Friday, February 17, 2012

Mayor Calls Special Meeting: City Council to confirm City's interests no longer need protecting on Monarch Project, Al Arezzo and a host of others

Hoboken Special City Council mtg 2-22-12

As Yogi Berra said, it's deja vu all over again. Yes, it's another special edition of let's have a Hoboken City Council Special meeting.  This one comes next Wednesday making it three consecutive City Council meetings on consecutive Wednesdays.

But hey who doesn't love more City Council meetings?  MORTe must love special meetings because they need more information or the dog eats their homework so often we'll need to start all over again - from scratch.

Among these items is the Monarch Project's legal costs.  Councilwoman Beth Mason was squirming in her seat when she was told that the deadlines to meet on the case could be missed by not providing the funding needed last Wednesday.

The special meeting has thirty-three (33) legal matters listed, each with its own resolution where the City Council will vote to state there is no need for the City to continue the legal case.

Among them: the case of the Al Arezzo, Bill Campbell (is Mason paying his lawyer?), the Monarch Project, Tumpson, Lt. Andriani, and each resolution states the "Council does not intend to fund further representation."

Each of the 33 resolutions then add that the attorneys involved stop working.

After listening to Councilwoman Terry Castellano it's hard to know which way she'll vote.  She seems to root for the people suing the City.  MSV recalls in speaking at a City Council meeting asking her not to publicly speak against the City's (and taxpayers) interest in the matter of the Municipal Garage.  As it turned out, the City did not lose the case as the Anti's have repeatedly insisted over and over was going to happen.  (Or were they just rooting for that outcome for petty politics?)  That the public would even need to ask an elected official not to do so is just remarkable.

After leaving the microphone Castellano immediately did it again.

Let's call that vote a wild card.

The language on each legal resolution is worded exactly as above.

Talking Ed Note: The Council can go through each resolution and argue them on the merits and vote accordingly.  It could be a long night if resolution number four - the collective emergency appropriation is not approved.  Resolutions five through 33 would then require individual action.

MORTe wanted a cost figure analysis done for the last special meeting Council members Marsha and Cunningham left in protest.  Councilman Michael Russo thinks it's a good idea to play politics some more with that and wants a resolution to give the costs of the meeting to those two members.

How much is he willing to pony up for all the special meetings he's caused due to needless obstructionism?

Of course we all know the answer.  After all this is the Russo's we're talking about.

Controversy? 413 elected school districts move to November elections

The Office of Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald announces:

Greenwald: More than 400 Elected School Districts Embrace November School Election Law
More than 76 percent of Elected School Districts Have Made the Move

(TRENTON) – Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald on Friday welcomed news that more than 400 elected school districts in the state have chosen to adopt the new law he sponsored and move their school elections from April to November to coincide with the general election.
“I’m glad that such a large majority of elected school districts across the state are taking advantage of this law and opting to move their school elections to November,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “This is a smart option that will save taxpayers and municipalities the cost of another election, which can cost millions to organize, and bring more people to the polls to vote.”
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.
As of Friday afternoon, more than 76 percent - or 410 of the 538 elected school boards in New Jersey - have now opted for November elections, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association.
“School elections are important, yet they suffer from low voter turnout. One media report noted that school elections in New Jersey cost between $7 and $ 9 million to organize, but draw just 10 to 15 percent of registered voters to the poll,” said Greenwald. “In a time when municipalities are forced to do more with less, this law is a practical way to save taxpayer money, and get more people involved in the selection of school board members who will be making decisions on the education of our children.”
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.

Talking Ed Note: The tally has increased end of day to 413 of 538 districts bringing the total percentage of schools districts moved to November elections to a whopping 77%. 

Al Arezzo to City: %&*) off!

Al Arezzo is gone but not forgotten.  At least his memory lives on in the minds of City Council meetings where his name was reverently mentioned along with his untimely departure and lawsuit against the City of Hoboken Wednesday night.

During a discussion on the legal work required, an exasperated Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin responded to the obstructive complaints from MORTe he should plan better by responding, "Then stop getting sued."

Councilwoman Terry Castellano decided this was a good time to note the former employees who are suing the City.  (As one commenter noted recently, that's been a cottage industry in Hoboken for decades.)

So to acknowledge Councilwoman Castellano's reverential reference to Al Arezzo and his lawsuit, here's an actual memo from the foul mouthed former construction official to former Business Administrator Arch Liston as he threatens the City for attempting to have the construction office scheduled for sexual harassment training.

Arezzo apparently would not last in his job much longer after issuing this letter the end of December back in 2010.

It's unknown how this memo may have played into the outcome where he was shown the door in February last year.  Knowing a little about the tough no nonsense competence of BA Liston, that would make for a great story.

