Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Beth Russo hydra plots with Frank "Pupie" Raia to take over Hoboken... and beyond

According to a story on Grafix Avenger, our earlier story about an Old Guard plot to insert Tim Occhipinti into the mayor's seat is alive and well and leaves Assemblyman Ruben Ramos out in the cold.

Among the Old Guard plans to divvy up taxpayer spoils in elected positions, Councilman Michael Russo who is terminally stuck in the third ward after his infamous appearance on the Fed's videotape became public starring him and FBI informant Solomon Dwek is eyeing the Freeholder seat now occupied by Anthony "Stick" Romano.

Tim "Cammarano lite" Occhipinti makes a point at last week's meeting.  His fundraiser saw only ten people in attendance a day earlier but people are saying Occhipinti is already walking around like he's the Old Guard mayoral candidate. Based on Occhipinti's bad behavior at last Wednesday's council meeting, he is buying into his own hype which is a travesty and a Cryan shame.

Councilwoman Beth Mason will be praying for a HCDO war and a spot on the ticket of one Union City Mayor Brian Stack.  Her efforts to use the Hudson Reporter to promote that idea has been floated and printed several times already while her ad buys continue there and a thinly veiled blogger feature was clearly aimed to undermine Grafix Avenger and MSV.  (Does the Hudson Reporter think Mason is the only person on the City Council who would have "complaints" about the blogosphere or do they only listen to who writes them checks?)

As discussed here several times, the Ruben Ramos for Mayor "campaign" has seen little momentum with the Old Guard withholding support and wallets staying shut.  Assemblyman Ramos counts on the votes from the usual syndicate of shadowy vote buying in the Hoboken Housing Authority but he doesn't hold much appeal beyond Applied Housing elsewhere.

Ramos perhaps anxious about his inability to gain traction may have panicked and prematurely approached the Hoboken police unions for support.  Bad move.  They aren't anywhere near ready to make a commitment and watching developments like everyone else.

Occhipinti is the "new" Peter Cammarano the Old Guard is looking to get behind in a run against Mayor Dawn Zimmer a year from now in 2013.  As Occhipinti has issues of his own in a citywide race, the Old Guard will likely promote him similarly as Cammarano appealing to Old Hoboken for core support and confused short term residents who don't know any better.

Beth Mason and Pupie Raia believe they can get the money behind an Occhipinti run and get him over the top with perhaps some of that old style home cooked vote harvesting in the fourth ward - a Tim Occhipinti staple food.

Matt "Vote by Calicchio" - the Mason
'Chief of Staff' to counter a Ramos safari.  

If a three way race occurs with Ramos taking on both Occhipinti and Mayor Zimmer, then things could get really crazy in the back end of the fourth ward.  Perry Belfiore is already signed on to back Ramos and everyone know how much he loves to go down to the Hoboken Housing Authority to safari.  He'll have to square off against Matt "Vote by Calicchio," the Beth Mason 'Chief of Staff' who will be happy to rumble for votes there.  Calicchio's trial for harassment of a sitting BoE member and her little daughter outside a school is set for later this month.

With summer around the corner heating up, things may settle down for a spell or perhaps things will just simmer with Mason and Raia fending off attempts by Ramos to marshall support.

Talking Ed Note: If everything holds to form, Ramos will make a run vying with Occhipinti for the rights to a runoff against Mayor Zimmer, unless the mayor gets 50% plus one vote taking the election outright.  Ramos has lost his county backing and will no longer have a choice.  He may have to run for mayor or be left holding the bag with nothing at all.

Hoboken Parking Meters - coming soon to a neighborhood near you?

The new Hoboken parking meters are a great success.  More cars are able to park on our major thoroughfare of Washington Street and people have a variety of options to pay with more coming.  In addition, the corruption looting more than four million quarters is removed and revenues are predicted to increase by seven figures.

So it's a win win right?  Well not exactly.  A pilot program is being contemplated for testing with the intent of expanding the headless horse all around town - meaning every corner of Hoboken.

Originally broached as a means to move away from the four hour signs where confusion has led to much bad will, the answer to that question does not lie anytime soon with these parking meters being installed wall to wall across the City.

MSV has proposed a minor change to the current signage to minimize confusion on the four hour parking limit.  A sticker could be made and adhered to all the existing signs saying "4 hour rule applies Citywide."  That would end the nuisance of low brow media being brought in to do staged runs in and out of town to show their victimization and remove the confusion.  

Are these headless horse meters plotting to take over the whole City?  Based on a pilot program expanding its use, that appears to be the intent.  It's not the best idea for Hoboken and will destroy the character of neighborhoods.

The problem with the four hour sign isn't so much the sign but that an old policy was not being enforced and people were taking advantage of that knowledge to move a vehicle around the corner to escape the boot.  But how does a pilot program putting parking meters on every block in the City help?

It doesn't.

Putting the new parking meters on every block of the City will harm the character of Hoboken and lessen the sense of community and neighborhood.  Hoboken will be an extended parking lot of parking meters and while it could put an end to the hated four hour parking limit for visitors, it's nowhere near doing so anytime soon and removes character from this town in ways which can never be recovered.

Some additional thought should be given to dealing with the four hour signage and the pilot on the parking meters should be weighed against broader polling methods from the community.  MSV's inexpensive solution should be given consideration as well.

There's a lot more at stake than the four hour sign.  Hoboken's neighborhoods don't deserve to see these headless horses stamped all over the blocks of their homes.  That doesn't even begin to address how simple increases can be imposed, a temptation too easy to entertain.