance Committee. 


It is incumbent upon you as Council President to immediately remove Russo as Chair of the Finance Committee until the issue of his family's health benefits and his father's court ordered restitution debts to the city are resolved. To allow Councilman Russo to remain as Chair of Finance Committee is an affront to open and honest government, and will erode the confidence of the public in the City Council's ability to conduct the business of the city. 
 
Sincerely, 
Greg Lincoln 
3rd Ward City Council Candidate


Links:
Campaign Press photos: http://bit.ly/fuTwuy Campaign website: http://LincolnForCouncil.com Campaign phone: 201-468-0605 Campaign email: LincolnForCouncil@gmail.com
Sources:
Russo Response to Lincoln Questions in the Hudson Reporter: http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/12372838/article--In-Hoboken--Councilman-Russo-responds-to-opponent-s-press-release-
http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/12379061/article--Mayor-Zimmer--Health-benefits-for-Russo-were-discovered-last-fall-
Press Release: Lincoln Demands Answers  From Russo on Illegal Health Benefits: http://lincolnforcouncil.com/index.php?page=pressrelease&content=extended&id=2


Mayor Zimmer’s letter to City Council, March 11, 2011, stating termination of former Mayor Russo’s health benefits, in “Ethics Ordinance” on page 2 of: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/respack11/respac-3-16-11.pdf
Video of Dec. 3, 2008 Hoboken City Council meeting where Councilman Russo claims to have uncovered evidence of employees illegally receiving health benefits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps4CmBwRuGE
Hudson Reporter article, March 2, 2006, by Tom Jennemann, stating former 


Mayor Russo’s termination of health benefits: http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_stories_home/2408422/article-Russo-s-pension-cut-in-half-Jailed-former-mayor-receives-no-credit-for-time-spent-as-chief-executive


Hudson Reporter article, January 25, 2009, by Tim Carroll, explaining Councilman Russo’s confusion over the number of employees illegally receiving health benefits: http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/1821809/article-City--It-was-a-mistake-Five-not-qualified-but-receiving-city-benefits--two-others-under-review-
 lincolnforcouncil.com

Beth Mason says, 'Don't blame me, my consultants insist I hug it out with the mayor'

Councilwoman Beth Mason is in a helleva bind.  She ran a push poll some weeks back all over town attempting to poison the political atmosphere for her political opponents while collecting data for her own use and upcoming 2nd ward council race against challenger Tom Greaney.

The results must have given her agita for a good many nights as she received the same conclusion as another widespread poll earlier was rumored to learn - Mayor Zimmer's efforts are being noticed and Hoboken people like what they see.  The data must be similar showing a large gap of the mayor's favorable ratings to those unfavorable in the range of the not insignificant area of 20%.  As a result, Beth Mason's website is now updated to show this:


Notice the pictures highlighted in red.  Councilwoman Beth Mason who has on the whole opposed and sometimes virulently so any measure proposed by the mayor is now trying to convince voters they're BFF.  Look above and you'll see dated pictures back in the day when Beth Mason was part of the reform movement.  You'll have to take MSV's word the pictures are old because there's nothing recent of note showing them all happy faced together.

Instead of working as part of a positive group in City Council to advance Hoboken's best interests, Beth Mason chose to embrace the Old Guard elements and worst of all the Russo family and their infamous appetite for sucking on the taxpayer monies in any and every shape possible. Whether it meant backing a pilot for Church Towers with no income means testing or undermining the Hertz Connect Corner Cars program, Mason went all in to undermine the mayor's agenda.  Nary a word from her on the latest Russo $100,000 ripoff of taxpayers either.  (But she did join in a vindictive vote to have Director Ian Sacs pay a $1,000 transportation bill after the fact.  The cost had been approved in advance for a professional development conference held this time in Vancouver.  That retroactive bill paying measure failed Beth and the Russo family member votes came up short.)

Now with the clarity of the mayor's favorable ratings known on both sides of the political aisle, Beth Mason finds herself attempting to convince the public she's just another supporter "working with" the mayor instead of fighting to undermine good policy presented by the Administration at every turn.

Must be galling to deploy that strategy but if it achieves the ends of today, Mason has decided it's the lesser of two evils.  Losing yet another election, this one for the 2nd ward council seat is the death knell to her larger political ambitions.  She has little use for the 2nd ward council seat other than to advance herself for higher office.  An insider declared their surprise when she openly voiced just that sentiment back in her earlier mayoral run.

But that doesn't come as much of a surprise to many readers.  They know the game having seen Beth Mason in action since the last mayoral election.  Hopes she would see the light and "come home," have never materialized.

They never will either.  Get used to it as any close observer will tell you, it's going this way right into the May council elections.  The Hoboken electorate will decide Beth Mason's political future in this town and it's for all the marbles.

How much do the marbles cost?  Well some Hoboken voters just refuse to be bought at any price.  Soon, we're going to all find out what that means in the city council ward elections.

