Friday, August 29, 2014

Carmelo Garcia blames HHA Chair Dana Wefer for damning HUD report

Anatomy of a political rant with former HHA ED Carmelo Garcia 

The Hudson County View published its public portion video of Carmelo Garcia bitterly complaining about his termination Tuesday night at the Hoboken Housing Authority meeting along with some choice personal attacks.

Claiming his financial actions as Executive Director "transparent," Garcia starts with a rant but it addresses nothing of substance on two recent reports from the auditor and HUD showing a long list of serious problems in the HHA.

It's difficult to keep count exactly how many times Mister Carmelo calls the HHA Chair a liar. The repetition gets a little boring after a non-sequitur attack on HHA commissioner Dave Mello.

Of some interest however, Carmelo Garcia who saw his contractual services terminated in the Hoboken Housing Authority earlier this month is clearly angry about the audit findings published (here) in July. When he held sway with "sole appointing authority" for vendors, he didn't complain.

So who is he blaming for the audit findings from a firm he selected?

Garcia sounds livid a HUD report review of a sampled eight HHA contracts saw the light of day and the federal agency's public document has reached the public. That report was published in its entirety on MSV, "HUD Newark obliterates the reign of Carmelo Garcia."

Mister Carmelo is clearly angry the taxpayers have seen that report. He blames HHA Chair Dana Wefer for the public document finding its way... to the public. Garcia says the report is not available other than via an OPRA request and is sorely displeased the public saw it sooner. (OPRA request typically take a week or less.)

On an important material note, there's strong concern about HUD declaring another Garcia action illegal. While not totally clear in the video, it sounded like Carmelo Garcia, in one of his final acts granted a more than 100% increase for Applied Housing Section 8 housing and/or its voucher program.

When this surfaces, there's a reference by Chair Wefer the action was declared illegal by HUD. This immediately leads to Carmelo Garcia and at least one Carmelito crying in no small irony for the documentation.

One can expect that documentation is certainly not the end of reporting Hoboken will see by HUD on the HHA. Will that too be greeted with more crying and gnashing of teeth?

For now, we hear more of Carmelo Garcia threatening a third lawsuit. His first "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit was thrown out of Court on the first pass early this year.  His second almost saw the exact result as the first and most went into the trash heap. A third looks like it's legal charity work for an outcome more certain than not.



Talking Ed Note: Once again, Hoboken has a first row seat to valor in action. HHA Chair Dana Wefer suffers the fools gladly as she and the retooled agency go about the important business of repairing the damage to the agency and its residents.  At least two residents may be facing eviction due to some failed actions earlier. Sadly, they are used like so much political propaganda which goes absolutely nowhere.

Hoboken can expect to hear more on this as the story isn't over.

The original story is available at the Hudson County View: http://hudsoncountyview.com/ex-executive-director-garcia-defends-hha-expenditures-refutes-hud-report/

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Robert DiVincent named Interim Executive Director for HHA



At the Hoboken Housing Authority meeting Tuesday night on lower Jackson Street, a surprise guest made a visit during public portion. The proceedings were spontaneously disrupted as residents cheered his arrival.

The person entering the meeting room was Bob DiVincent. He was approved as interim director in an HHA agency agreement and board vote to act as the Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director. DiVincent served in the capacity prior to 2009 after the HHA found itself in a corruption scandal under former ED Troy Washington. DiVincent is currently the Executive Director of the West New York Housing Authority.

Residents in attendance clearly recall DiVincent's turnaround efforts and greeted him warmly. In this video, courtesy of John Heinis at the Hudson County View, DiVincent joins the HHA board and discusses his plans to get to the bottom of the existing problems and move the agency forward.

Also in the video is HHA resident and Carmelo Garcia backer Barbara Reyes. The three time failed HHA commissioner candidate complained about the added cost to the HHA since Carmelo Garcia's contract termination held a clause paying him for 120 days.

