Monday, April 30, 2012

Michael Russo: "I did for you, you do for me."

In a segment of the FBI surveillance video with Solomon Dwek on the Hoboken Housing Authority, Councilman Michael Russo explained what quid pro quo means Russo style.

Here's Mikie Squared delivering his infamous insights encapsulated with "Let me explain to you how this works. I did for you, you do for me."

And dat my friends is what makes Hoboken "special."

 This one minute video has been enhance for lighting but has not been edited in any other way as to the content.

Councilman David Mello primed to replace Michael Russo on the HHA


Council resolution appointing David Mello to HHA means ouster of Michael Russo

Just over a year ago, a jam packed City Council chambers filled minutes after dozens of people stood out in an intermittent rain to protest the corruption witnessed in an FBI surveillance video starring Councilman Michael Russo.  The video came to light after a series of less than truthful denials about a meeting Russo claimed was old news.

On that night in early April the Russo clan rallied neighbors at Church Towers to cheer a nervous councilman who was wavering from the pressure of revelations about his conduct showing his true self and a protest against him holding office minutes before the meeting.

Going into the meeting, Russo held the role of councilman, Vice President of the body, chair of the finance committee and one seat of seven on the Hoboken Housing Authority.  The agenda was suspended and people could line up to speak.  Resident Scott Siegel kicked off the public speakers and promptly took the tension out of the air backing the concept of cannibals electing cannibal kings and if such a scenario would occur in council elections the next month, it was alright by him.  Suddenly, Russo wasn't off to such a bad start.

There would be no equivocation from Da Horsey.  The call was clear - resign.  Councilman Michael Russo traded on his office, end of story although others including a toothless resolution from MORTe would place focus on anything but. The self-proclaimed "young man" on the video (this is 2009 mind you not the 1990's) was the true Michael Russo, a ruffian who was eager to obtain illegal campaign contributions even with no personal election in sight calling for the first of a series of illegal payments be made out to "Russo for Hoboken."

But on that night Russo sniveled his way with not much damage aided by his MORTe colleagues.  Perry Belfiore spoke before MSV and provided a verbal slap on the knuckles.  As the council went to a break, Russo went straight over to the left side of the room and vigorously shook hands in gratitude to Belfiore.  The Church Towers contingent was all smiles and Ma Russo hugged her son who's behavior was akin to his father who had extorted far larger sums and shows no sign of cracking over $300,000 he owes the City of Hoboken to this day.  (Worse, he's added another 100K to the ledger receiving health benefits when he and his wife were not performing any work for the City.)

Russo said a lot of things about his actions that night but claimed he would rebuild trust with the community he betrayed.  A year later has he?  There's a little matter of the hospital, and the millions squandered blocking the midtown garage refinance...

The most complete answer to that question is in a Newark office of the FBI.

Across the street from City Hall a truck showed Mikie Squared greatest hits - an edited tape of the FBI surveillance video staring Councilman Michael Russo and FBI informant Solomon Dwek.  Even with the inclement weather sending rain down, people would gather to watch. 

Talking Ed Note: A measure of justice is served with Russo's removal from the Hoboken Housing Authority as a new five year term is made by the City Council.  It's overdue but better late than never. Will anyone from MORTe join the council majority in doing so?  Not likely but savor the moment.

Now up to bat for the Hoboken Housing Authority... David Mello - Mello for Hoboken.
No you don't have to make out a check. Dave will do for us, even if we don't do for him.

Appearing on the agenda at that same April council meeting was a resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Beth Mason and co-sponsored by Councilman Michael Russo ordering the mayor's office to turn over hundreds of thousands of email communications going back to January 2010.

If there's one thing the Russo clan is known for other than looting the public coffers it's always going on the attack, even when you have them dead to rights.  The email resolution appeared to be part of a major counteroffensive leading into the council elections the following month.

The time period covered in the Beth Russo resolution mirrors exactly the timeframe the FBI says IT Manager Patrick Ricciardi set up automated collection of all electronic communications coming and going of Mayor Dawn Zimmer and two members of the mayor's office: back to early 2010.

Those hundreds of thousands of emails became the focus of a power struggle even after the FBI came into Hoboken and carted away the email data and other City documentation.  Mason and Russo repeatedly attempted right through July 1st to see tens of thousands of electronic communications with the mayor's office made public, even when told it would jeopardize the FBI's investigation.

Hey Beth Mason and Michael Russo - Got Coincidences?

The Boys of Summer still love Hoboken. Bet.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Meet US Senate candidate Joe Kyrillos at Arts & Music Festival

The Republicans of Hoboken announce:

Meet Senator Joe Kyrillos 
Candidate for U.S. Senate 
Sunday, May 6 at 1PM

Republicans of Hoboken booth
Hoboken Arts & Music Festival

Meet Senator Kyrillos

 Joe Kyrillos 
for U.S. Senate
We need Joe in the U.S. Senate. He has the experience as a proven reformer to do in Washington what he, Governor Christie and other like-minded allies have done here in New Jersey.