Al Arezzo Suspension Letter


Talking Ed Note:  Councilwoman Castellano made reference to Al Arezzo being taken out of City Hall but MSV had originally posted such a scenario based on a source who recanted and the story was quickly taken down.  Later that evening, MSV would address the City Council and apologize for that error as members obviously saw the story and were discussing it as fact.

MSV again extends its apologies for perpetuating such a myth and seeing it repeated at the last City Council meeting by Councilwoman Castellano.

Last February MSV broke the story on Al Arezzo's unscheduled departure from the Construction Office where he was a scourge to many citizens who some suggest are quietly awaiting an opportunity to retell their accounts of corruption surrounding the Hoboken Construction Office with Arezzo out of power.

Grafix Avenger recently wrote about a Beth Mason political operative family not paid for friendship who are unique in their admiration for Al Arezzo - as in solitarily alone.

Update: A reader provided an extensive comment, one MSV can not qualify at the moment but it reads like an Elmore Leonard novel.

Al is flailing away in the last gasps of a dying/dead era of Hoboken, an ugly chapter that hopefully we won't be re-reading. All the revisionist historians characterizing this guy as a hero sticking it to a "corrupt" administration should be careful what they wish for. The Hoboken of Arezzo's heyday still has a lot of untold tales of out-and-out organized crime that have yet to come out, and many of the phony moralizers you hear talking about the "great city" Zimmer is "ruining" are going to get knocked off their high horse when the stories come out about what made the old days so "great" for them personally. 


A lot of the cops have got to be sweating bullets over all the people they and their families have shaken down over the years -- people who are getting more and more comfortable slipping their stories into circulation. Make no mistake, people. The dirt is coming, and it's all coming, and soon. There are outspoken police union reps who are going to be answering uncomfortable questions about their families' pest-control business practices. There are angry, blustery cops who live in Marine View who are going to be on the wrong side of questions about possible past criminal activity by them and their families. 


There are old mob ties that are going to bubble back to the surface for numerous city officials, past and present. When people talk about bringing back "The Real Hoboken," this is the Hoboken they're talking about. A dangerous, notorious stomping ground for criminals and thugs, bullies and shakedown artists who "made Hoboken great" for themselves and their cronies, but a living nightmare for everyone else. And a lot of the "everyone else" folks are still here, and they're talking. And they like the change and shudder at the thought of turning back the clock to the days when they had to pay variations of the "protection money" game just to survive. 

And then you've got assholes like Mr. "Zimmlenz" clown shoes up there, as if there's much doubt who we're talking to there (Hint: Eddie Munster hair, pants too high, overdresses for council meetings, loves to throw bombs in that velvetty radio voice, hate hate hates Dawn Zimmer). Well I've got news for you, "Zimmlenz." The old days of Hoboken you're trying to spin and revise because it can't possibly be worse than the worstest-thing-on-earth, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, well guess what? You wouldn't have lasted 2 seconds in that Hoboken, my friend. You would have been eaten alive. You think you would have wormed your way to the inside like the rest of the scumbag sellouts like Mason, Occhipinti, Delea, Paetzhold and all those other bozos, and gotten taken care of? They didn't NEED a fresh coat of paint back then (and trust me, that's all you are to them). They would have run you into the ground like the yuppie scum that you are. And if you went down to city hall meetings and tried out your little eloquent-bomb-throwing schtick back then, they would've put you in a body cast, Frank Hague-style. 

So go ahead and keep spinning the bad old days, jerkoff. The true stories of the bad old days have yet to come out, and when they do, not if, but when, you may keep putting on a strong face, but I hope you have the common sense to realize you better pray hard that you never get your wish. Wait and see, my friends. Wait and see.

A proposed science themed Charter School asks for feedback

Proposed Science-Themed Charter School Seeks Community Input:

A team of Hoboken parents and educators is putting together a proposal for a new, science-themed charter school for Hoboken. As part of this process, they are reaching out to the community to gauge interest and seek input.
The survey is available online at http://davincicharter.wordpress.com/community-survey/.  All Hoboken residents are encouraged to fill it out.



Some brief information about the proposed school:

(1) If approved, DaVinci Charter School of Hoboken will open in September 2013 with Kindergarten - 2nd grade, and will expand to K-5.

(2) DaVinci will be a S.T.E.M.-focused school – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. In addition to receiving high-quality instruction in reading and writing and all core subjects, students will participate several times a week in hands-on science experiments and engineering projects.

(3) DaVinci will offer a small, nurturing, and personal community where every child is known.

(4) DaVinci believes in adapting our teaching to the individual child – not the other way around.

(5) The curriculum will be Project Based. This means that students will learn largely through working on real-life-related, engaging, and often interdisciplinary projects that are connected to rigorous academic standards.

More information is available at davincicharter.wordpress.com. Any questions can be directed to davincicharterschool@gmail.com