Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And then there was light... Council agenda Friday packed

This Friday at 12 noon will see the turning back of the City Council to the Reform majority.  The glitch with the Timothy Occhipinti installation last November is passed with the election of 6th ward Councilwoman-elect Jen Giattino meaning the temporary infliction on Hoboken is over and a new council era begins.

With it Friday will not just be pomp and circumstance.  As many people will have plans and be on their way out of town that day, City Hall at 12 noon promises to be historic.  If you are able to make it, you may see more than one pleasant surprise.  Witnessing Jen Giattino being sworn in with her family in attendance will certainly be a highlight among them.

Nightmare over: The Beth Russo hydra along with its sabotage of Hoboken is slain Friday

On to the agenda, it's packed.  The do nothing and all politics all the time Beth Russo sabotage game against Hoboken is over and the brim is full.  Kicking off by kicking out Beth Mason from the council chair will be item number one on the resolution list, followed by her boy toy Tim Occhipinti.  Then it's on to weighty and less expected matters.

Items of high interest: Resolution 7: a redevelopment plan for the ENTIRE area of the rail yards downtown is big and is followed with a mutual general release with Robotics on the 916 Garage nightmare going back to yet another nightmare left over from the Dave Roberts Administration.  Resolution 10 is a contract for construction work at the Boys & Girls Club, this has heavy political overtones due to the less than clear relationship with the HOLA charter school.

There's artificial turf for 1600 Park, snuffing the Beth Mason witch hunt for emails where no factual information ever was brought to initiate it to begin with, and Councilwoman Terry Castellano wants an apology from the mayor for directing resources in support of the City Clerk's Office upholding action keeping Republicans off the nomination list for Democratic Committee.  It's back to more of the same with the Council of No, which is short for nothing.  (Kind apologies to originator of the term at the Hoboken Journal, Kurt Gardiner who coined the phrase.  MSV is hijacking it.)

On the ordinance side big things afoot!  Wheeling baby, wheeling - the party is truly over and one potential mayoral candidate will not be pleased to hear his worst nightmare may be coming to pass.  Hoboken will be looking to cut off the spigot of big money coming in from all over NJ.  This will strangle special interests but empower its citizenry.  Expect long howls of pain on this one and expect it to fall on deaf ears.  There was not even a minimum courtesy given to Councilman Peter Cunningham when he tried to voice this in his anti-wheeling sponsorship earlier this year.

Elections, election, elections - too many darn elections in Hoboken is the refrain.  An ordinance to move elections to the more "normal" voting time is extended with November being the time frame in mind.

Corner Cars will now be presented for appointed parking spaces as legally required in an ordinance.  The successful program was put on life support as it could not be crushed earlier due to the outpouring of public support.  Councilman Russo put it on 200 day life support that took the program past the elections.  The idea being to kill it when the Old Guard promised to sweep the elections.  Didn't turn out that way.  Now Hoboken innovation moves forward by ordinance as required by State law.

There's bound to be controversy with the ordinance on adding Class II police officers.  This idea is deeply opposed by police unions.  Sgt. Ed Drishti who heads the upper ranks of the police officers union, spoke against this previously in the strongest terms and then attacked a member of the public by name.  Perhaps we'll see a more level fair minded discussion this time.  It's said this idea actually was begun under former Mayor Anthony Russo.

Talking Ed Note: As most won't be seeing the meeting, you have ustream and later public access TV to catch the highlights.  MSV is planning a podcast with a special guest to get you caught up.

If you hear anything about more discussions between the FBI and Beth Mason and her random email hunt, it isn't about email if you get the drift.  Maybe it never was either.

The Boys of Summer are officially issued their unconditional release from wasting time for Beth Mason's zero fact based investigation and focusing on their real duty.  As if.

State to Beth Russo on budget sabotage: forgettaboutit!

The city's auditor in a letter to the City Council has extended a list of problems communicated from the State on the Hoboken budget needing adjusting.  The letter outlines the problems and states any budget amendment will need to be completed in July nixing the depletion of the city's surplus by Council members Beth Mason and Mike Russo.

There's no reason to hold a meeting on the 29th hours before Councilman Nino Giacchi's term expires.  No reason now at all.

Talking Ed Note: Doesn't seem possible for Beth Mason to force feed the poison into the system by Friday ending her hopes to leave the city coffers empty of any surplus to handle any challenges.

When a budget amendment comes up next month, it will likely retain close to the professionally recommended municipal surplus near five percent.  This means the likelihood of a long sought contract between the City and the fire unions can be brought to closure.  With much of the roadblocks now out of the way, one hopes good will and common sense prevails and our firefighters will get a contract and then be promptly paid the back pay over years due them.

Here's the city auditor's letter followed by other supporting documentation:

City Auditor on 2011 Budget Fixes