Bob Menendez 

Time for a change!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Revelations from the Franz channel and Shipyard rental subsidies

In reviewing Franz Paetzold's greatest hits at his YouTube channel, Da Horsey came across a treasured segment with Franz speaking in favor of the midtown garage refinance.  While MSV certainly agreed with that position, we didn't take it too seriously knowing Franz's odd consistency of never calling to account his own second ward councilwoman or MORTe on any of his stated 2010 candidate positions including the Mason-Russo threat to zero out last year's surplus.

Back last November a simple no cost midtown garage refinance was going to save Hoboken millions.  (Does the number $4.5 million ring a bell?)  The financing savings alone would net $50,000 to the City while the bond payments concluding at the exact time as the existing bond - a true no brainer.

But based on MORTe's posture at the council meeting, MSV already knew it was dead.  MORTe was angry the hospital had not been killed earlier after seeing it in a coma and was hopping mad.  They were angry no one bought their cover they "saved" the hospital, angry the mayor succeeded in her arduous efforts to do so exactly that and livid Governor Christie had interfered when they voted down a $5.5 million bond coming to the rescue the next day and saying he wasn't going to allow their petty politics to kill over a thousand jobs and see a hospital closed.  MORTe was sure it had pulled the plug on the hospital the night before and the patient would never recover from the coma.

MORTe expected to blame the mayor for the hospital's closure, crippling the city's budget and forcing Hoboken into bankruptcy.  They were gleeful and eager to play that card and their operatives were none too bashful about saying so.  (Recall Hoboken411 announcing the hospital DOA before the City Council meeting?)  Occhipinti had one of his typical outburst passing the buck saying aloud, "It's not our deal."  Michael Russo was reported to angrily echo the same thought when told the hospital was going to be killed by that action.

It was Russo's own mother who told Church Tower residents in the hall at that critical council meeting on the bond to salvage negotiations with the hospital creditors/unions, "Why should we give them the money? They'll just close it anyway."

Here's 20 seconds of Franz Kabuki Theater:

Back to our Franz romance.  As Da Horsey can smell out a vote better than an organic carrot in the neighborhood, we can see this simple refi is deader than dead even before the council discussion begins.  Franz Paetzold is up talking about its merits but we've seen that drill before too.  He knows the vote is going to go down the tubes and so it's like free Ch. 78 commercial time.  He can pretend he's speaking in favor of common sense to advance himself politically knowing full well it won't make a bit of difference to the Old Guard who hold the votes to see it fail.  The vote is in the bag and this refi saving Hoboken a small fortune is deader than dead.

Knowing this, Da Horsey snaps off a few photos as Franz does his kabuki dance when we become engaged with Tim Occhipinti in non-verbal banter.  Signaling the refi is dead out of the gate we give Occhipinti the "it's dead" thumbs down sign.  Occhipinti smirkily acknowledges its fate nonverbally back.  This has been decided in advance among MORTe - none of them are going to give the required sixth vote for passage so Hoboken can save millions.  That's too useful for Hoboken and would help the mayor do her job.

Getting that feedback from Occhipinti, we acknowledge his confirmation and give him the thumbs up.  It's followed with the old finger across the neck meaning you're cutting Hoboken's throat.  To this, Occhipinti merely smiles.

Neither Tim Occhipinti or Da Horsey knew the cameraman was shooting wide angle and captured any of this on film.  Without Franz's kabuki theater YouTube channel none of this may have happened.

So thanks Franz for bringing this to Da Horsey's attention on your YouTube channel.

Franz Paetzold has taken a number of reasonable common sense positions on issues.  Then he goes and hangs out with the people who oppose those same positions.  He's spoken against moving to November elections at both the City Council and BoE, a core Old Guard position.  No feinting from Franz there.   

Talking Ed Note: Friday evening Franz Paetzold showed MSV his Shipyard rental checks over months and his previous payments to his old rental at 333 River.  He's clearly paying market rent so anyone who claims otherwise is incorrect.

Franz is of the stated belief he can inch the Old Guard toward common sense good governance.  That belief is wrong based on any objective review of recent events.  You don't change the Old Guard.  You knuckle under aka Timmy Occhipinti and then they allow you to rubber-stamp their old, dark ways.  With enough obedience they may put you up for mayor to be their new Peter Cammarano.

There is no bridge to be linked.  It's just a divide with Hades nestled between.  One day perhaps Franz Paetzold will accept it.  It won't be today.

