Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beth Mason informs BA Liston, "I write my own stuff"

At last week's council meeting there were some real gems but this one between a fed up Business Administrator who is sitting next to a pile of about 1,000 pages of information doled out to the self-proclaimed council minority in order to facilitate a simple end of year line item transfer leads to some classic council moments.

After much back and forth mostly between Councilman Michael Russo the turn to take a shot and play the gotcha game with the Business Administrator Arch Liston falls to Councilwoman Beth Mason.  She's eager to play but doesn't begin with any question.  Instead she whines about being kept in the dark and Liston interjects saying he is happy to answer questions and invites Mason to submit the questions in advance of the meeting "as other council members do."

Mason refuses and complains she should not have to do so without the benefit of the TV cameras and it leads to some golden moments where self-awareness falls by the wayside and Liston continually calls Mason's non-questions "a game."

MSV had to keep the scope of this to five minutes so did edit a prepared speech Mason decided to deliver during this time.  It was her usual fare of twisted reality, false claims she is representing the taxpayer (she never does) and accusations the Zimmer Administration did not deliver a 25% tax cut in its first year.  That's the only information she actually gets right but it's notable Mason herself ran on a tax cut in 2009 for  mayor and said she would right-size government.  During her doomed fall campaign she refused to explain what her right-sizing plan would actually do and has not offered any budget cuts other than repeated political attacks on the salary of the mayor and directors already reduced.

Back to the clip, there's more hilarity when Mason complains about a $600 budget correction (in a $100 million annual city budget) and then adds her protest to Liston's sarcastic remark she paid more for someone to write her speech.

The councilwoman retorts, "I write my own stuff" and Listons sarcastically replies, "I believe that."

Talking Ed Note: BA Arch Liston does a superb job for Hoboken.  But he's finally had enough.  What takes hundreds of NJ municipalities not even 10 minutes took Hoboken three council meetings, threat of the firefighters not being paid and unknown man hours producing almost a thousand pages of data to a council minority that you can bet didn't even read it.

At the end, Councilman Ravi Bhalla notes the council minority's refusal to refinance a low cost bond for the midtown garage will cause budget problems shortly and the responsibility lies with the council minority.

Councilwoman Terry Castellano is not pleased with that fact and lodges a protest of no substance and MSV will consider a clip of that next.  It's interesting in her attitude toward the hospital as she blames the council majority for being willing to bond $5 million to save the institution.

Little hint to the councilwoman, when you failed to sabotage and kill the hospital as you and your MORTe friends tried to do, it's best to walk away from the loss than adding to it.

City Council Report Card - Time to grade your government

Hoboken's City Council operates sadly like a series of bad one person Shakespearean plays but now the audience here at MSV will get to help give them their annual grades.  (The mayor's administration will be graded later.)

It would be too easy based on the antics of MORTe to provide a collective grade.  Their obstruction of inflicting a $4 million cost to Hoboken by refusing to approve a low cost bond refinance on the midtown garage warrants a failing grade alone but this will be a person by person individual grade.  (The damage for that cynical action is not tallied and may in fact cost city workers their jobs.  MORTe takes no responsibility for any of this but vociferously complains about the impending result.)

MSV is not quite sure how to grade for the abomination of what Beth Mason and her fellow MORTe allies did to the hospital.  That price needs to be paid far outside of a grading system.  Councilwoman Terry Castellano headed the hypocrisy train recently showing up for the hospital ribbon-cutting ceremony and then snidely insinuating the hospital will not remain open for long at the very next council meeting.

How does a citizen and taxpayer grade such antics?  Is there a bell curve for cynicism and corruption?

You can share your perspective for the year end perspective here or in private via email to  If MSV receives enough inspiring feedback we may use some of it in a City Council meeting.

4th ward council seat holder Tim Occhipinti reads a text message at the last City Council meeting.  He along with other council members will be receiving their report card from MSV with the help of its readers.

Talking Ed Note: MSV has some video clips coming for those who need more information before making a grade. The hijinx at the last meeting were like a comedic version of the Sopranos. Hoboken is blessed to have such local entertainment and many residents are unaware you don't even need to pay for HBO to get a dose. You do need a strong stomach as the concept of shame is null and void among some.