Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Clearly frustrated with being limited in power even while they have blocked the fifth swing vote on the council with their manufactured lawsuit out on appeal, the Hoboken Sopranos took maybe their most audacious obstructive action, voting down an emotional issue in the form of the 9-11 memorial.

The project, a replacement for the smaller scale, interim glass design that broke was ready to go ahead in its new form, but in the end, flexing their political power courtesy of the legal wrangling, the vote failed 4-4.

Councilman Michael Russo kicked off the conversation with some blistering grandstanding complaining about the memorial taking more than a decade for completion.  Councilwoman Terry Castellano insisted the 9-11 committee needed to be brought up to speed since 2010.  Tim Occhipinti who saw his pocket parks plan fail to ignite his unannounced mayoral candidacy with only a few people speaking in favor who live across the street requested the memorial be tested in a Stevens engineering wind and water testing machine.  Councilwoman Beth Mason relied on her old standby she needs more information.  (It's all on the city website.)

In response, Council President Peter Cunningham made it clear there would be a vote as the memorial was ready to go and Director Brandy Forbes informed Castellano there had been many conversations and conference calls since 2010 the last of the councilwoman's recollection.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla spoke plainly on what was transpiring before him and said politics shouldn't enter into the process with the vote before them.  His pleas for unity on the matter to approve the 9-11 Memorial was met with on and off mic heckling of Timmy Occhipinti.

Voting yes to approving and building the 9-11 Memorial: Council members Ravi Bhalla, Jen Giattino, Dave Mello and Council President Peter Cunningham.

Voting no: Council members Terry Castellano, Timmy Occhipinti, Beth Mason and Michael Russo.

Followed by much gnashing of teeth and moaning by the no voters, not dislike a chapter out of the Bible with devils being exorcised.

Go ahead Timmy, run for mayor on this.  
Got hypocrisy?

Councilman Michael Russo stops to pose in the lobby of City Hall for Da Horsey's photo.
Minutes later he would complain about "blogs" taking photos outside the bathroom, which is around the corner
150 feet away.  He followed that leading the Hoboken Sopranos to vote down the 9-11 memorial.  Good job Mikey.

Talking Ed Note: The $1.2 million bond for parks passed but the Pier A bond was kicked down the road. Nothing is simple or easy without Jim Doyle.

It's going to get worse, a lot worse if the budget sabotage signaled by Russo and Occhipinti reaches fruition. If the NJ Appellate Court upholds the Hudson County Superior Court decision of Assignment Judge Peter Bariso sooner than later, Hoboken will be fine. If not, it's going to be a long, ugly summer.

Wednesday's traffic was the highest of this year, proving once again when it comes to corruption - Hoboken takes notice.

Correction: The lower Jackson St. restaurant encroaching on City land up for consideration last night was pulled for legal reasons but was described as transgressing 500 square feet.  The accurate figure is actually 390 square feet.