It'll come after it's too late when the Feds sweep Hoboken.

Friday, April 27, 2012

$1.1 million theft from Hoboken "cleared up" in sentencing of Brian Petaccio

The Office of Attorney General Jeff Chiesa announces:

Toms River Man Whose Company Collected Coins From Hoboken Parking Meters Sentenced To Prison For Stealing Over $1 Million

Former city parking utility director previously sentenced to prison in theft case

TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a Toms River contractor whose company was hired by the City of Hoboken to collect coins from city parking meters was sentenced to state prison today for stealing over $1 million in parking revenues.

Brian A. Petaccio, 52, of Toms River, the owner of United Textile Fabricators LLC, was sentenced to five years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson Jr. in Ocean County. Petaccio pleaded guilty on Sept. 30, 2009 to an accusation charging him with second-degree theft by unlawful taking for stealing approximately $1,175,000 in coins from Hoboken’s parking meters between June 2005 and April 2008. After an audit in 2007 uncovered parking revenue shortfalls, Petaccio and his company returned approximately $575,000 to the city. However, Petaccio admitted, in pleading guilty, that he diverted an additional $600,000 that was not reported to the city.

On April 2, 2012, John P. Corea, 48, former director of the Hoboken Parking Utility, was sentenced to seven years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Judge Hodgson. Corea pleaded guilty to second-degree official misconduct, admitting that he became aware that Petaccio and United Textile had stolen a large amount of the city’s parking revenues, but did not take any steps to stop the thefts or notify the city. Corea also admitted that he steered three separate no-bid contracts to United Textile to collect, count and manage the coins from the city’s parking meters, and made false statements to the city council about the qualifications and experience of the company, which is a coin-operated arcade game manufacturer.

Corea and Petaccio were each ordered to pay $300,000 to the City of Hoboken in restitution for the $600,000 in revenue that was stolen from the city by Petaccio and not previously repaid.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey J. Manis prosecuted the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau. The charges resulted from an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police. The investigation was conducted by Detective Sgt. Peter Layng of the State Police Official Corruption Bureau North Unit, and Sgt. Lisa Shea, Deputy Attorney General Manis, Deputy Attorney General Perry Primavera, and Administrative Analyst Kathleen Ratliff of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.


Hoboken has none of these coin operated meters these days.

Talking Ed Note: The $1.1 million missing - "It's been cleared up!"

Space Shuttle Enterprise photos over the Hudson - the best of

AST Photos
Photography by Anthony S. Torres : Facebook : Twitter
p: (845) 445 8278 

Over there, over there, over there - Space Shuttle Enterprise!

Salute to the Space Shuttle Enterprise over Hoboken.  Video courtesy

And the Space Shuttle Enterprise swings by again on the return down the Hudson River.

Space Shuttle Enterprise flying over Hoboken

All photos courtesy of Jimmy the K, MSV Executive Publisher.  All rights reserved 2012.

Council President Bhalla: Star Ledger notes Hoboken a stand out on tax cuts across entire state of New Jersey

From the desk of Hoboken Council President Ravi Bhalla:

Dear Friends,

I hope 2012 has been treating you and your family very well. I write to share some exciting news regarding our City's financial condition and recent progress in delivering more parks and open space in Hoboken.

2012 Budget Passed

For the fourth consecutive time, under the steady leadership of our Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Hoboken taxpayers have benefited from a tax decrease in the municipal portion of our tax bill. In this rough economic climate, this accomplishment is virtually unprecedented in the State of New Jersey. And we did it without having to lay off a single police or fire officer. The New Jersey Star Ledger has recognized Hoboken as standing out among all other towns in Hudson County in achieving a double digit decrease in municipal taxes from prior years.

We were able to achieve substantial tax relief despite the best efforts of some members of the City Council to obstruct Hoboken's progress towards fiscal honesty and responsibility. Over the last few Council meetings, some of my colleagues have been kicking and screaming in protest. But what constructive ideas have they put on the table? None. All I have heard from them is that we need to hire more police officers and other vague platitudes. But I ask you: how will increasing the size of our police department reduce the size of the budget and offer tax relief? It will only obstruct, not advance, this objective with no guarantees of enhanced public safety. The hypocrisy of those who want smaller government but a larger police and fire department is nothing less than astounding.

So how has Mayor Zimmer achieved this success? I quote my esteemed colleague, Vice President Peter Cunningham, who recently stated, "We are proud of the way we did it. Honestly. Sustainably. No tricks or gimmicks. We cut taxes while preserving needed services and reserving 3.6% of the budget for unexpected costs."

My friends, this is honest and effective government at work, and we should all commend Mayor Zimmer for the stellar results she has produced so far. I also wish to commend her entire financial and legal team, Vice President Cunningham, and my council colleagues David Mello, Carol Marsh and Jennifer Giattino for working together to move Hoboken forward.