Hoboken says resist, 'I can't drive 55!' and far better

City of Hoboken announces:


TRAFFIC CALMING MEASURES REDUCE AVERAGE SPEEDS ON 15TH STREET BELOW 20MPH
Community Meeting Rescheduled For March 29

The City of Hoboken announced today that it has successfully piloted the "Your Speed Is" radar sign system as the latest addition to its "Traffic Calming Toolkit," which is planned for introduction to the community at a public meeting. The meeting will be hosted by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs on March 29th from 7-9pm in the basement floor conference room of City Hall, 94 Washington Street.



The signs are the latest in a series of measures implemented at this location, resulting in average vehicle speeds of less than 20 mph. Installed on 15th Street between Garden and Park Streets, the sign was positioned to address resident concerns about eastbound speeding along this corridor. The signs are the next step in a series of proof-of-concept measures that have been piloted along 15th Street and subsequently added to the Toolkit.



February 16, 2011 omitted from data reduction due to roadway construction

"This location is the so-called demonstration area for our graduated approach to addressing speeding concerns, where we use solutions that escalate in cost and effort until we find an appropriate balance," said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs. "On average, drivers are operating their cars at less than 20 miles per hour here; it's great!"

In July of last year, the Department of Transportation and Parking updated pavement markings at intersections and narrowed travel lanes along 15th Street, resulting in nearly all drivers on this corridor driving at speeds below the 25mph speed limit. Continued concerns allowed the testing of additional measures including "Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalk" signage and most recently the "Your Speed Is" radar signs. The signs are installed for a period of several weeks and then relocated elsewhere as part of the educational and self-enforcement components of the City's soon-to-be-released Traffic Calming Toolkit.

The new Toolkit is designed to clarify and formalize the process by which pedestrian safety concerns will continue to be systematically addressed. Residents are invited to the community meeting on March 29 to discuss pedestrian safety and other transportation issues.


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Hoboken Historical Museum announces...

Play Ball!
The Museum will be fielding a team to play in a re-creation of the original first recorded "Base Ball" game in Hoboken, on Sat., June 18. If you're interested in playing, call 201-656-2240.

Kids "R" Us!
• Check out some of the fun student and family programs developed by our Education Curator, Robin
 Westervelt. For more details, visit our home pageand click on "school & scouting." 
• 
Uptown Storytimecontinues on the first and third Thursdays: Apr. 7, 21, May 5, 19, and Jun. 2, 16. 
• 
On June 12, for our Spring Family Fun day, Maricel Presilla, Mario Lepore and Nestor Lagman will show you how to make chocolate, yum-yum ice cream and clever fruit carvings.

    Baby Parade, May15
    Start planning your costumes and festooning your carriages...the Annual Baby Parade returns to the Hoboken waterfront on Sunday, May 15, starting at 1 pm. Trophies awarded for the cleverest and cutest costumes.
    Angus Gillespie's 1999 book.
    Angus Gillespie's 1999 book.
    "Sweet" and "Open River" Talks
    This Sunday, don't miss our next "Open River" talk, part of our series on Hoboken's relationship with the Hudson River. More speakers are scheduled in April, including "The Candy Professor" and the author of a biography of Sir Thomas Lipton. Admission is free for Museum members; a $5 donation is suggested for nonmembers.
    "Remembering the Twin Towers"
    Sunday, Mar. 27, at 4 p.m.

    Rutgers University American Studies professor Angus Gillespie will discuss the World Trade Center towers and their role as a national symbol. A folklore researcher who has studied myths, legends, tales and ballads across the U.S., he published Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center in 1999. He donated his research notes and primary materials to the Rutgers Library so that others can use them.

    "Tootsie Tales from Candy Land"
    Sunday, Apr. 10, at 4 p.m.

    Rutgers professor Samira Kawash has made a study of the history of candy in America. She's working on a book about the origins and evolution of candy, and her blog, candyprofessor.com, is a fascinating read for candy fans. She visits the Museum on Sunday, April 10, at 4 p.m. to share insights from her research about Tootsie Rolls, Necco wafers, candy bars and more.

    A Full Cup: Sir Thomas Lipton
    Saturday, Apr. 23, at 4 p.m.

    Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael D'Antonio will talk about the man who was the original entrepreneur/sportsman/philanthropist, Sir Thomas Lipton. A Full Cup, D'Antonio's biography of the tea baron, tells the story of Lipton's rise from poverty in Glasgow, Scotland, to his dazzling success building a chain of grocery stores and a tea empire, and his pursuit of the America's Cup. 

    First Impressions: Photos by Don Sichler
    After taking a break from photography for 20 years, Don Sichler got the bug again when he bought new digital camera in 2005. An avid urban walker, he first visited Hoboken just two years ago on an expedition with his hiking group. Last year, 
    the Queens native moved to Hoboken from Manhattan with his wife and son, and he has spent hours exploring the city's nooks and cranniesHe says he loves the city's distinct character and its walkability. "I look for the beauty in ordinary things," he explains.
    Sichler found himself inspired by color and light and taking somewhat abstract photos, which he crops and manipulates on his computer for hue, contrast, brightness and saturation. About 20 of them are on display in the Museum's Upper Gallery in a show titled, "First Impressions, Photos by Don Sichler." The photographer returns on Sunday, Apr. 17, at 4 pm for an artist's talk.

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