Wednesday, March 7, 2012

City introduces $102 million 2012 budget

The 2012 Hoboken budget passed 9-0 on introduction last night, coming in at $102,360,982, a decrease of about $3.6 million from 2011.

Short strokes:

Taxes are down slightly from the prior year, basically flat.  The available surplus in cash is about $4.1 million with a target of maintaining a similar ballpark figure going into 2013.

60% of the budget goes to salaries.
MSV is trying to obtain the full electronic details of the budget and will look to post it later Thursday.

Remind you of anyone?
Talking Ed Note: Tax reduction?  MORTe succeeded in their sabotage last year flushing down the tubes $4 million in a potential refinance of the midtown garage.  Some of those savings could have gone to tax relief.

MORTe didn't succeed in bankrupting Hoboken by sabotaging the hospital but this is a win not discussed in the budget's introduction.  They have taken every opportunity to undermine the City and did so this evening.

Congratulations to Beth Mason, Tim Occhipinti, Michael Russo and Terry Castellano.  You can all take a bow and be proud of yourselves for those consistent efforts to harm the City.

Other items: The new food truck ordinance passed 5-4.  Its passage earlier looked better but due to MORTe crowing about a GPS it narrowed.  One food truck vendor thanked Councilwoman Jen Giattino for her efforts in the legislation.  Clearly MORTe didn't hear him.  Councilman Michael Russo expressed concerns about the food truck owner's privacy and joined with other MORTe members voting no but insisted the small non-truck food vendor legislation needed to be acted on right away.  Councilwoman Jen Giattino invited him to do so and he looked shocked with the notion he would have to do the work and he backed out.  Instantly.

Voting no is far easier than doing any work.

Land for a potential Southwest Park was discussed at length with many MORTe type obstacles arising before a unanimous vote saw total capitulation on extending offers for contiguous properties.  The legal process is coupled with a $3 million County grant, something the resolution co-sponsor Tim Occhipinti didn't seem to understand whatsoever.  Odd.

On a 700K emergency appropriation, an issue about a FEMA grant valued at 300K itself became intense when it was discussed 68K was needed as part of the emergency appropriation.  MORTe had voted the appropriation down including the funding for dozens of legal cases twice before and again refused to provide the sixth vote to push the package through.  Tim Occhipinti proposed to amend the resolution to only satisfy paying employees.  (This after a special meeting where not one legal case was deemed appropriate to abandon.)  Councilwoman Carol Marsh noted many things were not covered such as health insurance for employees, trash pickup, and Director of Finance Nick Trasente added more items not funded.  (Is this how you apply any professional funding standard for government services?)

Obstruction at its most obstinate with a full budget days from discussion.  MORTe once again sabotaged the emergency appropriation and voted it down ignoring the advice of Corporation Counsel to stop attempting to do a more limited appropriation and putting the City's operations in an untenable situation.

So why is it necessary to put the City in jeopardy on numerous issues in the appropriation?
MORTe offers no benefit at all whatsoever.  It's nothing more than sabotage for its own sake.

Former Councilman Tony Soares was re-appointed to a term on the North Hudson Sewage Authority in a 9-0 vote.

A pro-sunshine resolution presented by Councilwoman Mason in New Business caused an uproar with questions why such an item would be presented after midnight with no public notice and when the public could not offer any of the sunshine.  An amendment changing the political charge of transparency required by the Administration to the words Beth Mason created a tumult and didn't pass and out of nowhere Councilwoman Mason said "release the emails,"  - a reference to the emails under FBI investigation in the massive Data Theft Conspiracy looting from the mayor's office.  


Those emails have not been made available by the FBI.  Mason had made extensive attempts with MORTe to have those emails under the FBI's investigation released to the public.  MSV has covered that extensively and a clip is available here


Councilwoman Jen Giattino read a statement from Hoboken resident Laura Keating who was falsely accused by Hoboken411 of being under consideration for the Business Administrator position held previously by Arch Liston.  Keating's statement delineated why she was not qualified being in the software engineering arena and questioned why Hoboken411 would make such a harmful reckless charge.  Keating is the wife of former Hoboken BA and fourth ward councilman Michael Lenz who has not applied for the role.  The complete statement follows: