Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mayor's statement on Planning Board decision denying Monarch Project Application

Office of the Mayor announces:


On July 10, 2012, the Hoboken Planning Board voted to deny without prejudice Shipyard Associate’s application for the Monarch project, which involves the construction of two 10-story buildings on a pier in the Hudson River east of the Hudson Tea Building, despite a development agreement which included the construction of tennis courts and other pier amenities. The City filed a lawsuit in March, 2012 to compel Shipyard Associates to construct the previously-agreed upon amenities.

“I am very pleased with the Planning Board’s decision to deny the application for the Monarch project,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The actions of our special counsel hired by the City to defend our community’s interests were critical to this decision. This is a temporary stop to the process depending on the outcome of our court case, so the fight to protect our waterfront is not over. However the turnout last night was proof that our community takes this issue very seriously, and I will continue to do everything in my power to protect the treasure of our City.”

As indicated in the letters from the City’s lawyers, Shipyard Associates has a right to re-file their application pending the outcome of the litigation.

The public documents provided below provide an overview of the City’s legal case to date and include the complaint filed by the City. The counterclaim by Shipyard Associates will be posted to the City website on Thursday, July 12. Letters of communication between the City and Planning Board’s lawyers requesting that the Planning Board application be dismissed as well as the response from Shipyard Associate’s lawyers are also included.

The City has also requested a hearing through the Office of Administrative Law of the DEP decision approving Shipyard’s permit application. To date, a decision has not been made as to whether a hearing will be granted.

Congratulations Hoboken - We just went TILT!

On behalf of MSV and all Hoboken residents, Da Horsey would like to thank the almost two dozen members of the public who made the decision to obtain the full transcripts of the Union City Municipal Court in the case of State of NJ vs. Calicchio.

In less than two days, the community has expressed its will voting with their feet and pocketbook, expressing its desire to learn the full truth of what transpired last month.  MSV will be obtaining the transcripts and will keep everyone posted on its arrival.

Da Horsey couldn't do it without you.

Thank you all for standing up for Hoboken!

Talking Ed Note: Did someone's head just go tilt on Hudson Street?

Beth Mason denies knowledge of MSV requests on Mason Civic League records

Mason reacts after public requests 
on her Mason Civic League "charity"
At the City Council meeting last night, MSV made a public request for Councilwoman Beth Mason to comply with the law and and make public the financial records of the Mason Civic League.

Testimony last month by two admitted Mason Civic League employees under oath in Union City Municipal Court led to the presiding judge deeming their sworn testimony "not credible" as reported on Grafix Avenger.

Municipal Court Judge Macias described his findings in the harassment case of a current BoE official as transcribed by an eyewitness saying on one admitted Mason Civic League employee, (Tania Garcia) "she can walk into her job anytime she wants, that's a political job."  According to the laws governing a charity, no political work on behalf of any person is permissible at any time.

Beth Mason couldn't decide last night if she did not know about the repeated MSV requests for the Mason Civic League records - public records she is required to file annually by IRS statute - or if the request was not properly submitted by MSV as she would claim both during and after the meeting.

MSV made a legal request via email last month and by law it needs to be met in 30 days.
This is a legal request and was made to three different Beth Mason email accounts.  Beth Mason also did not respond to voicemail left for her in one phone call last month.

MSV has resent the outstanding legal request to Beth Mason due next week.  In addition MSV has requested similar legal information for the Mason Family Civic League.

In almost two years Mason hasn't filed the legal financial documents on her "charity" - that's an IRS requirement no official request by MSV of any kind is required.  Beth Mason is required to comply with the law for charity 501(c)3 organizations of which the Mason Civic League is listed as shown below:

MSV has obtained this limited information on the Mason Civic League.  It doesn't explain how she has on the payroll a number of "political" people including her 2011 campaign manager Ryan Yacco and also political operative James Barracato, listed as a board member.

Our official response to Councilwoman Mason is 

Talking Ed Note: Beth Mason went over to Acting Corporation Counsel Melissa Longo immediately after the meeting concluded complaining about MSV's public request for the Mason Civic League records be released to the public.  

