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Napoli's - 12th & Washington - the full menu
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Horse Sense: The Old Guard's last gasp to rein in Old Hoboken

Hitting on the truth in Hoboken politics is not much different than touching the third rail on the subway. Your bound to get a jolt to the system terminal in the process.

This election cycle promises to be no different but then something happens and you have to move some weight on the scales to get Hoboken back into its "normal" balance.  What's normal for the "On the Waterfront" Old Guard is telling lies to their exploited voters who are expected to fall into line like good weebles and wait for a crumb to fall to them on a day uncertain when they need a "favor."

The favor could be some help with a local apartment or landlord issue, a little rule here or there getting the "friends" special treatment or getting in on some scam, a windfall which has to be signed off on by the boss.

An example includes the recent rancid letter of lies by Councilwoman Terry Castellano in the weekend paper which clearly denotes any free, independent thought on "blogs" as a threat to to this hierarchy.

Another example was the outright heinous 2011 sabotage of Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC).  Leading into a key meeting, Michele "five-bucks-a-tow" Russo stood just feet away in a crowd of several dozen as Mayor Dawn Zimmer pleaded her case in closed session it was in Hoboken's best interest to put five million dollars on the table to conclude negotiations and sell the hospital to the only possible buyer.

"Why should we help them, they'll just close it anyway," Michele Russo said matter of fact revealing the Old Guard position before the public meeting even started.  The two Church Towers residents both remained silent to the boss' conclusion with one nodding her head in quiet agreement.

Later at the meeting the two Church Towers residents joined with their building neighbors supporting Michael Russo who called the mayor "a grifter,"with his face turning red with Ma Russo and the Church Towers contingent cheering him on.

It was like watching a slaughterhouse where those at the rear of the line cheer because others in front are having their throats cut first.

That's the kind of power the Old Guard has over parts of Old Hoboken.  At the same time, one official recounted a nasty exchange with Michael Russo after the last regular council meeting.  Russo attempted to incite a fight encouraging this official to "take a swing."  Their response was to denigrate Russo for exploiting "his people" and tell him how growing numbers of his neighbors in Church Towers recounted to him they couldn't stand his guts.

They added in the post midnight exchange, Church Towers residents were none too enamored with Ma Russo controlling the admission list into the building either.

Da Horsey hears Ma Russo who was nearby didn't take the news too well.  She's been back in public view again attending - even speaking at government meetings, most notably to advance Vision 20/20 at HHA meetings.  She's become a fixture at City Council meetings again too.

Old Guard notables enter and go over and kiss the ring before finding a spot to watch the proceedings. Et tu Eduardo?

Hoboken's Old Guard, crooked as it ever was.  Old Hoboken needs to break free for its own good from these charlatans once and for all.  The life you could be saving may be your own.

Sully "at work" - a reading in Jersey City

Talking Ed Note:  This Horse Sense editorial is a preface to the strong effort from the previous weekend's Al Sullivan column.  While his definition of the Old Guard is slightly different - MSV believes Old Hoboken is its own distinct group - the column is notable for some absolute truths it divulges.

Sullivan mentions the "farming" of votes in the HHA, an issue MSV has written on extensively breaking the silent acceptability for the vote buying practice in the corner of Hoboken in the Hoboken Housing Authority.  Sullivan says Mayor Zimmer's strengths require the Old Guard to rely on the HHA more than ever with a weakened Cammarano coalition left in the wake of the popular mayor's success.  That and exploiting residents playing the race card makes this fairly obvious.

Last weekend, Sullivan noted the positive reception by senior county officials to Mayor Zimmer, proving you don't have to become a member to earn respect, sometimes you do it being a winner.