Old Guard staged lawsuit appeal of Doyle's council seat will be heard today in Trenton
The eternal council at-large seat with Jim Doyle's name on it since February will come to a head in a hearing later this morning in the NJ Appellate Court. Last fall, the Old Guard council implemented a ruse where Beth Mason and Michael Russo would avoid successive council meetings to create uncertainty in a tie-breaking vote by the mayor when Doyle was originally appointed.
The manufactured legal logjam led to Hudson Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Bariso walking the City Council members through the process, ordering them to show up and vote. He then examined the vote and concluded no "gamesmanship" should be permitted in the state vacancy law and officially upheld the Doyle appointment early this year.
The Mason family on behalf of the Hoboken Sopranos promptly filed an appeal to keep Doyle from taking his legally appointed seat. With their strident actions on everything from blocking Pier C repairs to voting down emergency budget appropriations, Beth Mason, Michael Russo, Timmy Occhipinti and Terry Castellano have sought to take whatever leverage they can to upend and disrupt the mayor's agenda.
At the previous City Council meeting, they went as far as seizing control over the meeting with only four members and proceeded to call two illegal votes in support of the controversial Vision 20/20 plan.
Now a panel of three judges will review Judge Bariso's decision and hear oral arguments.
Talking Ed Note: A decision to uphold Judge Bariso's decision may be the difference between Hoboken having its budget approved or sending the City into chaos. The Hoboken Sopranos have been licking their chops to kill the budget but if a stay is lifted on Jim Doyle taking his seat, their "gamesmanship" as Judge Bariso called it will be over along with the damage the Old Guard council members can do to the City.
Councilman-in-waiting Jim Doyle's at-large seat is up for election in November. Let's hope he gets some valuable time warming up the chair with a decision ending the Beth Mason's family moneybags justice.
The power grab attempted through a completely manufactured lawsuit has cost Hoboken People over $30,000 and counting to date. Beth Mason and company could care less. Even after Hurricane Sandy, all they care about is seizing power. They don't care if it's by a midnight end run on the City Council without even a legal number of council members present to hold a meeting or deceiving the court(s) in a staged legal action to circumvent the intent of the council vacancy law.
Update: 11:40 - The Trenton court hearing has concluded and Hoboken awaits a decision sooner than later. One legal beagle believes there will be an answer this month, not up to July as another thought based on the court's workload. Bottom line: some prayers on behalf of our city can't hurt. For those who alternatively don't, offer up your sacrifice to ye legal gods. Da Horsey encourages novenas on behalf of Hoboken and the fine personage in the form of Jim Doyle.
Mazel, mazel, good things.