Talking Ed Note: Reyes is correct there is additional cost due to the clause in Carmelo Garcia's contract. In retrospect, the termination would have been better if not an additional penny been paid to Carmelo Garcia. The HHA board of commissioners could not fully know however the dire condition of the agency. A full assessment is underway involving both agency staff and Housing & Urban Development (HUD).

Based on what is coming to light in the HHA, Carmelo Garcia should return money to the agency.
In this instance, MSV finds itself in total agreement with Ms. Reyes as Garcia remains an excessive burden and cost to the agency.

Hoboken residents can however be grateful for Mr. DiVincent stepping up to the plate and West New York who came to an agreement to provide support to the HHA. The cost of Mr. DiVincent and Richard Fox who will return to a consultant management role is less than the cost of Carmelo Garcia's compensation package. West New York's additional support to the HHA is an added bonus.

The original story at the Hudson County View:
http://hudsoncountyview.com/robert-divincent-named-interim-executive-director-hha/

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mayor Zimmer urges support of NJ legislation to qualify ridesharing and Uber in Hoboken

The Office of the Mayor announces:

Message sent via Nixle | Go to nixle.com | 
Agency Logo
Tuesday August 26, 2014

City of Hoboken

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter  
Community: Statement From Mayor Zimmer Regarding Uber and Rideshare Services

Dear Horsey,

“Uber and similar companies offer a valuable transportation option that we want to make available to Hoboken residents and visitors,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Since April, I have been advocating to our State elected officials to ensure that this transportation option can operate safely and lawfully in our community. I am glad to hear that there is legislation pending before the State Senate and Assembly to address the issue. I urge the legislature to pass S2274/A3586 expeditiously so that we can safely and legally use these services which are so important to our residents. As mayor, I have an obligation to ensure the public safety of our community, and this new legislation addresses my concerns by ensuring that all drivers have safe driving and background records and proper levels of insurance in case of accidents.”

Mayor Zimmer’s letter to State legislators can be found at: www.hobokennj.org/docs/mayor/4-29-14-Letter-Zimmer-Stack-Garcia-Mukherji.pdf

The legislation introduced to address this issue can be found at: www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/S2500/2274_I1.HTM

UberX and similar rideshare services in New Jersey use private vehicles for a commercial purpose but without a commercial license, which is against NJ Motor Vehicle Code Title 39 and Title 48 of the Revised Statutes. This is an issue that applies to these services across the entire State of New Jersey and is not specific to Hoboken.

For full details, view this message on the web.

Hoboken uber alles

It's late August in Hoboken meaning it's time for yet another hot issue to strike. While many people are on vacation the 21st century has bumped square into Hoboken's regulated cab service squaring up against car sharing innovators.

Uber, a car service using the internet to match riders and drivers is stated as present in Hoboken, doing business and winning hearts and minds over the traditional regulated cab industry.

One is beloved and the other is not feeling the love. A NJ.com story showed lots of controversy and much confusion on the matter yesterday. 

Apparently, state law has not caught up with the new car sharing innovation and there's some confusion about what is allowed within Hoboken on local destinations and beyond. 

Mayor Dawn Zimmer acted on the issue back in April asking state officials to look into the matter and act to update the laws to fully resolve the issue of who can rideshare in New Jersey. A letter to State Senator Brian Stack and the two Assemblyman requested updated transportation legislation to tackle the problem.



It's unclear currently what the trend is in New Jersey to level the playing field between a new, aggressive technology based car sharing firm and the traditional cab services who pay the City of Hoboken for the right to operate cabs in town and points beyond.

One thing is certain. In Hoboken, there's always hot issues and the taxi question is about to get red hot.
Hoboken ├╝ber alles.

The UBER car sharing service is making waves in Hoboken.
Statewide laws however have not addressed the concept and regulations.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Carmelo Garcia: 'HHA's massive mountain of problems due to everyone but me'

To the surprise of no Hoboken political observers, the former head of the Hoboken Housing Authority, Carmelo Garcia is pointing fingers at everyone and everything but himself for the mounting problems uncovered in the agency since his contract's termination earlier this month.

