Wednesday, May 4, 2011

City Council Slamfest @ 7:00

Pt. 1

Pt. 2

The super slamfest City Council meeting tonight is the last before the election.  It promises to be filled with acrimony, politirickin and the last possible staged operation of Mason411.

Already the legal documents on a discrimination suit filed by police officers some years back was leaked to Hoboken411.  The information from the mayor's office was confidential until someone on the City Council decided to give it to Councilwoman Mason's ghostwriting minion who took it and twisted it into a new pretzel blaming the mayor for the internal problem between police officers and Lt. Andriani.

This week is proving to be quite ugly on the campaign trail. Now why should it be any different in Council Chambers?  It's not likely to get any better until Tuesday night's election results are in.

You are all set to get your friends and neighbors out to vote aren't you?  Hoboken's destiny weighs in the balance: in a big way.

Okay, here's tonight's agenda:

And the resolutions:

Talking Ed Note: The meeting had some teachable moments as they say with the Russo-Mason 'majority' taking us for a walk on obfuscation and obstruction.  The budget surplus at its minimal 5% level is being played with and Councilman Nino Giacchi got the memo beforehand condemning it back to subcommittee.

Can't do the responsible thing here since Councilwoman Beth Mason is politrickin all over town on this budget issue.  To pass the budget now would reveal her lies on the matter which are numerous days before the election.

Councilman Giacchi had another superb moment himself obfuscating on another illegal resolution, this one on the hospital.  The resolution injects the City Council into a matter of the pending hospital sale even though they do not have the legal authority.  This dance continued for a good while and Nino Giacchi only aided and abetted.

The election is Tuesday, May 10th.  It's really time to have a serious, professional City Council.  This one is like 8th graders playing city government.  They have a Phd in obstruction and politrickin and believe you will not work to change it.

Will you?

Mayor Zimmer on the 2nd ward council race

In an interview with Mayor Dawn Zimmer, the reform candidates she is endorsing are contrasted against their main challengers.  In this segment taken from an interview at Harvest Cuisine, the mayor discusses how she sees the 2nd ward election and the differences between Councilwoman Beth Mason and challenger Tom Greaney.

The full interview covering issues from the pending sale of the Hospital to the elections with a ward by ward evaluation will be airing soon.

Mayoral letter to council speaks to several current issues

Office of the Mayor announces:

May 4, 2011

Dear City Council Members:

I am writing to provide an update on several important issues.


During review, the construct of the current towing contract was found to be in conflict with state contracting laws. Prior towing bid specifications were structured such that only an in-town towing vendor would qualify. Since there is only one in-town towing vendor, such a requirement illegally excludes all other potential bidders from the competitive process. In fact, a previous bidder had informed us that they would sue, exposing the City to risk of litigation. To correct this conflict with state law, new bid specifications were released to include vendors with a “storage location within 5 miles of the boundary of the City of Hoboken” and a response time “within 20 minutes” of the initial request.

When members of the Council were made aware of this change, concerns were expressed that a tow yard located out of Hoboken would be overly inconvenient to individuals retrieving their cars. In response to this concern, the bid specifications included a potential alternative that allowed for short-term storage of vehicles at a “municipally-controlled storage facility”. Any city-owned facilities, including the city’s municipal garage, were referenced as potential short-term storage locations.

In other words, the bid specifications provided options to specifically address concerns raised by City Council members and Councilman Russo in particular. These options would allow residents to retrieve their vehicles locally instead of out of town.

After all responses are received for the revised bid, my Administration intends to hold a community meeting to receive public input with regard to whether temporary storage of towed vehicles at a convenient location is a desirable option and if so which locations would be best. Based on that input, we would then, together with the City Council, make a decision on how to proceed. 

If the Council wishes to eliminate options prior to receipt of public input at this community meeting, my Administration will respect that recommendation. Please note that requiring that towing be located in the City of Hoboken is not a legally permissible option. The choice of vendors must be made based on legal requirements, and the City is required to provide truthful and legally permissible reasons for its choice of vendors.


After decades of fiscal mismanagement, I’m proud that Hoboken has had a series of honest, gimmick-free, and fully-funded budgets. Even as we’ve tackled infrastructure challenges, a slew of legacy lawsuits, and unsettled contract negotiations, we have managed to cut costs and introduce a budget that reduces the municipal tax levy by 10% since Fiscal Year 2010 and contains a 5% cash surplus. This is crucial since credit rating agencies and other financial experts recommend that a municipality’s cash surplus represent 5% to 10% of the total budget.

In addition, our City still faces many expensive infrastructure challenges. This includes repairing our waterfront, building new parks, upgrading our water infrastructure, and burying unsightly utility wires. Taking on these challenges will require significant bonding which is why it is so important to maintain a surplus and thereby improve our near-junk status bond rating and lower borrowing costs.

For all these reasons I am concerned about the long-term fiscal health of the City and that our ability to fix these problems may suffer as a result of the over-politicization of our City’s finances. Some Council Members have even stated that the City should completely deplete its surplus – a fiscally irresponsible one-shot gimmick like those that led to a state takeover and a massive tax increase. I strongly urge the Council to put politics aside, maintain a 5% cash surplus so we can improve our bond rating and address our infrastructure challenges, and act in a fiscally responsible manner that ensures the long-term success of our great City.