Parks & Open Space

Mayor Zimmer has called 2012 "The Year of Parks" in Hoboken, and we are making substantial progress in delivering more open space and park space for both children and adults. The Sinatra Soccer Field construction has begun and is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2012. The City of Hoboken recently filed a lawsuit to stop the Monarch project, an offensive development initiative to build 12 story residential towers on a crumbling pier in the northeast part of Hoboken. Just last week two new parks, Legion Park and a pocket park on Jefferson Street were renovated and opened to the public. The Jackson Street Park was also recently re-opened for use. Finally, we are also moving forward on developing 1600 Park and the Hoboken Cove in the northern end of town. There is much more that is being done, but I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to preserve and develop more open space in Hoboken for the use and enjoyment of all of our residents.

Personal Notes

You probably have not heard from me for several months because of some significant personal changes in my life. My wife and I recently moved from the Shipyard community, where I enjoyed living for about 12 years, to a home on Garden Street near the Brandt School. Most significantly, earlier this year we had our second child, a beautiful baby boy named Shabegh Singh Bhalla. It is truly a joy to have a new little addition to our family.

As always, if you have any concerns, questions, or require assistance, I am only a phone call or email away. You can reach me at 201-647-6090 or I hope to hear from you soon!

All the best,

Ravi S. Bhalla
City Council President
City of Hoboken

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Space Shuttle Enterprise to Fly Along Hudson River on Friday

City of Hoboken announces:

On Friday, April 27, NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with the space shuttle Enterprise mounted atop will fly at a relatively low altitude over various parts of the New York City metropolitan area. The space shuttle is being flown from Washington Dulles International Airport to John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.

The flight is expected to occur between 9:30am and 11:30am. The timing and exact route depend on weather and operational constraints.

It is expected that after flying from the Statue of Liberty to the George Washington Bridge along the Hudson River at an altitude of 1,500 feet, the flight will turn west through Bergen County and then return towards New York. Best views of the flight are expected along the waterfront.

Southwest Redevelopment Hearing Tonight

From the desk of Councilman Dave Mello:

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

If you are at all interested in providing a smart growth future of our Southwest neighborhood, please attend our next Southwest Redevelopment Planning Board hearing TONIGHT at 7:00 PM at our Multi Service Center. The bulk of tonight's meeting will center upon questioning by the legal representation of various property owners in the Southwest study area of our Planning Board professionals who wrote the study being considered.

The Multi Service Center is located at the SW corner of 2nd and Grand Streets.

Just showing your face for a few minutes will send a strong message to our planning officials and representatives that you take the responsible planning of our Southwest neighborhood very seriously, and expect that our Planning Board will do likewise.

I hope to see you there,


David Mello
City Councilman At-Large
twitter: djmello


City of Hoboken announces:

Residents can now enjoy instant access to garage parking

The Hoboken Parking Utility (HPU) announced today that the well-known waiting lists for parking in municipal garages that have forced Hoboken residents to wait for years at a time to get in have finally been eliminated. The successful sale of Hoboken University Medical Center cleared the way for residents to find relief from the most notorious waiting list of all at Midtown garage.

"When I took this job, I was handed a wait list for garages that in some cases was over 200 people and nearly three years long,” said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs “After two years of careful management, organizational changes, and creative thinking from my staff, we can proudly say there is no longer a wait for anyone who wants to park in a municipal garage!”

The HPU manages five municipal parking structures. In 2009, four of five parking facilities had extremely long waiting lists while one was “underparked.” While some garages have availability limited to certain options, everyone who wishes to park in a municipal garage may now do so.

Corrective actions to eliminate the wait lists included eliminating unauthorized/undocumented parking accounts in an early audit of all facilities, standardizing application and wait list procedures, rigorous tracking of occupancy statistics, creation of new options that better meet the needs of customers, clearer documentation about availability, and rebalancing parking to better match supply and demand throughout all facilities.

One of the most important changes to address the mismatch between supply and demand at municipal garages has been the introduction of the “Monthly Limited” parking option for Hoboken residents. This option is designed for residents who commute with their cars to work each day; they enjoy a 30% discount on the standard rate in return for committing to be out of the garage between 10am and 4pm on weekdays. As of March 2012, about 140 residents are signed up for that option.

This year, HPU plans to upgrade the elevators and stairwells in all garages and address needed structural improvements, pending City Council approval of a bond ordinance.

Taking on Da Fish

Mighty Petz, Mighty Petz, step right up and greet your Petz.
They'll make great Petz!

Citi Field earlier today where the Mets completed a three game sweep of the Florida Marlins.

Timmy Time in the park: Let's have a park party celebrating me!

