Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Parting is such sweet sorrow: final vote on November elections repeal easily passes

Tonight at 7:30 is the special City Council meeting on rescinding the ordinance for November municipal elections.  It should be relatively quick but of course there will be some grandstanding from the pent up demand since the last meeting.

Those who saw it will recall the Old Guard meltdown when they could not air their dirty linen with the city's legal protections after a closed session leading into a vote on the Tim Occhipinti - Beth Mason resolution to take out Grafix Avenger for her political series of FBI letters.  Timmy was so frightened by the hilarity in letter no. 4, he called the Hoboken Police Department.  (This even though he couldn't find his name or address in the same imaginary letter.)

There's some bitterness on this issue too as a bunch of kids were paid to collect signatures and stop the PATH hikes too, or so they said.  Next year, the exercise can be repeated when it will really matter with a high profile November election in the mix.

So we get to do it all over again possibly, but in 2012.

Post Meeting Update:

The meeting held to form on rescinding November elections 7-1.  Tim Occhipinti voted against his allies and former campaign manager and financial backer Frank "Pupie" Raia to approve what they were requesting: May municipal elections.   Call it confused bitterness.

Councilwoman Beth Mason voted to move municipal elections back to May and thanked Frank "Pupie" Raia and others who worked to see the threat of a 2011 November referendum keep the status quo.

A bond ordinance that would ease the sale of the hospital's cost to the City involving the midtown garage introduced by Councilman Peter Cunningham is in trouble out of the gate.  The Council of No is looking to sabotage (again) changing the tax status of the midtown garage saving the City money by seeing it obtain a lower interest rate. Where did we see this last?  For those who said the Municipal Garage, here's your cookie.  Six votes are required to pass a bond ordinance.

That shows you how much they truly care about removing the $52 bond from around Hoboken taxpayers' necks.  They much prefer to play politics at the taxpayer's expense and have tried every way possible to crush the sale of the hospital.

Councilwoman Beth Mason repeatedly called the hospital "an asset."  Someone should clue her in on reality.  An asset has to make you money, not be on the brink of bankruptcy and closing after suffering million dollar losses year after year.

Back in 2007, Beth Mason was very vocal that the City of Hoboken should not own the hospital.  Now she is more vocal in sabotaging the sale.  Go figure.

Michele Russo - Getting job on the BoE

Michele Russo's quest for the grail - a taxpayer position in Hudson County with pay and prized health benefits may have reached an end.  This based on local sources who state confirmation will come at a board meeting later this month in the Board of Education (BoE).  But it's not the BoE here in town with the million dollar surplus she's been haunting of late - it's Union City!

Michele Russo - heading to the BoE - but it's not Hoboken, it's Union City.

Hudson County felt the summer heat from Hoboken when word got out Michele Russo applied and was likely to obtain a managerial housekeeping position in Jersey City.  Some suspected the powers there would lie low and await a time to push her in when distractions would lead people elsewhere.

When it comes to the public dime, the Russo machine searches high and low to suckle from the taxpayers with the relentlessness of "The Terminator."  So who's coming to their aid?  It's none other than Union City mayor Brian Stack who according to a recent PolitickerNJ story is looking to hook Michele Russo up with a comfy BoE position in his backyard.

The PolitickerNJ story provides some handy calculus on what Brian Stack can get from Hoboken in purchasing himself a Russo clan member noting he would overcome some uncertainty from conflicts with Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Stack who is in almost a constant state of low level war with the HCDO is looking to obtain some insurance with the recent realignments in state districting for his State Senator seat.  His underling Assemblyman Ruben Ramos who aspires for the Hoboken mayor's chair refused to vote for the pension reforms advocated by Governor Christie earlier and some speculate there's unhappiness between the two.

It's unclear what this BoE position in Union City pays but one source said it's likely to anger others in Union City to see such a prize handed over to someone in Hoboken.  Unlike Hoboken where the BoE operates independently from City Hall, Stack has de rigueur control over the BoE in Union City.

The real question is what Michael Russo gave to Brian Stack to fork over a BoE job in Union City.  Someone ask Michael Russo.

Union City Mayor Brian Stack
Michele my bell?
Talking Ed Note:  Voting to reform state pensions would have killed Ramos' expectation for union backing in Hoboken, something he can ill afford with additional campaign finance reforms waiting in the wings.  Those reforms sponsored by Councilman Peter Cunningham have been botched now twice in recent months on the City Council agenda by the City Clerk's office.

Ramos can't expect his luck to hold out and his being the only local official taking money from Bayonne's HoldCo is also suggested in some quarters as problematic.  Regardless of whether Ramos can consolidate the Old Guard behind him for a mayoral run, Brian Stack is looking to move above and beyond.

His timing could not be better.  He gets to buy the Russo's cheap who have the for sale sign in the window since spring when their appeal to stay on Hoboken's health benefits was shot down.

See there's taxpayer advocates and then there's tough and there's Michele Russo tough.  When Michele Russo gets going, the taxpayers start paying.

Only in Hoboken folks, only in Hoboken.

Brian Stack photo courtesy of NJ.com