Every week that passes is momentous as Hoboken is in full election mode with the countdown to November. You can tell when the Hoboken Sopranos go all out in utterly shameless fashion and this week they got down and dirty with the Carmelo Garcia crew for oodles of Vision 20/20 loot dancing in their eyes.
If intimidation into voting for a scam project with no discernible documentation was the objective, they certainly failed. If their goal was to gin up the mob and inspire the $40 per vote crowd, well they are sufficiently fired up to come after the Hoboken taxpayers. Come and get it!
The group of Hoboken Housing Authority residents present, a minute dozen or so is a fraction of the thousands who reside there and don't represent those people anymore than say a Beth Mason or Tim Occhipinti represents the actual interests of Hoboken. They are a subset of a cult, organized and directed by their charismatic but ethically challenged leader, Carmelo Garcia who rumor has it met with the staff of Senator Stack and Ruben Ramos and was told in no uncertain words to deliver the bountiful bacon for all concerned in Vision 20/20.
Garcia a product of the HHA himself is a take no prisoners street fighter. Truth has little part in the power struggles he engages in as has been seen over the past year when he went toe to toe with a four member majority for the first time in his capacity as the Director and contractor to the HHA. The four member reform oriented group has wilted each and every time on most every single vote of importance. In short, Carmelo Garcia is the full fledged magician Michael Russo one day dreams about becoming.
So Vision 20/20 and its proposed massive expansion may have taken a couple of hooves to the head but it's not wobbly, merely dazed. This past week's Hoboken Reporter kept the coverage regarding the massive project vague and clean, not depicting any of the ugliness seen in the council meeting last Wednesday night. The details on paper showing the full intent of Vision 20/20's 1853 units is never mentioned nor the full impact to the fourth and third wards let alone the added costs in public safety and education services.
The true face of Vision 20/20's bountiful millions did emerge when the ugliness mounted with Councilman Dave Mello being the target of a race baiting attack by HHA resident Michele Lessane, who one reader commented here's aka is "pokey." Well Lessane poked Mello in the eye accusing him of making racist remarks at an earlier meeting causing Mello to retort, "You're slandering me ma'm."
The response by the Hoboken Sopranos as Lessane departed from her ugly gutter work? Manic applause. Beth Mason looked more excited than she has in months since she dug through claims during a council meeting and found a NJ Transit ticket in the pile for $10 she was sure was part of a Zimmer scandal. (It actually was a midday trip for a worker on Hurricane Sandy efforts.) Councilwoman Terry Castellano looked almost 20 years younger, her face lit up with glee. (Video to come.)
Councilman Michael Russo and Tim Occhipinti sparred in grandstanding to the unruly HHA ruckus taking turns alternating with out of order remarks playing to the mob which kept the proceedings fueled with a low machine gun growl for most of the evening alternating with catcalls and yelling joined in on regular occasion by Vision 20/20 Garcia supporter Barbara Reyes who returned for an encore edition, being voted down for the second meeting in a row for HHA commissioner at the end of the evening.
This was met with dismay and much complaint by the Hoboken Sopranos who were none too pleased the repeat vote on the same candidate would drag on past 11:00 pm, when the Carmelitos Circus lost some fervor and manic Vision 20/20 fever.
The Carmelitos say they will be back "for their rights." They believe it means new housing for them, something not seen in writing anywhere. The developer RPM who sought a 20 year pilot on top of massive government funds to start Vision 20/20 was designated in control of the list re: out of reach of any governmental authority, able to work the back rooms with the Old Guard at will - with no consequence.
There's not a word in writing about any detailed project plan, schematics, community outreach, planning or zoning board approvals whatsoever in regard to Vision 20/20.
Mayoral candidate Ruben Ramos who supports Vision 20/20 as part of his "Vision for Hoboken" called the earlier opposition vote to the massive expansion of the HHA by the reform council members "dubious." He and his council slate have begun to feel whiplash from people sniffing out the Vision 20/20 scam and the impact on all of Hoboken from the environment to the larger tax bill for the additional public safety and education costs inherent in such an expansion.
Is Ramos as cynically strong in posture as Carmelo Garcia who without blinking would call this "a benefit." While council slate member Eduardo Gonzalez is a commissioner on the HHA and is absolutely cognizant of the particulars and impact on all of Hoboken with Vision 20/20, what do the other slate members Joe Mindak and Laura Miani have to say about it?
While Carmelo Garcia is verbally backtracking on the massive expansion of the HHA, there's nothing in writing to stop it if Ruben Ramos is mayor and he has a majority vote led by Michael Russo in the City Council. Ask Mindak and Miani about all this and see if their answer meets to your liking.
The local media hasn't said one word about any of these details. (Al Sullivan references elements in his weekend column but the big strokes are incomplete.)
Telling the public the true status of what's on the table with Vision 20/20 is bad for Old Guard business, millions and millions in easy to make disappear business. For the kind of money involved here, bodies in New Jersey disappear, even horses.
Nevertheless, Da Horsey is going to shine the light on the biggest attempted Hoboken scam going since the looting of four million in parking meter quarters out of the Parking Authority.
It's not over either. The war for the green is only beginning.
|Pokey is that you? This is the nice, friendly one.|
Talking Ed Note: Someone sent a little fan note to Horsey. So we posted the video portion for its entertainment value. Thank you very much and hearty thanks to all those in Hoboken (and beyond) who have provided encouragement, moral and financial to this website as we prepare to make a move on the backstretch.
Smarty loves the backstretch.
Related: Grafix Avenger has a story on some of the latest Beth Mason recall chatter and how it ties into Vision 20/20 and Ruben Ramos, Michael Russo with a huge payoff if they pull it off.
MSV can confirm the latest rumor on a Beth Mason recall candidate is Carla Katz, known to enjoy political power in invariable ways and hostile to the reform mayor in City Hall.
Unrelated: Da Horsey welcomes new twitter follower Jessica Chasmar who reports for the Washington Times. The word on MSV continues to spread and Da Horsey's Washington D.C readership grows.