The ever shameless Tim Occhipinti despondent a ribbon cutting ceremony opened the newly refurbished park on lower Jackson Street without him is holding his own self-celebratory party for the park Saturday.

He's managed to take credit for the park while doing nothing himself at least several times now, most recently at the last City Council meeting during the New Business discussion.  The council members exhausted after another full night of MORTe politrickin made no comment when he did so as Occhipinti looked pleased to throw one self-congratulatory moment on the barbie.

One day Director Leo Pellegrini is going to slug him and be given a citation - an order of achievement.

Parents should not be exploited in the ruse and neither should their children.

The voice of the artist on lower Jackson St. is speaking out on Occhipinti's latest ruse.
They aren't happy with Timmy and remember his vote buying scheme all too well.

Talking Ed Note: Someone do the universe a favor and explain to Tim Occhipinti the 8th commandment "Thou shall not bear false witness," is not a suggestion.

Repeatedly taking credit for the work of others is tacky at best, unseemly at worst.  Okay, Da Horsey does know this is Tim Occhipinti we're talking about.

Tell him anyway.  Tell him at the Jackson St. playground with lots of parents around.  Or tell him here where the usual voices of political operatives are trying to salvage the lie: 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The White Stripes come to Hoboken

Hoboken's progressive transportation approach moves forward as the City's plan to incorporate bike riding lanes takes shape.

There's ten miles of bike lanes as pictured above about to begin hitting the streets.
Clinton Street will be the first hosting the White Stripes, Seven Nation Army not included.


Sinatra Park Soccer Field and Walkway Reconstruction Underway

City of Hoboken announces:

Reconstruction is underway on the waterfront soccer field at Sinatra Park and the walkway at Castle Point. In late 2011, the Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers approved the City’s plans to reconstruct the collapsed field and walkways. The City has awarded a contract for the reconstruction of the field and walkway specifying a completion date of December 21, 2012 and a $1,500 per day penalty for each day the project is completed late. 

Get the latest Hoboken news:
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Next battle lines over the Monarch Project

Updates from Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront:

1. Shipyard Associates has again requested to re-schedule their hearing in front of the Hoboken Planning Board.  The hearing is now scheduled for:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 – 7:00PM
Wallace School gymnasium
1100 Willow Avenue (intersection of 11th and Willow Ave.)

2. As expected, Shipyard Associates has appealed the Hudson County Planning Board's decision to deny their application.  They will now have to present their entire application to the Board of Chosen Freeholders (the legislative branch of the county government).  We are expecting a public hearing to be scheduled in May and will keep you updated on the timing.  Freeholder Anthony Romano is Hoboken's representative on the Board of Chosen Freeholders.  Correspondence reiterating the importance of this matter can be sent to him at the following address:

Freeholder Anthony Romano
567 Pavonia Avenue
Jersey City NJ 07306

3.  These update emails now reach 519 concerned residents of Hoboken, and the list continues to grow every day.  We are honored to receive emails of well wishes and support, but we cannot get complacent.  Please spread the word to your friends, family and neighbors.  Our electronic petition is still open for signatures ( and our inbox is always open for suggestions or questions.  Attendance at public hearings still remains the MOST IMPORTANT way to fight this project!
4.  Thank you to everyone who attended the Fund for a Better Waterfront comedy night.  It was a great success and everyone had a great time.  They have been great friends to our cause since day one and we were thrilled to see them throw a successful fund raiser.

--Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront
@HobokenRPW on Twitter

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Franz Paetzold revelations: The Unmasking

Promoted from the MSV comments, Politrickery writes:

In spring 2011, Franz ran a mysteriously low-bandwidth campaign, with no Web site, no platform information disseminated, no effort to provide people with any particular insight into what he thought or stood for, and in fact seemed to be going out of his way to be as vague and trope-ridden as possible when it came to articulating any policy positions, offering reform-minded voters a vague whiff of being an "independent" alternative to the Zimmer-endorsed candidate about whom Mason's propaganda machine had successfully sown doubts, stemming from smear pieces regarding his personal finances and questions about his longevity in Hoboken. 

Shortly before the election, Franz wrote a letter to the editor declaring his desire to "reform our elections process... have the Council make responsible development decisions; and take a serious look at our rent control problems." He made no mention of any concerns he had about Mayor Zimmer's publication on the city Web site, two months prior, of information regarding Councilman Michael Russo being caught on an FBI tape agreeing to accept illegal campaign money from a developer, disparaging the legal and proper zoning and planning process and "this pay-to-play nonsense," and boasting of having abused his role on the Hoboken Housing Authority, which serves as one of the city's rent-control/affordable-housing solutions. If anything, one might have expected, given Franz's key stated platform positions of election reform, responsible development, and rent control, he of all people might have been among the most outraged and appalled at Councilman Russo's conduct. 

