Saturday, March 16, 2013

Michele Russo lectures Jake Stuiver on 'character'

Affordable housing squatter Michele Russo, wife of former mayor and felon Anthony Russo spoke at the HHA meeting last Thursday.  She directed her pointed criticism at Chairman Jake Stuiver.

The infamous Russo couple, the first clan of corruption has cleaned up in Hoboken "making" untold millions (even while holding a debt to Hoboken of over $300,000) while living in Church Towers, a tax subsidized centrally located series of building where minorities are notoriously absent and no one gets in as residents there whisper without their approval.

The HHA's approximately 4,000 residents consist of mostly minorities.  Those who see their income status improve are never given opportunity to move "uptown" as they call it to Church Towers.

The attack here on Jake Stuiver is less personal and more about green as in the loot.  The 20/20 plan came up more than once that evening, a desperately sought cash cow bonanza for Old Guard connected developers, realtors, brokers, construction firms and of course - the OG themselves.

Executive Director Carmelo Garcia is expected to deliver that bounty.  Initially, he eagerly proposed a gigantic monolith of buildings, dwarfing the current HHA area double in size and even more density - with no open space or parks.  It was wall to wall towering cement blocks maximizing profit - for those connected to the Old Guard.

They'd pack those resident like sardines in so thick, it'd fit right in on the Gaza Strip.

Get the picture?

Talking Ed Note: Michele Russo and Da Horsey had a brief, polite and spontaneous exchange on procedure regarding a motion to table. We were interrupted by an unwelcome Englewood Cliffs interloper, former councilman Chris Campos.

The same Chris Campos who earlier during the recess came over to Da Horsey who was stationed quietly along the wall during the meeting recess inside of two feet spouting four words, "Are you threatening me?" Campos then pointed behind himself to no one in particular where the crowd sat saying within earshot of a police officer a resident said a threat had been made against him.

A dismissive reply and more heat with others interjecting led to HPD Lt. Campbell intervening and advising comments be directed to the board, ending Campos' attempt to have Da Horsey arrested.

It was no small irony as earlier outside the meeting, MSV ran into Campos said hello and told him he spoke well when he addressed the board adding there was not agreement with the substance of his remarks.  Chatting for several minutes, a mention was made of the illicit voting abuses escalated (under Tim Occhipinti).  That Campos would later make such a thuggish play changed the positive perspective.  

Chris Campos had a legendary series of battles with then council candidate Dawn Zimmer back in 2007. 

Da Horsey got a lot of attention at this meeting.  Is it because of the investigative reporting and stories showing the exploitation of Hoboken's most vulnerable population such as this:

There's a rumor afloat if Tim Occhipinti calls Da Horsey a hypocrite one more time, MSV will be issued a key to the City.  Sadly, this rumor must be dispelled.  We'll need at least two more insults from the low/big browed Occhipinti before such consideration is warranted.

For the moment, all we can say is thank you very much Timmy Occhipinti!

Rent control wars flare again with new appeal on overturned election

The battle in Hoboken over rent control took another turn with an appeal by rent control advocate Cheryl Fallick last week.  MSV heard from both sides.

The Hoboken Fair Housing Association announces:

HFHA Supports Appeal Filed to Reinstate Wrongly Overturned Election Result

Hoboken, New Jersey, March 15, 2013.  With the full support of Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA), Ms. Cheryl Fallick has filed an appeal of New Jersey Superior Court Judge Christine Farrington’s ruling to overturn the results of last November’s vote on Hoboken Public Question # 2 (HPQ2).

Ms. Fallick was the campaign manager for HFHA’s successful effort to defeat HPQ2, a ballot initiative sponsored by a small well-funded group of landlords, developers and realtors, the Mile Square Taxpayers Association (MSTA), that asked voters to approve the elimination of Hoboken Rent Control protections for all new tenants.  The judge’s ruling revokes the certified results and orders a re-vote to be held on either November 5, 2013 or in an earlier special election.

This outrageous ruling not only undermines the democratic will of the majority who voted to continue rent control protections, it also disenfranchises all of the 16,444 citizens that voted on HPQ2.

When the results were in on election night, the "NO" vote prevailed on the machines by 560 votes.  After the Vote-by-Mail ballots were counted, the lead dropped, but HPQ2 was defeated by 52 votes.  The final tally was 8,248 to 8,196. In December, fifteen supporters of MSTA filed an election contest to overturn the result.