The latest scathing assessment came last week when the federal agency, Housing & Urban Development offered its report after a sample review of contracts under the former Executive Director.

On Thursday, the federal office overseeing the HHA, HUD Newark dropped its bomb with a review of eight contracts in a report made public late last week.  Coming behind the July audit findings published on MSV, the massive problems of the agency reveal a consistent pattern of mismanagement, incompetence, poorly led, trained and directed staff with the looming possibility of federal laws broken and corresponding criminal liability.

In the weekend paper, Carmelo Garcia facing the potential of exposure on every front sent an email pointing the finger at everyone excluding himself claiming that most of the problems were due to hurricanes and the HHA board's "obstructionism for the last two years" which "created these situations." 

Neither the independently assessed audit firm results released in July nor the HUD Newark report absolved Carmelo Garcia or found acceptable his claim using either Hurricane Irene or Hurricane Sandy for their conclusions saying he had clearly acted beyond the scope of procurement rules even taking into account any related emergencies.  

Garcia in addition to unilaterally extending and procuring services without following federally mandated procurement law compounded concerns earlier this year when MSV exclusively reported in addition to his unilateral procurement actions, he had taken thousands of dollars for his political committee last March from HHA vendors with no contracts.

Also blaming the disaster of HHA recordkeeping on the HHA board of commissioners, Garcia is silent to his prior insistence of total control of all HHA employees and "sole appointing authority" for contracts. The HHA board had no hand in day to day operations, an aspect Garcia was insistent remain under his sole control. The HHA board's powers under the controversial five year contract Garcia held permitted them only an up or down vote on contracts.

The finger was also pointed by Garcia to his own handpicked staff. In agency meetings earlier this year the former HHA Executive Director had begun asking his staff and Chief Financial Officer to answer a series of increasingly uncomfortable questions surrounding contracts, or the lack thereof and related operational matters. Those questions were mostly raised by HHA commissioner Dana Wefer who would be elected chair in the summer in a 5-2 vote.

To some observers, Garcia who always had answers if not plausible ones at the ready, resorting to calling on others was a sign of possible trouble. Garcia in his email attempted to defend missing records pointing to flooding as the reason. A failed software system was never brought back online forcing HHA staff to do everything manually.

In addition, another Garcia defense came from a familiar place. A thrice rejected HHA commissioner candidate Barbara Reyes, emailed a statement to the Hudson Reporter claiming federal 'Sequestration' cost the HHA "25-30 percent less monies." It's unclear why Garcia supporter Reyes emailed the Hudson Reporter making such a claim.  In 2013, the reform majority on the City Council rejected Reyes' approval to a seat on the seven member HHA Board of Commissioners on three separate occasions on a party line vote.

The termination of Garcia's contract earlier this month ends the major reservations by the public and Hoboken officials on the controversial proposed redevelopment in the HHA called Vision 20/20. The undocumented plan publicly appeared as a brochure several years ago but Garcia pushed it repeatedly to anyone who would listen and demanded time to present the glossy material in the Hoboken City Council. The request was repeatedly denied by former Council President Peter Cunningham.

The plan itself was never presented in any coherent legal form or Master Plan and saw strong skepticism by Mayor Zimmer, a majority of the Hoboken City Council and the public. The Old Guard council minority repeatedly insisted it be approved with no Master Plan or any legal documents reviewed with Councilwoman Beth Mason being the most vocal in demanding it be approved anyway.

Old Guard council frustrations in repeated foiled attempts to see Vision 20/20 approved last year led to ugly charges of racism on several occasions with reference to reform council members being like the Ku Klux Klan but the council majority refused to yield to the intimidation and rabid complaints of Carmelo Garcia's spokespeople in the HHA dubbed Carmelitos.