Instead, Franz waited until after the election, upon which he almost immediately stated the exact opposite -- essentially that Russo's rights were being infringed upon by a political thug. 

Here is what he wrote: 

"I am against the mayor using the city web site to issue such a politically charged statement for the following reasons: 

First, it is unfair to have taxpayer money support a website that houses a statement that many people in our community may either disagree with or find repulsive. 

Second, this creates dangerous precedent because in the future the mayor may again use the city web site as an unfair tool to attack political opposition. In theory she could even destroy her political opposition with such a weapon. 

Third, this undermines the value of the city web site. Residents rely on the city web site as a source for good, reliable and unbiased information so that they can form their own point of view about what is happening in our city. 

And fourth, this breeds political belligerence because it prompts opposition Council Members or other political operatives to respond in kind. And the last thing our town needs is more political fighting." 

Mayor Zimmer's concern for making the public aware that one of our representatives, wielding the public trust, had engaged in a very serious betrayal, doing even greater damage to people's ability to trust their elected officials in a community still recovering from the Cammarano scandal of 2009, was, in Franz's view, "political belligerence" that some people might find "repulsive" 

Also interesting is that prior to the election, numerous people trying to learn more about Franz and his platform claimed to have reached out to him on Facebook and received no response, yet within days after the election, Franz is said to have begun aggressively using Facebook to try to connect with anyone and everyone in the Hoboken political community, regardless of whether he'd ever met them in person. 

There is no room for ambiguity here -- Franz is possibly the biggest phony this town has ever seen, and a complete and utter weasel who cannot be allowed to slime his way into office. It is imperative that his ambition to get onto our City Council be shut down before it 
ever gets off the ground.

Old Guard Row: At the February BoE meeting, the Old Guard turned out in force to fight feared November elections when more people may turn up at the polls.  In addition to Beth Mason and Matt Calicchio, yes that's Franz Paetzold sitting next to Frank "Pupie" Raia and he joined in opposing November elections.

Talking Ed Note: Franz Paetzold is welcome to respond with a submittal addressing any facts of his earlier "campaign," and his hopeful plans for Hoboken elected office.  His YouTube channel is available here.  Yes Franz has created his own YouTube channel.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Behind the Elysian curtain of the Ruben Ramos fundraiser

Franz Paetzhold at Ramos event
Last week's fundraiser held a few surprises in the back room of the Elysian Cafe.  Behind the velvet curtain was an assortment of Old Guard diehards and some eager fresh to be declared "independent" faces lurking.

Last spring's 2nd ward council candidate Franz Paetzold is the latest "independent" maneuvering to get on an Old Guard council ticket for an at-large City Council seat.

Paetzold has some unique perspectives on corruption in Hoboken - well unique among those who are not soldiers in the Old Guard.  He's assailed the mayor for discussing Councilman Michael Russo's meeting with FBI informant Solomon Dwek on the city website.

While many in Hoboken view the mayor speaking out against such corrupt behavior as a fundamental role of the office, Paetzold views it as unfair.  He's convinced of his certitude nothing in any shape or form construed as political should appear on the city website.

As a council candidate leading into the council races last spring Paetzold showed up at an early April council meeting and witnessed firsthand a protest against Michael Russo.  His reaction?  He declared the peacefully assembled group of 60 Hoboken residents standing in the rain "a mob."

In addition Paetzold declared Russo's innocence even with the full tape of the councilman's amiable meeting with a would be developer showing his willingness to "do for you and you do for me."  Paetzold a lawyer who works in the compliance area for UBS strongly felt Michael Russo was innocent unless convicted of any crime in a court of law.

MSV reminded Franz the public was just as ably to make its determination of one Peter Cammarano when his FBI transcript of meeting with Solomon Dwek at the Malibu Diner was released.

Any more questions about Franz?

Tim Occhipinti for mayor?  He's been a reliable Old Guard vote against good, decent government.
He was an Old Guard plant from the beginning and is the model for others eager to sell Hoboken out.

Talking Ed Note: One surprise at the Ramos fundraiser was the appearance of Councilwoman Beth Mason.  While some would like to believe she's kissed the ring and signed on to a Ramos run for mayor, inside sources say no such commitment has been made.

While Franz Paetzold is eager and willing to sign up for Ramos' at-large City Council slate, he doesn't bring Ramos what he needs most (other than Old Guard support): money.  One person who has been offered a spot on a potential council-at-large ticket with Ruben Ramos on top: Frank "Pupie" Raia.  But why would Raia sign a check for $200,000 if he's not sitting atop the ticket?  Pupie's mom told him he would be mayor of Hoboken one day and this may be his last chance to prove her right.

