Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hoboken Streets on Silent Lockdown after FBI Haul at City Hall

After today's official word came down of the FBI's dash and carry at City Hall earlier today, the echoes of panic are not just taking hold, they are literally causing the mile square streets to freeze in a total lockdown gripped in fear.

Exhibit number one, Grafix Avenger dragging her Russo insider Deep Uvula out for a bath in the warm spring sun earlier today.

Much like moving a vampire from its coffin in daytime, the results weren't exactly comfortable.   A couple of lines from the   petrified gelatin of flesh:

This is ugly.  Jail is no joke....
And stay off the fucking internet.  

Da Horsey earlier received some words of wisdom from the street from a second hand, unconfirmed source.  But there's an erie similarity to Deep Uvula with a similar refrain on the matter of the active investigation: "That shit is fucked up.  Some people are going down.  A lot of people are going down.  I'm telling you, a lot of people are going down."

MSV tried to get further confirmation but the party to the conversation assured us, it wasn't possible adding the effort had been made and the reply was, "Nobody can say anything at all," in response to even mentioning a list of names.

Talking Ed Note: The scorecard will be the proof in the pudding but MSV trusting its innate horse sense said the first casualty would not be the end, but only the beginning.  Nothing has transpired since to lead us to any other conclusion.

You don't need a scorecard to notice that other than a random boink sighting here and there along with imploding lies tossed out by Hoboken411, the lockdown has been well underway and the marching orders have been issued.

Happy Nightmares Minions!

More from Grafix Avenger's Deep Uvula:

City confirms electronic communications breach: FBI investigating

City of Hoboken announces:

As a result of compromised security in the electronic communications within the City (in violation of 18 U.S.C.A. section 2511 and 1030), Mayor Zimmer’s office contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation notifying the agency of the potential breach. The FBI is investigating the matter with the full cooperation of the City. The FBI and the City request that anyone with information that may be relevant to this matter call the FBI’s Newark office at 973-792-3000.

Talking Ed Note:  MSV is breaking protocol to note it's clear that the breach of "electronic communications," is another way of saying emails.

In a phone call earlier with Councilwoman Beth Mason, she declined to comment saying she was unaware of the breaking situation and indicated nothing more needed to be said at this time.

It will be interesting if the resolution seeking emails of the mayor's staff and local media and political campaigns moves forward with the FBI investigation underway.

MSV named near the top of the resolution and co-sponsored by Councilman Mike Russo is prepared to read some of the emails sent in response to the hundreds of releases from the City at the next City Council meeting.

TEN 2: A reader just submitted a sighting near City Hall:  

"just happened to see 'a person' loading an entire hand truck full of boxes of documents into a big black blacked out window SUV, that had government plates. When the SUV left town it seemed to be heading in the direction of FBI headquarters in Newark."

BREAKING: Hoboken please give a warm welcome to the FBI

Hoboken on pins and needles most of the week with the verified reports of outside agencies visiting Hoboken leading to the padlocking of the IT office is now playing host to some friends today: the FBI.

The anticipation of what's occurred with the two IT people no longer on duty and suspected data breaches of confidential information in analysis by MSV has proven correct.  In a short story released by Hoboken Patch, the FBI's arrival is confirmed along with the exact statutes cited here earlier.

A statement from the City is probably coming at some point today but the word is out leading into the holiday weekend.

The Feds are back in town.

A link to one of the related statutes, which carries a prison term of five years:

Talking Ed Note: Welcome guys, so glad you could make it.

Budget Meeting Post Mortem: Hydra in Da House

Last night, Hoboken witnessed the final death throes of the City Council chaired by Councilwoman Beth Mason and led in circles by her ally, the man who barely escaped bribery arrest, Councilman Mike Russo. It was a budget meeting but it might as well been a Fellini movie scripted by the Sopranos.

Even with a new council majority about to enter on July 1, the egos, grandstanding and remnants of the Beth Russo legacy are still with us. There's no professional standard to maintain let alone improve Hoboken's bond rating with financial agencies - the efforts by that Old Guard of which Beth Mason is now firmly a part, means Hoboken may again be riding in testy financial waters if they have their way.

The City Council is still dealing with the Beth Russo hydra

The meeting result, no action after over four hours of discussions and it ended with divisions on the percentage of surplus to be retained. Of the financial view of municipal industry professionals, it's the reform minority attempting to improve Hoboken's bond rating currently situated but one level above junk.

