Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sinatra Park repair passes, Beth Mason caught pushing false information on City employees attending the Super Bowl

The Sinatra Park repair passed easily although there was some grandstanding and false accusations offered by Tim Occhipinti before the record was corrected by Director Brandy Forbes and the votes recorded.  The repair's completion is scheduled for December 21.

The larger aspect of interest at the meeting was the discussion surrounding Beth Mason's accusations "two supporters" of the mayor went on a taxpayer paid trip to the Super Bowl.

When a member of the public, David Denning who is a supporter of Reform asked what the truth was on the matter saying, "How much did Hoboken spend on Hoboken Super Bowl tickets," Council President Ravi Bhalla thought Councilwoman Jen Giattino could provide an answer.

Beth Mason interjected to Denning, "They come as free, when you are part of the host committee," implying that the employees from the City attended the game.

Council President Bhalla then followed matter of factly, "the advertisement was false," before Councilwoman Jen Giattino was given the floor saying the ticket cost to the game was zero since she was "on my couch for the Super Bowl with my family... at home."

Mason remained silent to that illuminating fact.

One can guess no city employee went to the game paid by the taxpayers.

Beth Mason's lies "two political supporters" were sent to "an all inclusive trip to the Super Bowl" was exposed at the end of last night's City Council meeting.  She made a "hail mary" attempt saying free tickets were provided as part of the false information in her advertisement published by the Hudson Reporter.

Sinatra Park Repair on tap for City Council Special meeting at 7:00

City Council Meeting, take 2:

Live video from your iPhone or iPad using Ustream

February 8: One week later it's deja vu all over again as Yogi Berra would say.  This time we're expecting all nine members so if you want to launch an "emergency resolution" with no public notice on the Hoboken BoE or another variety of power grab, best of luck to you.

Will we see a resolution from Beth Mason announcing her Hoboken business plan and further attacks on the "supporters" of the mayor who were sent to the Super Bowl all on the taxpayer's dime?  If she introduces such a resolution, how long before her sock puppet Timmy Occhipinti blurts "Second?"

Mason usually tries to hijack meetings with these type of political hit jobs at the beginning of a Council meeting.  Council President Ravi Bhalla has handled that professionally in the past but he should be prepared to do so again tonight.

Grafix Avenger presented the Beth Mason and Gumby plan for the 2014 Super Bowl in NJ.
It's a hot dogs and sausage stand downtown near City Hall.

February 1:

Tonight appears to be a reasonable agenda and could end at a reasonable hour. The food truck ordinance is back and there's a recommendation on a bid from the Administration to repair Sinatra Park, the jewel of the town's outdoor life on the river.  

The cost comes in lower than originally anticipated at $10-12 million; it's $7.8 million for the Sinatra Park walkway and Castle Point.

As an earlier ordinance already passed appropriating funds toward the repair, the request comes in as a resolution - requiring five votes.  Hoboken has seen logjams on everything from replacing rusted out environmental services equipment to direly needed repairs at the police station when bond ordinances required a needed six votes.

Will Beth Mason object to approving Sinatra Park's repair because she needs as is often her reason "more information?"  Will Tim Occhipinti stand down and vote no and go off in search of more graffiti in Jersey City? 

Will Michael Russo and Beth Mason salvage a last minute resolution to save MTV's Jersey Shore spinoff in Hoboken?  They've fought off many initiatives by the mayor like saving hospital consistently last year and the mayor is against this so they will be for it?

Perhaps Tim Occhipinti will step up and speak on behalf of bar owners, a constituency like NJ Transit he stands up to represent, unlike those irksome children at the Boys & Girls Club.

Tune in just after 7:00 pm for the answer.

Update: 7:15 - Five council members are needed for a legal meeting.  Currently, only the minority members are in the City Council Chambers.  There's some discussion surrounding this and a possible special meeting to be called within 7 days.

None of this is clear but Councilwoman Jen Giattino is out of town.  Is that the reason for this delay with her important fifth vote needed to pass legislation?  It's unclear.

NJ Assembly Majority Leader: 225 of NJ school boards already moved to November elections

From the desk of NJ Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald:

Nearly 42 percent of Elected School Districts Have Already Made Move

(TRENTON) – Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald on Tuesday hailed the success of the new law he sponsored to allow school districts to move their elections from April to November, noting that 225 of the state’s 538 elected school boards have already made the move.
“This idea has been talked about for decades but was always killed by inertia or the special interests," said Greenwald (D-Camden).  "By bringing all the stakeholders to the table and forging a compromise, we passed this major reform measure in a matter of weeks.  Now, my solution is proving to be a quick and astounding success, with nearly 42 percent of the state’s elected school boards already making the move to November school elections. This truly remarkable momentum benefits both taxpayers and democracy and shows we can get things done when we work together for sensible reform.”
After years of talk but no successful action on moving school elections from April to November, Greenwald introduced the bill (A-4394 from the 2010-11 legislative session) on Dec. 1. It received final legislative approval on Jan. 9 and became law on Jan. 17.
The state has 538 elected school boards, and 225 have now opted for November elections, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association. A list of the school districts making the change is attached to this e-mail.
“April school votes are a costly charade, but because of this law school boards are giving voters better control while saving property taxpayers the costs of yet another election," said Greenwald.  "The progress we have seen on this issue is a great example of what we can accomplish by bringing people together to find solutions, instead of relying on name-calling, divisiveness and 30-second sound bites."
The law establishes two procedures for allowing a school district to move its annual school election to the November general election. The first procedure would be via a question presented to the voters in a November election. The referendum would be prompted by a petition signed by not less than 15 percent of the voters who voted in the district during the last preceding presidential election.
The second procedure allows the election to be moved to November upon the adoption of a resolution by the board of education or governing body of a municipality.
 If the district's annual school election is moved to November, then the district's board members will be elected in November and take office at the beginning of January.
 Additionally, if a district moves its election to November voters would not be required to vote on the district's base budget, or a budget with a proposed tax levy that does not exceed the 2 percent levy cap. Any requests for spending above the district's tax levy cap would be presented to the voters in November.
“Everyone realizes this law is long overdue common sense,” Greenwald said. “I’m pleased to see it embraced by so many districts and look forward to seeing it embraced by even more. We’re controlling government spending and property taxes and increasing public participation in our democracy. These are all good things."