As for Councilwoman Beth Mason, she's keeping her checkbook closed as she mulls over what to do and if she can convince Union City Mayor Brian Stack to accept a check with lots of zeroes and put her on a slate gunning for Ramos' Assembly seat.  Such a move is indicative of another county war with the HCDO.  There's people on both sides predicting either outcome.

In the interim, people are saying the Mason thug squad is out pitching Mason's boy toy, Tim Occhipinti as a potential mayoral candidate.  He may not come off too well to most any observer at City Council meetings with his petulant, arrogant actions and constant mindless outbursts but Beth Mason is pitching him anyway.  If she can't hold the ring of power, she thinks why not do so via her puppet.

Occhipinti was absent from the Ramos fundraiser.  Perhaps that too came at the instruction of Beth Mason.

Tim Occhipinti planter graphic courtesy of Grafix Avenger.  For GA's story see:

Das Pump pumps Hoboken out

Hoboken pump fends off biggest test to date with nor'easter

Initial reports show the biggest test for Hoboken's pump have greatly reduced the impact of severe rains in last night's nor'easter.  While some areas near Shop Rite in the western part of the City saw temporary but limited flooding, most other areas saw none of the detrimental impact including the areas of the fourth ward historically hit very hard.

This scene typical of flooding in Hoboken after Hurricane Irene is not the case this morning.

Early reports indicate it was the western area of Hoboken in midtown hit the hardest but it was temporary and by this morning the waters reaching more than a foot in limited locations was already gone but did leave some vestiges of sewage.

The situation this morning can best be summed up with one resident's twitter stating, "Hoboken just doesn't flood like it used to."

High tide arrived late last night and most of the City saw little to none of the flooding in the areas typically affected.

The pump in downtown Hoboken has one additional outflow going online next month.  It's not clear how it will impact flooding with the heavy rains Hoboken received in the past day.  That answer comes with an equal or better challenge.

Talking Ed Note: EmNet monitoring is providing data on the activity level of waters through each rainstorm.  The data has been tabulated over months and is useful in devising strategies for future rain events.

The City expects to have some detailed analysis available after compilation of data over months.

Some photos below of the fourth ward usually hit hard are clear.

The fourth ward photos above courtesy of The BankRobber.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Free garage parking as Das Pump to be tested with City on nor'easter watch through Monday morning

City of Hoboken announces:

Flood Watch Issued; Free Garage Parking For Hoboken Residents In Flood-Prone Areas

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for our area from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning. Several inches of rain are possible. Due to the potential for flooding, the City of Hoboken is providing free parking in municipal Garage B (located on 2nd Street between Hudson and River streets) beginning Sunday, April 22nd at 12pm noon through Monday, April 23rd at 8am for residents who reside in flood prone areas and have a valid Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit placard. Free parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Residents who have a Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit are reminded that overnight parking from 8pm to 8am is available every day in Municipal Garages B, D (215 Hudson St), and Midtown (371 4th St) for $5. 

A map of flood-prone areas is available on the City website:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Back to the tape: how MORTe cost Hoboken $4.5 million

For those who didn't see the original discussion on the midtown refi, here's a key three minute segment.  Here you see the efforts of the council majority fall short as a bond requires six votes and not one member of MORTe will fulfill their fiduciary responsibility.

If there was a law on doing so and upholding your oath of office each member of MORTe could find themselves fined a million plus dollars each and/or in jail.

What has been overlooked in much of this recent discussion is the refinance was required by the IRS when the hospital was sold.  Smarting from the community rising up to stop their sabotage and see Hoboken University Medical Center closed, MORTe was not going to let go of this opportunity to bleed Hoboken for millions.

More importantly, the refinance would have saved the City $50,000 and the bond would have been paid off AT THE EXACT SAME TIME as the original bond payment schedule.

Councilwoman Terry Castellano claimed at a prior meeting the refinancing of the midtown garage would have saddled Hoboken with many more years of additional payments.  Council VP Cunningham immediately corrected her and she fell silent.  Of course she well remembered the truth from the end of 2011.  But she gave the Big Lie a shot.

Notice the arguments or lack thereof here.  Occhipinti is not complaining about additional costs to the City of Hoboken.  He doesn't address the arguments on how lower interest rates will greatly benefit the City and its taxpayers.  He cries about service fees and calls them "patronage" as if that made any sense at all with millions of dollars at stake.  Those fees would have been a pittance in comparison.  It's overheard here as being only 30K.

Like last Wednesday, you can see the truth is hitting too close to home when MORTe refuses to allow the facts to be rationally discussed as they did to Councilman Dave Mello.

