Friday, April 13, 2012

Landmark Pay-to-play reform passes in Hoboken Housing Authority

Last night's Hoboken Housing Authority meeting saw several important resolutions passed among them landmark pay to play anti-wheeling legislation based on Hoboken's municipal law passed in the City Council last summer. The resolution passed in a 5-2 vote.

A new online wait list system for applicants to see where they are in the system was passed unanimously along with returfing Mama Johnson Field.  A two month process is expected to see the new field reopen by July 4th.

Three resolutions were reviewed and introduced by Chairwoman Jean Rodriguez as live items in addition to the HHA's regular business.  Two of the three: pay-to-play and a new online transparent wait list went to a vote while a third on political activities in the HHA introduced was withdrawn for further review.

Executive Director Carmelo Garica responded to a question by Commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez why the pay-to-play legislation was presented as a live item on the agenda in new business calling it "good policy" and "good government" adding efforts had been made to the eleventh hour to finalize it through the attorney review process.  Commissioner Jake Stuiver strongly backed the measure saying the legislation was based on the model passed in Hoboken back in 2004 and updated last year.

The legislation limits any entity making a political contribution from receiving a public contract for one year.

In the only contested vote of the evening the pay-to-play legislation passed 5-2.  Commissioner Michael Russo asked the legislation be amended to bar political contributions by HHA commissioners.  The attorney explained the legislation was about preventing pay-to-play on contracts not infringing on individual constitutional rights to speech.

Stuiver applauded passage of the landmark pay-to-play legislation by email stating: "Pay-to-play rules are a central tenet of open and accountable government and the reform movement.  Expanding it to cover the Housing Authority, which has a budget of over $14 million and deals with many contractors is a logical extension of reform in Hoboken.  I'm proud and grateful to my fellow commissioners, our executive director and board attorney for helping move our community forward."

The pay-to-play legislation roll call: commissioners Judy Burrell and Eduardo Gonzalez voted no and Chairwoman Jean Rodriguez, Vice-chairman Robert Davis being joined by commissioners Maryanne Camporeale, Michael Russo and Jake Stuiver voted for passage.

Here's a video clip of the vote:

The direct, online access for HHA applicants has been a point of interests over years and Stuiver added "implementing this system will both guarantee transparency and sanctity for the wait list system."

The Mama Johnson Field will be seeing new batting cages in addition to the astroturf.  It's expected to support baseball, softball, football and soccer.

Related: Amanda Staab filed a report for Hoboken Patch and it's available at the link:

Tim Occhipinti for resale?

Is Tim Occhipinti going on sale tonight?  The word is Occhipinti will be attending tonight's 7th annual Bachelor/Bachelorette auction at Texas Arizona.

Occhipinti known for his density surely can't be that dense to think he's going on the auction block for anything approaching the $30,000 he got from Counte$$ right?

Maybe there is another older woman of means who would cough up the gelt to have Tim dressed up in stilettos and crawl around on all fours licking cat food off the floor.

More importantly has anyone told Councilwoman Beth Mason her boy toy may be looking to put himself on the market again for another woman to wheel loot for puppetry?

Barcode Tim Occhipinti attending Texas Arizona auction tonight?  On sale now?

Talking Ed Note:  At last night's Hoboken Housing Authority meeting, Occhipinti showed up even as there was another meeting downtown on the Southwest, re: the 4th ward going on at the same time.  (No developer donations were being doled out there however.)  Occhipinti was said to have been most unhappy with a letter that appeared here on MSV and in the weekend paper penned by Jake Stuiver.

That's too bad.

As noted in a tweet last night, MSV was in attendance and witnessed a historic moment with pay-to-play anti-wheeling legislation approved in the HHA!

More on that meeting and the landmark approval of pay-to-play legislation mirroring Hoboken's municipal law passing to come.

Unrelated: Grafix Avenger has a fascinating analysis on the magical doubling of revenues in the Hoboken Construction Office since the departure of the foul mouthed Al Arezzo.

It's absolutely must reading for people who wonder how such things are possible when the faucet is shut and the money can't go out the back door.  MSV can't confirm the findings but has to wonder if yet another Old Guard scam has been "cleared up."