Pantoja Lawsuit/SWAT Litigation

It is unfortunate that as we have worked to clean up lawsuits inherited from past Administrations, a confidential memo protected by attorney-client privilege regarding a settlement agreement emailed to you on April 20th from Business Administrator Liston has been inappropriately leaked to a political blog for political purposes, potentially damaging the City’s legal interests and costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Worse, the public is being misled about the facts. As you know, if a settlement is reached, the vast majority of the settlement would be covered by the City’s insurance carrier.

The issues involved in this litigation include allegations of discrimination by former Lt. Andriani against members of the Hoboken Police Department. Lt. Andriani was terminated from City employment on May 10, 2010. Under my Administration, City employees, including the Police Department, have completed civil rights training and will be required to complete this training every year. My Administration has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.

This matter, which concerns ongoing litigation, was to be discussed in closed session at this week’s Council meeting in order to protect the City’s legal and financial interests. As a result of the release of confidential information, the item is being removed from the agenda so Corporation Counsel can assess the damage that may have been done to the City and make a determination as to how to proceed to best protect the City’s financial interests. 

Council Members are reminded of their obligation to keep confidential information confidential and understand that this obligation is not an option, but a legal and ethical requirement to which they each swore to upkeep.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

A Hoboken advocate suggests...

The Advocate of Hoboken
May 10th, Important Council Election.  Polls open at 6:00 AM, Close at 8:00 PM 

It's about honest government, your taxes, your town.

Please Vote:  Tom Greaney, Jen Giattino, Eric Kurta, Peter Cunningham, Rami Pinchevsky, Greg Lincoln

Uncle Sam 

Plan to get to the polls on May 10th.    

Please make plans to vote.  

Have you seen the number of absentee ballots in the Board of Ed election?  The machine just keeps cheating and will continue until we vote them out, until they know their efforts are futile. 

Lack of participation in elections is what allows corruption to happen.  The machine is counting on you not showing.  If they are the only ones who predominately vote, then they'll will decide what to do with your money whether it's ethical or not.  Tell them you won't let them get away with it any more. 

The polls open at 6:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.  Know where you polling station is.

Polling Stations. Click Here.

Click on the images to see in which ward you reside. Ward Map north

Ward Map South 


This is the final stretch . . . . 

We are on the verge of some really terrific changes if we can just get in the candidates that are not bought out by developers and special interests.

Hoboken can turn from what was the poster child for corruption to the example of what good government looks like. 

Vote for honest government, those who are elected by the people not special interests:

Peter Cunningham, Tom Greaney, Eric Kurta, Jen Giattino, Rami Pinchevsky, Greg Lincoln.

Get to the polls for yourself, your town, your friends and neighbors in town.  Be counted.

It takes 5 minutes at 7:00 AM to vote.  There is never a line at my polling station at that time. 

Do you want to do more than vote?  Help your candidate on election day.  Hand out flyers at the PATH, be a Poll Worker to combat corruption.  They can tell you how you can help: 

Rami Pinchevsky: 
Heather James

Greg Lincoln:
Deirdre Wall

Peter Cunningham
Robin Brown

Eric Kurta:
Francis Jennings

Tom Greaney
Cindy Cray

Jen Giattino
Alissa Brachfeld

The Russo-Mason Empire Strikes Back: Attacks Jake Stuiver with midnight flyer

The mud is really flying now with a midnight flyer appearing in the 3rd ward, apparent retaliation to the Jake Stuiver's recounting of Beth Mason's sentiments on being a 2nd ward councilwoman.

The flyer shows a picture of Jake Stuiver and accuses him of buying votes in the HHA.  Unlike the standard $40 believed by many observers as paid for votes, it claims rent will be paid, a far more generous offer.  It requests the reader to contact the NJ Attorney General's office.

Currently, the only complaint filed with the NJ Attorney General came from the Hudson County Prosecutor's office.  The numerous issues raised from the 4th ward special election all concern problems stemming from Tim Occhipinti's campaign.

In a bit of added irony, the Mike Lenz camapaign received all of 20 votes in the HHA while Tim Occhipinti unknown to its residents managed to submit 500 paper ballots while paying over 550 people to "campaign" for him, most coming from the housing authority at $40 per person.

The end of the flyer instructs the reader to call Jake Stuiver "because City Hall is not for sale," - the catch phrase Stuiver used in leading a City Hall protest against Councilman Mike Russo.  The protest took place after FBI surveillance tapes were released showing the 3rd ward councilman agreeing to trade developer support for an excessive donation to his campaign, "Russo for Hoboken.

MSV deleted the personal information for publication.

Talking Ed Note: Does anyone know where Beth Mason's minion was last night?
We'll try and get an original from Councilman Mike Russo and Beth Mason.  Councilman Mike Russo represents the third ward where the flyer surfaced on cars.

Perhaps they will accuse a reform member of the council for doing this.  Ah, the politrickin is in full season now.