Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Freeholder candidate Kurt Gardiner to Anthony Romano: Stop "Sticking" It to the Hoboken taxpayer

From the desk of Freeholder candidate Kurt Gardiner:

Kurt Gardiner for Hudson County Freeholder
Vote Column C for Change on November 8th, 2011

For those of you who may not know me, my name is Kurt Gardiner and I am running for Freeholder District 5 in Hudson County this coming November 8th. My opponent, the incumbent Anthony “Stick’ Romano was hand picked by former Hoboken Mayor Dave Roberts to run on the HCDO ticket in 2008 is up for re-election after one three-year term in office. The Office of Freeholder is a county legislative position of which there are 9 seats in total representing Hudson County as whole. The Fifth District consists of Hoboken in its entirety as well as parts of Jersey City Heights. Hudson County taxes make about 1/3 of your property tax bill with School and Municipal/City tax making up the other 2/3ds.

The reasons I am running are quite straightforward:

1)    Hoboken was taxed $46 million in 2010 and received pennies on the dollar back in services. Hoboken is being financially pillaged by every other municipality at the County level. It really is fiscal piracy. Romano has passed all three bloated County Budgets while Freeholder.

2)    Hoboken needs an independent representative that will finally advocate for Hoboken taxpayers rather than sit idly by and take directive from County bosses. These are the same County bosses that donated to my opponent’s campaign war chest at his recent fundraiser.

3)    My campaign will at least give Hoboken voters a choice. Up until early June, Anthony “I love the Russos” Romano was planning on running unopposed until I stepped into the ring. “An election without a choice is not democracy but rather a coronation”.

4)    I feel I have issues that are worth discussing such as operational audits and viewing government from a serviced based architecture rather than a patronage based one which has been the dominant viewpoint of the County for decades. This political patronage has led to the creation of low show and now shows jobs that make our County Government more inefficient than it should be.

5)    It is my hope that my campaign will create more awareness about Hudson County issues and how they affect Hoboken and Jersey City Heights. This is not about my future as a politician but rather the core issues I am running on. As an independent going against an entrenched political machine, I am aware that I am a long shot to win this race. However, this election is just a beginning and not an end. I will continue to try to peel away at the smelly onion that is Hudson County Government to expose how little it serves the constituents of Hoboken and even Jersey City Heights.

6)    Anthony “Stick” Romano is allied with the political opponents of the Hoboken taxpayer. He is an ally of Mike Russo, Terry Castellano, Carmelo Garcia, Tim Occhipinti, Frank “Pupie” Raia, and third place 2009 Mayoral Reject Beth Mason. Beth Mason and her money have tried everything to sabotage the Hospital deal which would cost the Hoboken taxpayers greatly should it fail. It is a shame to see these political “friends” of Anthony “Stick” Romano have such disregard for the Hoboken taxpayer just to make the Mayor look bad. He even had the audacity to Award Beth Mason the Columbus Park Italian woman in the year which was a real slap in the face to the tireless efforts of Toni Tomarazzo who as chair of The HUMC Board has used her skill to work on saving the hospital while Mason spewed her venom and spent her money.

7)    It would appear my opponent doesn’t want to talk about the issues. My opponent had initially challenged me to two debates which I gladly accepted before the Labor Day Holiday. Now however, it would appear he is trying to back out of the debates now that political handlers like Jaime Cryan are involved in his campaign. It is a shame it appears that his campaign doesn’t want the issues brought to light and host an open discussion on them. Very undemocratic.

Anthony "Stick" Romano went from agreeing to Freeholder candidate forums to chickening out.

Click photo to show what Romano
is doing to the Hoboken taxpayer
8)    Anthony Romano isn’t raising the bar that much. During the 5 term 15 year reign of error by Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons (another Anthony Romano political ally) prior to Romano, Hoboken got the short end of the stick as well when it came to county services. That didn’t stop Maurice from pocketing large contracts for various municipal entities such as the Hoboken BOE and North Hudson Sewer Authority just to name a few. Anthony might not be pocketing contracts himself but somehow Michelle Russo almost seemed to land a County job she had no prior experience in. “Stick” remained silent but the resulting controversy eventually led to the offer being withdrawn. It was seem what is good for the goose isn’t always what is good for the gander. Stick comes from a long line of Hudson County yes men that are inserted into power so that Hoboken’s money can be divvied up among the others. Very little has changed. So a couple of roads got paved. What about Washington Street? That should be a County Road! Are we supposed to kiss his feet because Hudson Street got repaved after more than a decade?

9)    I am a taxpayer not subsidized by government. Anthony Romano lives in Marine View Plaza which was designed as middle income housing to assist people who want to stay in Hoboken and need a break on rent. Despite having now a substantially larger income than the average resident there he still remains in that facility. This is not at all illegal but shows how my opponent feels entitled to governmental services he no longer needs. As an elected official he should set a better example and let someone else who needs the lower rent. I have no problem with assisting lower income people with respect to housing but I will maintain that all assistance for housing should be means tested. How Anthony Romano doesn’t get point and lead by example is beyond me.

10) End the Quagmire.

Quag-mire (noun)

1. An area of miry or boggy ground whose surface yields under the tread; a bog.
2. A situation from which extrication is very difficult: a quagmire of financial indebtedness.
3. Anthony “Stick” Romano’s nickname in some circles.
4. A Family Guy character that is a Lothario stuck in the free love 70’s  and says stupid things like giggity giggity. Amusing but not useful. 
5. Another three years of Anthony “Stick” Romano as Freeholder of Hudson County District 5.