Melissa Longo was out of our hearing but appeared less than impressed with the complaint.  Seeing no satisfaction, from over the dais Mason told us the request was not officially made and MSV countered by saying she had been sent emails on the matter. tories (Pretending she's unaware of the MSV stories requesting same is of course not credible.)  As Mason left the dais she said she was unaware of the email requests.

MSV wrote last month on the Mason Civic League, including our public invitation to meet on the matter for an interview June 17th.

Related: Who would have been responsible for money laundering funds into the Tim Occhipinti campaign?  The Cratos Group no longer with an office in Lyndhurst, NJ appears defunct with one Mason Civic League board member James Barracato listing that as his address.

Cunningham and Giattino elected Council President and VP as speech suppression by Occhipinti kaput

Peter Cunningham is back as Council President for a second run.  He served last in 2009-2010
Councilwoman Giattino was elected Council VP
Last night's meeting was relatively a quiet affair with a low summer turnout.  As MSV predicted in our earlier report, Councilman Peter Cunningham was elected Council President and Councilwoman Jen Giattino elected as Council VP.

Both were elected by 7-2 votes.  Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti voted no for Cunningham and again Mason was joined by Terry Castellano voting no on the VP nod to Giattino.

Ironically the City Council last voted 9-0 to give the council chair to Beth Mason after a midnight power grab by MORTe. Mason has voted against every Council President since.

The big issues:

The Washington St. bond to repave passed 6-3 with Mason voting yes "on introduction" meaning she is not committed to voting yes when it returns at the next meeting.

Tim Occhipinti's ordinance to control board members speech went down in flames.  The Acting Corporation Counsel informed the body they did not hold the legal authority to even pass any measure on the local board members.  It's governed by the State of NJ.

Occhipinti claimed a lawyer who he would not name says otherwise.

Council President then asked for a motion to table as Occhipinti refused to withdraw his illegal ordinance.  It was none other than Councilman Michael Russo who motioned.

6-3 the motion to eject Occhipinti's power grab to control the speech of Hoboken board members failed.  He was joined by Beth Mason and Terry Castellano in the failed effort.

Da Horsey spoke in public portion on the matter and noted that perhaps Beth Mason was the person paying for the legal fees in the failed suppression.

More to come.

Mason after the request.
Talking Ed Note:  MSV will provide the details and the video information of Mason's remarks after Da Horsey's request the Mason Civic League records be made public as required by law.

MSV noted in public portion it did not wish to visit the Mason Civic League headquarters at 921 Hudson Street, the Mason home.  The documents can and should be made public.  Mason's response is the request is not sufficient.

ANY member of the public can go to 921 Hudson Street during business hours and verbally ask to inspect the Mason Civic League documents and/or obtain copies for a small copy fee paid in cash.

By IRS statute, Mason must make the records (Forms 990 and 1023) of the Mason Civic League available - same business day.

State of NJ vs. Calicchio - The Transcripts


In just over a day, Hoboken has stood up to see the true transparency a Mason hired attorney tried to conceal from the public.

Hoboken will see the full remarks of the Mason Civic League employees and the Union City Municipal judge.


There's been community interest in obtaining the full transcript of last month's proceedings in the case State of NJ vs. Calicchio held in Union City Municipal Court.

MSV is gauging interest in obtaining the complete transcript which the Union City Municipal Court can provide for a transcription fee.  The total cost with fees is $850.  

CrowdTilt is an independent website used for fundraising.  You pledge a contribution and if the goal is reached then everyone is charged.  
If the goal is not reached, no one is charged.

Anyone contributing the minimum contribution of $10 will have the option to receive a complete electronic version via email. The CrowdTilt campaign is set for seven days and if the funds are raised, MSV will be reporting on the transcripts here as well.

All contributors information is confidential other than for sending a copy via email.
To maintain confidentiality, you may contribute $10 or more as "Anonymous Donor" after you fill out the form with correct name and credit card information, just go back to edit and change the name.

Related: The original stories on the case here and on the Hudson Reporter:‘This-is-dirty-Hudson-County-politics’-Young-politico-found-not-guilty-of-charge--but-judge-says-‘I-think-you-lied’-

Talking Ed Note: We just rolled out this afternoon but some people are really standing up for getting the full comments from the judge about Beth Mason's "Civic League" employees' testimony.

As of late morning we are now at 90% of the goal!

90% of the goal reached before we "tilt" and then get the court transcripts!