Take a look at this three minute clip from last November and see the ugly truth for yourself:

Cunningham: 'Our honest budget success hailed by NJ paper of record'

From the desk of Councilman Peter Cunningham:

Dear neighbors, friends and family,
After Wednesday night's council meeting, I had to leave early the following morning for Baltimore returning last night.  However, taking the train, I had time to pen the following.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.  
Thanks, Peter
Dawn Zimmer and I have been working to control Hoboken’s budget since before we were elected to the council.  We join a long line of citizen activists who understood that the only sustainable way to cut taxes was to reduce spending.  This week, years of effort continued to bear fruit, as we again made historic progress with Hoboken's 2012 budget.  New Jersey’s ”paper of record,” The Star Ledger recognized that achievement when it wrote: “In a 5 to 4 vote, the Hoboken City Council passed its calendar budget that drops the tax levy 17 percent from last year's [actually prior year’s] figures, putting the mile square city on top of the state for reducing taxes.”
We are proud of our record in cutting taxes. But we are just as proud of the way we did it. Honestly.  Sustainably.  No tricks or gimmicks.  We cut taxes while preserving needed services and continuing to reserve 3.6% of the budget for unexpected costs.  All achieved in the face of unrelenting obstructionism by minority council members Mason, Occhipinti, Russo and Castellano.   
Minority members understand that the city’s fiscal success is their political catastrophe.  That’s why they worked so hard to kill the HUMC hospital privatization which would have cost the City dearly in reduced services, loss of jobs, and financial and economic disaster.  These four obstructionists failed in blocking the sale, but did manage to block a refinancing of Parking Utility bonds to the tune of $4 million which would have further shored up our reserves and provided additional tax relief in a responsible manner. 
We persevered through the budget process in accordance with state statutes.  We conducted open and transparent budget workshops.  We made well thought out amendments to the introduced budget.  And we passed a responsible budget which will provide for sound regeneration of surplus savings in future years, while preserving needed services and providing the most tax relief in the state.
Many thanks to Mayor Zimmer and her team, to my council colleagues, and to our many supporters.  Working together we stayed the course and got the job done.    Hoboken has a lot to be proud of.
Peter Cunningham

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sign of the Times: At Ruben Ramos fundraiser, Scott Delea makes a run for it but fails

Tuesday night was an event jammed night in Hoboken.  At the Elysian Cafe, Ruben Ramos held a fundraiser, officially it's for his Assembly committee but in reality it's a warm up for a mayoral run.

As MSV arrived Perry Belfiore pointed to note State Senator Nellie Pou in attendance while Scott Delea (r) made a run for it.  He thought he escaped but no such luck and he's immortalized showing his true colors if not follicles.  

Ramos' event brought out the Old Guard crowd with Mike Novak coming to Hoboken for a visit joining politico Perry Belfiore, Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano, former Public Safety Director Angel Alicia, former 2nd ward council candidate Franz Paetzold, developers and the usual suspects.

Councilwoman Beth Mason also made an appearance.  

Copyright thief Scott Delea leapt into action to escape MSV's camera.  Fail.  Nice try Scott.  
Should have tried a more natural position like slithering on your belly.

The Old Guard is not pleased the BoE's $60 million budget evaded their grasp with April elections moving to November.  They are gearing up for the Hoboken Mayor's race in spring 2013.  

That's a $100 million bounty and they are already eyeing that prize.

Shotgun marriage Part IX?  At the City Council meeting debating a bond to save the hospital and the Hoboken taxpayers Frank "Pupie" Raia and Michele Russo were on the same side: kill it.  Raia would want to build the condos there and Michele would want the sales commissions.  Is this part of another go round in 2013?

Talking Ed Note: The buzz on the street isn't if Ruben Ramos is going for mayor but how much money from the fundraiser can he roll over into a mayoral run?  Based on the wheeling legislation passed in Hoboken with the entrance of Councilwoman Jen Giattino last summer not much but there's the law of Hoboken and then there's the law of necessity.

Of equal interest, did Beth Mason see the writing on the wall with her baseless 2nd ward council seat providing zero toward a citywide mayoral run?  The big question in the room is did she see the lack of Old Guard support for her as a reason to throw in the towel and kiss the Ramos ring?

Or is Mason just going to throw caution to the wind (and the FBI) and start writing massive checks to political consultants (again) when everyone thinks Old Guard unity is complete?

As one keen observer commented here, the Russo's were notably absent.  One Old Guard source says the Russo clan will come full circle in their never ending love-hate relationship with Frank "Pupie" Raia.  They've shown a united front at City Council meetings and the BoE.  Raia can taste regaining power and the controls over the BoE's $60 million budget, but it's the chair on the second floor at City Hall he truly covets.

Much remains unseen but in Hoboken, it's always a game of who you wish to be seen with and what it means when you ain't.