HHA Chair Dana Wefer recently spoke of using millions in available grants in the range of six million dollars to improve the existing buildings in the HHA impacting the most agency residents. After those improvements, Wefer has called for further action with replacing existing HHA buildings a priority.

Former contracted head of the HHA, Carmelo Garcia surprised no one emailing a response to the scathing indictment on his running the agency by the federal agency charged with oversight, HUD and blaming everyone except himself.
Known as "The Wire" in the NJ Assembly for his taping others, Mister Carmelo's rumored library collection may
be of interest to federal investigators. Or perhaps that's the hope to escape further trouble.

Talking Ed Note: The Old Guard council's repeated attempts to protect Carmelo Garcia's control over the HHA and maintain a pliant HHA board failed leading to a 2014 board led by HHA commissioner Dana Wefer acting with fiduciary oversight. The decisive changes came after the November 2013 election where Reform swept both the mayor's chair and three at-large council seats. 

The recent sequence of events exposing major issues in the HHA puts Carmelo Garcia's civil lawsuits in jeopardy. His first "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit was thrown out of Hudson County Superior Court last January. His second filing lacking the bizarre offensive claim was mostly thrown out of court as well. Any third attempt will be seriously weakened with the reports independent of the HHA board pointing to his culpability. 


Thursday, August 21, 2014

HUD Newark obliterates the reign of Carmelo Garcia in scathing oversight letter

From the desk of Hoboken Housing Authority Chair Dana Wefer:

Attached please find HUD's letter to the HHA concerning the procurement review they conducted the week of July 28th. Attached and below is my statement on the letter.  


                            Update to the Community on Status of the Hoboken Housing Authority and HUD Procurement Review

Yesterday HUD released its report from the procurement review it conducted the week of July 28th.  As part of the procurement review, HUD sampled eight contracts and did a cursory inspection of HHA properties.   The report contains a major finding, which has prompted HUD to put the HHA on a “zero dollar threshold,” and ten observations. 

HUD found that the HHA has no comprehensive vendor log, that the procurement process was flawed in each of the eight contracts sampled, and that the sampled contracts constituted $3 million in “unjustified non-competitive procurement.”  It’s important to emphasize that these findings are just for the eight files HUD sampled.   Extrapolating this data to the whole of the HHA lays bare how dire the situation is. 

In addition to the procurement issues, the HUD report found that the HHA “lacks systematic and organized records keeping for all aspects of maintenance operation, including work orders, unit turnaround, preventative maintenance and annual inspections. “  HUD further found that there is a lack of institutional ability to manage the maintenance of a housing authority of this size.  HUD has informed the Board that due to the cumulative lack of maintenance to the HHA properties, the HHA is at high risk of receiving the designation “Troubled” this Fall when they come to do their full physical assessment.   This risk is compounded by the fact that the HHA lacks the funds to correct all the deficiencies before the physical inspection. 

To be sure, all of these problems are huge.  The strict zero dollar threshold imposed by HUD demonstrates the gravity of their findings.  However, all of these issues are also fixable.   And that’s what we’re going to do.  These issues did not develop overnight, and they are not going to be fixed overnight, especially considering the financial constraints the HHA is facing.  But, with the right management and a dedicated Board, the HHA will come out of this much stronger. 

The Board is having a Special Meeting Tuesday August 26th to formally enter into the shared services agreement with the West New York Housing Authority.  In addition, Mr. Fox will also continue his service to the HHA.   Together the staff and Board are going to put together the Corrective Action Plan to address HUD’s findings.  In addition, we are working on developing comprehensive procurement, personnel, and preventative maintenance policies that will be implemented by HHA management.   

The Board will keep all stakeholders apprised of what is going on with the HHA.  All are invited to come to our meetings and speak to the Board about their concerns, and hopes, for the HHA.  A year from now, the HHA will be on much better financial and physical footing.  We invite you to be a part of the recovery process.