Stop the insanity and vote Kurt Gardiner Row C for Change and a County Tax Cut on November 8th. Go to www.gardinerforfreeholder.com for more information. 

Arrests? Who said anything about FBI arrests?

There's been a spewing of flotsam and jetsam over at Hoboken Patch.  It's like a last stand on the hospital, except the politicos and political operatives are teaming up not to celebrate the hospital being saved - they are complaining about everything but saving the hospital and with it the Hoboken taxpayers.

Much of of it is your typical Hoboken bloviating, distortions, half-truths and arguments about minutae no normal resident will drill down into but sometimes you can find a pearl, a nugget so good, it's better than being a priest in confession.

Because this has all the earmarks of a confession.

Submitted for your approval, here's such a nugget by the Beth Mason political operative who is not paid for friendship, the ghostwriting Hoboken411 minion, the scourge of Hoboken politics and cancer in our midst: the man of a thousand screen names:

Sounds like someone anticipates arrests and/or getting arrested doesn't it?

Disagreeing on policy should be part of the normal discourse of issues anywhere but in Hoboken it doesn't really work that way due to the cast of characters running a sizable group of the population by hook, crook, absentee ballot fraud and all of the above.  They haven't exactly identified a way to present that as a platform other than a toxic brew of class warfare and birther identity politics.

But as in an earlier article by Grafix Avenger, it's the tell that's important.  No longer do we hear how "public" information obtained through theft is heroic aka like the Pentagon Papers as Hoboken411 put it.  As months have passed and the FBI investigation is continuing to drill down into the matter (among others) the line has taken on a new less cryptic but equally foreboding line of complaint.  You can almost hear the minion crying: woe is us, we are being politically persecuted and "arrested" for being "political opponents."  Wheely?

Here's an ironic gem from only last April on what MSV calls Mike Russo FBI surveillance night.  It was the first meeting after the video of Mike Russo and FBI informant Solomon Dwek surfaced and it was completely contrary to what Russo claimed occurred in the meeting.  Here's Lane Bajardi before being part of the persecuted when he claimed the Zimmer administration was being "protected" by the FBI.

Go minion, go minion, go minion, go.  The FBI must love this.

The FBI who last publicly made a big visit to Hoboken late May carted off enough City computer data to sift through for months which brings us back to the odd complaint/confession by Beth Mason's friend who isn't paid for friendship and most certainly won't be getting paid for bail.

Can the Feds be far off now?  Sounds like some have intimate "cough, cough" knowledge of the Hoboken questioning by the boys of summer.

Related: Other people have noted a similar observation including Grafix Avenger:

Horse Sense: Wednesday showdown looms, municipal jobs weigh in the balance on million dollar garage refinance

The hospital is on its way to being saved and the exhale of relief not finished but another problem related to the institution will come to up Wednesday night on its heels for a final vote: the bond refi on the midtown garage.

With an upcoming change in the status of the hospital's owners, the agreement between the Parking Utility and HUMC must be legally updated for the changeover to the new buyer Holdco.  With it a brand new agreement acting as a continuation for the hospital employees and Hoboken residents but for the City, a required refinancing to handle the outstanding bond is on the table.

That leads to the latest development where the midtown garage stands to benefit Hoboken further with the low interest rates available with the change in tax status.  The savings to Hoboken would be $50,000 annually.  Sounds simple right? Well when it comes to Beth Mason and Mike Russo it actually isn't.

Coming on the heels of the Beth Russo hydra's effort to cut off a $5.5 million bond to aid the sale of the hospital in its final critical hours, they saw an opportunity to massively sabotage Hoboken (while pointing the finger) blow up in their face.  Gov. Christie came in the very next day and said he's not going to allow petty partisan politics see the hospital closed when the sale was so close to the finish line.  The only thing that wasn't petty about it was the cost.  Hoboken would have seen massive tax increases and massive layoffs with a hospital closure.

Well that was their point.

Although a typical "normal" New Jersey town would welcome the opportunity for this change in tax status to bring in another $50,000 in revenue and fulfill its legal obligations, this is Hoboken.  As Councilwoman Terry Castellano says, "Hoboken is special."  

What makes Hoboken special to the virulent anti-Administration crowd is the 24 x 7 political gamesmanship where undermining the town is a full time sport if it means fun time for a political minority embittered by the town passing a critical benchmark selling the hospital.  The gambit was big, ugly and they were fully invested in seeing it to the end.

So tomorrow night, there's not much confidence a sixth vote is available among the Beth Russo hydra consisting of Mike Russo, Beth Mason, Terry Castellano and Tim Occhipinti.  If the bond is not refinanced on the transfer of hospital ownership, it becomes a liability to the City and must be paid in 90 days.  The bill will be in the millions.

What's at stake is not what the Beth Russo wishes - higher taxes but layoffs.  

The Beth Russo hydra sputtered when it tried to strike Hoboken on the hospital.
Will they miss this time?

So after the failure to strike Hoboken hard with tens of millions in debt with the hospital closure, this is the second best shot the Beth Russo hydra has.  The hope they have to drive up taxes is countered with layoffs on the table.  That will cost people their jobs, people they claim to represent.  The taste from "victory" they invested in working to subvert the hospital sale and see it closed is not over and this is the sabotage tool remaining.

Do you think they will pass it up?