Thursday, November 3, 2011

The case for a Giant - and a giant tax cut

Kurt Gardiner is running to represent Hoboken and Jersey City Heights as County Freeholder.

Here's his case:

In 2010 Hoboken paid nearly $46 million dollars to Hudson County. Hoboken is one of 12 municipalities in Hudson County and represents only 6% the County’s 600,000-plus total population.
Yet, Hoboken pays 17% of the overall county tax levy!

Kurt will advocate for the Hoboken/ JC Heights taxpayer by:

Demanding more services for our tax dollar such as:
  • More Grants for acquiring parks including a new County Park possibly at the Henkel Site.
  • Having the County take over ownership of Washington Street and repave it.
  • Ensure other Capital Projects that are required go to Hoboken not elsewhere in the County.
  • Ensure a fair tax formula that in the past has penalized Hoboken.
  • Get as much as the $46 million Hoboken paid in taxes in bakc in services.

 Look to streamline "bloated" County Government:
  • Conduct Operational Audits and act on recommendations.
  • Hiring Freeze.
  • Look to service based model and governmental best practices.
  • Re-examine table of organization.
  • Outsource Cleaning Services.
  • 10% cut for Freeholder and County Executive Salaries.

Talking Ed Note: Kurt Gardiner has been on the front lines for years fighting for accountable, decent government with fair taxes for services in Hoboken.  It only makes sense he would act similarly on behalf of Jersey City Heights and Hoboken.

Kurt has been on the right side of almost every issue and local race for years.  In addition, he's contributed to the community with countless hours on The Hoboken Journal.

No one knows the amount of time, energy and money Kurt has put toward making Hoboken better.
Since MSV does, it's my responsibility to tell you he has put it all on the line and always acted with intellectual honesty on every single local election and issue before us.

MSV believes he will continue to do so as Freeholder.  Besides, we well deserve a giant tax cut!

MORTe sabotage again puts City on brink

According to a story on Hoboken Patch, the simple matter of a $2 million budget line transfer was blocked by MORTe (Mason, Occhipinti, Russo and Terry Castellano).

The vote for the transfer required a supermajority of six votes - as the hospital sale's parking agreement going into effect immediately did last Sunday.

Hoboken's Business Administrator Arch Liston is quoted as saying without the standard line item transfers of monies available, "I can't operate my budget."

The Hoboken BA will be contacting the State to seek advice on what he can do.  MORTe backed off on destroying Hoboken University Medical Center and all of Hoboken only in the final moments when a critical ordinance was brought back Sunday.

They clearly have not lost their taste for political brinksmanship to bring Hoboken to its knees.

Scott Siegel noted in public portion the enormous tasks Hoboken faces in its budget asking the council, re: MORTe to "stop the political games."

Liston indicated a worst case scenario would be the State required to come in and take over the City's finances.

When it comes to the health and fiscal sanity for Hoboken, MORTe always wants to say no.

Talking Ed Note:  Once again it's clear MORTe will stop at nothing to harm Hoboken if it means they can undermine the mayor.

They want to starve Hoboken of a surplus, starve it of needed equipment and infrastructure and force a tax increase.  Their failure to use the hospital in such a ploy has done nothing but whet their appetite.

This likely can't go on with the amount of serious normal business required of the City.  We're talking about the most typical of municipal actions at the end of a budget year in line transfer in the operating budget.

Either the State will need to step in or the FBI to return and finish the job already begun.
MSV is fine with either.  Hoboken has had enough.

Original MORTe graphic courtesy of Grafix Avenger.

Hoboken411 and Beth Mason in bed on hospital sale big lie


With the hospital sale's enormous moving parts aligned again for its sale and a close set for tomorrow, Councilwoman Beth Mason is continuing her propaganda war claiming credit for a sale she's worked to undermine since January.

Yesterday readers sent us the Hoboken411 story, one which MSV won't dignify as it's strewn with more lies from beginning to end than an old edition of Pravda circa 1982.

The screed is notable for the obvious anger it lashes out against the mayor, her husband, and even Director of Transportation and Parking Ian Sacs.

Another Beth Mason commercial looks to have been already in the can but with the public pressure mounted on MORTe over the weekend, she never got to air it.  MSV believes Hoboken411, Beth Mason's favored place for her online political operations became the dumping ground so it wasn't wasted entirely.  (MSV does not expect any reply to such an inquiry to Beth Mason as she routinely declines to answer questions.)

The self-proclaimed council minority "agreement" claimed to have obtained program concessions from Holdco prompting their reversal to vote in favor of the parking agreement last Sunday.

Leading into the critical vote, MORTe never stated any program concessions were required to obtain their support on any aspect of the hospital's sale and never during discussion of the parking agreement.


In the MSV exclusive video above, the new hospital CEO clearly speaks in the HUMC press conference about several programs including a sports medicine practice Holdco is planning to implement after the sale.  His comments come just a little more than one minute into the Q&A.  This video was taken back in early October.

Beth Mason and her MORTe allies failed to cover their tracks with the Big Lie launched Sunday.  This is ironclad video evidence MORTe's claims of program concessions including the sports medicine program are falsified.  Right after the conclusion of the vote Sunday, one Hospital Authority member stated the programs were already negotiated into the sale and included the sport medicine practice stated in the video.

MSV doesn't hold exclusive evidence of the council minority's falsified claim.

Similar evidence also appeared previously in an October 6th, Star Ledger story:

In a written statement, Phillip S. Schaengold, Chief Transition Officer for HUMC Holdco, the company created to purchase the hospital, said the prospective owners are “committed to developing new programs and initiatives at Hoboken University Medical Center, and enhancing existing programs and services at the hospital, to meet the needs of the residents of Hoboken and adjoining communities.”

The buyers plan to upgrade the maternity ward and expand its sports medicine and oncology units, among other items, Schaengold said.

Talking Ed Note: Local publications have posted without any balance or basic journalistic scrutiny the complete fabricated claims by MORTe on their self-proclaimed "deal."  MSV has stated for the record they are required to scrutinize the claim and not just print it without review as was foisted on the public right before an important public meeting.

The burden is now on those editors to provide the balance they failed to provide in presenting such information to the public.  No one from Holdco, the Hoboken Hospital Authority or the City of Hoboken was given an opportunity to respond to the clearly unenforceable claims made by Beth Mason and MORTe.

It's one thing for Hoboken411 to be used in a Beth Mason political operation, that's a given, but local media should be ashamed they have so willingly allowed themselves to be similarly used.

In the end, the only possible concession Beth Mason and MORTe extracted was an unenforceable back room deal where they may land an additional seat on a the hospital board.

The language in the letter from Holdco states the seat is not for the community but for MORTe themselves.  MSV earlier reported it's believed the seat is intended for Beth Mason herself.

Which leads to another question for Beth Mason and MORTe - "Got Transparency?"