The Old Guard forces meanwhile just want to break below the 5% minimum recommended by industry professionals and advocated by Mayor Zimmer. Their professional recommendation is based on, is derived from, well there's isn't one, it's completely arbitrary whim.

Their clear objective is to take some credit for returning money to taxpayers in a one shot refund even if it leads to more financial problems and larger taxes next year. That's the political formula they swim in and they're obviously comfortable doing so. Pointing the finger and blaming others later will be no problem for them whatsoever. Setting the City up for failure in the next budget year with higher taxes is of no concern, in fact that may be their only true objective here.

Councilman Nino Giacchi picked a number of $1.5 million to retain as a surplus, a figure equal in percentage terms to the budget and late in the evening tried to advocate that as a compromise. Unfortunately, it's not based on any municipal professionally advised standard. When asked by Councilman Peter Cunningham how he came to such a figure, he had no professional assessment to base his position. He was joined by Councilwoman Terry Castellano in this arbitrary selection.

This was posited as reasonable considering Councilman Mike Russo's complete irresponsible urgings through the course of the evening ranging from putting the city into a $1 million deficit immediately eliminating all the surplus to cutting $500,000 in both Directors jobs and salaries. We discovered he's also against any bonding whatsoever. None of this matters as Mike Russo can turn on a dime and pretend what he said five seconds ago is completely consistent with what he's saying contrary five seconds later.

Council Chair, Beth Mason let him run roughshod all night, talking over his colleagues, playing gotcha games with the professionals instead of asking questions and the July 1 timeframe with 6th ward Councilwoman-elect Jen Giattino arriving will be the only sane remedy to any of it.

Councilwoman Beth Mason who has shown herself to be both inept and partisan throughout her brief and limited time controlling the gavel, stayed consistent in her tenure last night. At one point, Councilman Dave Mello was incensed at her attempt to silence him inquiring why she refuses to apply any consistent standard whatsoever to Mike Russo.

Finance Director Nick Trasente was a tower of patience while at times refusing to be drawn into the usual rhetorical games by Councilman Mike Russo on the budget and urging fiscal responsibility from all its members. Of course that fell on deaf ears as is often the case when political agendas are the sole order of the day. Here once again was one of the most embarrassing displays of late, showing why Hoboken voters who are not part of the subsidized class need to make their mark and demand competence at the voting booth at election time.

The bad moments in this meeting are too numerous to mention. One of the worst was after the Finance Director asked after the current budget was introduced why the Council didn't avoid all this wasted time and energy and bring some spending cuts to the table? Mike Russo's response, "It's not our responsibility," about sizes it up.

It is the City Council's responsibility as it controls the purse, but this 'majority' consists of the people who never do the hard work of making spending cuts. Beth Russo isn't about to do so now.

At the next City Council meeting, several resolutions will be presented as amendments to the budget. None have the needed five votes, from the 5% minimum surplus recommended by municipal industry professionals and the Administration, to a 1% surplus being presented as "reasonable" as a counter to Mike Russo's "destroy the city's fiscal footing" plan.

Talking Ed Note: It's hard to watch these ugly proceedings and think Hoboken is the consideration. Frankly, it's not. This is about Beth Russo attempting to prevent a "win" for Mayor Zimmer even if it means a solid fiscal position for Hoboken.

This hasn't changed from the day she was elected mayor. Whether it's Corner Cars, obtaining open space, or something as clear straight forward as the budget, the only objective is to play politics.

It's all these two ever seem to do.

Here's the 20 minute finale of the meeting:

TEN 2: Beth Russo is the term coined by our colleague at The Hoboken Journal to describe the multi-headed hydra of a political alliance. As Beth Mason has morphed more and more into an Old Guard pro-subsidized housing Russo Civic Association status quo ally, the two are more akin to dealing with one mythical beast.

To be fair, this is a natural alliance now proven at the ballot box. Councilwoman Beth Mason garnered less votes in this 2nd ward election than she did when she ran last. She would have been easily defeated if not for the Russo-Ramos effort to turn out large numbers of votes in Applied Housing.

Although it's a smaller subsidized housing base overall compared to other parts of Hoboken, it was Applied Housing votes saving Beth Mason from defeat. With 2nd ward registered voters numbering 5,600 and her power of incumbency along with an unknown fortune spent, she barely escaped a runoff against first time candidate Tom Greaney not even getting 700 votes.

The Russo's own her now.