Ms. Fallick originally filed a motion pro se (without an attorney) to intervene in this case because HFHA lacked funds to afford legal representation.  Ms. Fallick’s position was that she had a separate and substantial interest in the outcome of the election contest, and that neither her own interests nor those of HFHA and the 8,248 residents that voted to maintain existing rent control protections were being adequately represented by defendants specified by the MSTA lawsuit.  These defendants, the City of Hoboken, Hudson County, and the State of New Jersey, stated that they had no interest in the election outcome but only a fair election result.

By denying Ms. Fallick the right to intervene, Judge Farrington denied the voters of Hoboken the right to have representation that would have demanded an evidentiary hearing and questioned Hoboken’s vote-by-mail tally.  Unfortunately, neither the defendants nor the Judge challenged the flawed arguments or lack of legitimate evidence that the MSTA plaintiffs presented to the Court to support their motion to overturn the election.

It is HFHA’s position that Judge Farrington’s ruling to overturn the election result is egregious and is based on the false assertion that 114 voters who voted provisionally outside of Hoboken were denied their right to vote on HPQ2.  Neither the Judge nor the defendants questioned the plaintiffs’ false claim that these voters had the right to vote outside of Hoboken on a Hoboken issue.

Hoboken Fair Housing Association believes that the originally certified election results defeating HPQ2 represents the true will of the citizens of Hoboken; we call upon the State of New Jersey, the County of Hudson and the City of Hoboken to immediately join Ms. Fallick in appealing Judge Farrington's inappropriate ruling and demonstrate that they truly are interested, as they have claimed, in a fair election result.

The Mile Square Taxpayers Association in response wrote:

Voters were found to be disenfranchised to the point that the election
results were invalidated.  That is a rare thing indeed and I am sure that
the judge, as we do, respected the intentions of the Lt Governor, who was
trying to be accommodating and not exclusionary.  However, the effect
remains, and begs the question, what would the intervention of any group
have done to advance the interests of the voters?  The issue of sustaining the
election result was adequately represented by the State and the County.  Ms.
Fallick and Mr. Tumpson are not interested in the general fairness of the
election, only in an outcome that rewards their constituents.  That is an
endemic problem whose sense of entitlement is 40 years in the making, and it
has to be reversed before irrevocable harm is done to the property owners in

Mayor Zimmer: 'New 3rd ward park at Pino site under consideration'

The City of Hoboken announces:

Community: Mayor Zimmer Announces Proposed Agreement to Create New Park at Pino Site

The City of Hoboken is considering a proposal from Bijou Properties that would donate to the City a 1 acre property, known as the Pino site, for a park in Western Hoboken as part of an agreement to continue the redevelopment of the Monroe Center site.

“We have a historic opportunity to preserve one of the last undeveloped parts of Hoboken as open space,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This new park near the Jubilee Center, Monroe Center for the Arts, and a growing residential neighborhood, would bring much-needed open space to Western Hoboken. I thank Larry Bijou for making this proposal that would transform unused land into a community open space that will benefit the neighborhood and Hoboken for years to come.”

Larry Bijou is under contract to purchase property at 700 Monroe Street, which is in a Redevelopment Area, as well as the Pino property, located at 7th Street and Jackson Street. He has proposed donating the Pino site to the City for a park in exchange for an effective transfer of development rights from the Pino site to the adjacent property at 700 Monroe Street, with an additional 14 dwelling units, and 90 automated parking spaces. The result would be the creation of a new 1-acre park and a LEED-Gold Certified building at 700 Monroe Street that would incorporate a green roof, grey-water system, and cogeneration.

At the next Council meeting, the City Council will be asked to approve an interim cost agreement. Mayor Zimmer thanks Zoning and Economic Development Chair David Mello for working with her on this proposal. She also discussed the proposal with Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo and appreciates that he expressed his support for moving forward. If approved, Mr. Bijou would pay for the costs for the City to vet the feasibility of his proposal for a new park and transfer of development rights, including a financial, environmental, and planning analysis. All aspects of the proposal would be subject to negotiation for inclusion in the Redevelopment Agreement, which would require City Council approval. Finally, any necessary environmental cleanup would take place and a community process would begin to design the new park.

Southwest Park
The City is continuing to move forward with negotiations and through the legal process to acquire approximately 1 acre of land in Southwest Hoboken for the beginning of a Southwest Park.

The City has completed an environmental review of the BASF property, a 6 acre site in Western Hoboken, and continues negotiations with BASF to acquire the property.

The City Council will be fully briefed on the status of all land acquisition negotiations during closed session on Wednesday, April 20 from 6-7:30pm. The regular Council meeting will begin at 7:30pm.