Sincerely,

Dana Wefer, Chair of the Hoboken Housing Authority 

***




Talking Ed Note: And here is your penciled in but incomplete epitaph of one Carmelo Garcia, former Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director.

One can safely say that HUD does not "revere" Mr. Carmelo Garcia as he liked to so often tell others.

Counte$$ of Hoboken Beth Mason bequeaths another message to Hoboken

And now... more words descending from Counte$$ Beth Mason:

People of Hoboken, I come bearing greetings to you from me, myself, and I: Counte$$ Beth Mason, the high holy triumvirate trinity of the Mile Square!

As you my unwilling subjects are bound by law, custom and my SLAPP suits know, I am currently once again in ascendency and you who I reign over with benevolence are under my protection from the K-9 police dogs unleashed by the heinous Mayor Zimmer.

While the illegitimate mayor fraudulently holds the second floor chair at City Hall without my expressed authorization, many are confused with her insistence on balanced budgets, lower taxes, new and refurbished parks and stealing my money to stop your flooding.

What most do not know is she is secretly training a bevy of new Zimmerists dogs to attack Hoboken residents with further "ethnic cleansing" upon my great city. (I paid every goon around, it's mine.)

Even as I have mustered my minions to once and forever destroy that big toothed horse who has continually attempted to liberate my plantation, the Zimmerists and their mindless zombies dare to oppose me. (Whatever you do don't read any of that stuff on hobokenhorse.com. It's really bad and will give you hives and ebola. If you heard this in my earlier missal, that stuff is all true.)

The Bet Eagle has Landed?

Currently, I am working with my Old Guard friends to rally the people on my payroll and launch an attack on City Hall which will once and for all devastate and rid our land of the hated Zimmerists.

Then under my direction and edicts, we will deploy Vision 20/20 on the masses who will tremble before our mighty new develop or die marvel. See before you, a political architectural masterpiece, a prophecy come to fruition with more than double the size of the new revitalized Hoboken Housing Authority. (With a Sandy proof basement for mating jackals and their Zigsbee managed semitic females.)

Each floor of the new buildings will have a designated Masonista. Upon each and every election this captain will knock on every door and assist our voter filling out a voucher, who will then sign and collect a Vote by Mail ballot on their behalf. My personal goon Mongo will ensure the safe passage of our votes to be tallied not once but thrice.

In this way, those who are true Hoboken will regain their lofty status, lord it over the yuppie scum in our midst and rule over all of Old Hoboken who will bow down in fealty to our Old Guard mantle. Once again, you will know and kneel before my never ending maleficence.

I pay homage in your fealty to me. That's about $50 per vote or $140 per in street money. Someone has to do something about the leakage in my elections in this town. 

Please email me at beth@fourmasons.com and tell me you want to be in on my loot.

Let the peace of my vindictiveness be upon you all.


Original graphic courtesy of Grafix Avenger

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

HHA Board to renew legal counsel RFP

At the regular scheduled Hoboken Housing Authority meeting held at City Hall last Thursday, a determination to restart the RFP process replacing existing counsel Charles Dalian will temporarily allow him to remain as a holdover.

The counsel position had been one of the foremost contentious issues going back two HHA chairs (two years) as the board rejected former HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia's insistence they repeatedly vote to approve his selection of Charles Daglian.  The HHA ED is a contracted position serving at the pleasure of the board.

Mr. Garcia attempted to install Daglian as official HHA counsel more than six times. Depending on how you count, a seventh attempt failed due to a lack of quorum when several HHA commissioners were out of town.

In the end, the stalemate between Garcia and a HHA board which refused to rubber-stamp his selection maintained the status quo as the former HHA Executive Director kept Daglian was carried in holdover status far longer than a one year contract approval.

The latest RFP process was called "flawed" by Chair Dana Wefer for numerous reasons. Among them, one firm  on the last RFP list was declared "a concern" when Wefer discovered the application came via Carmelo Garcia Assembly aide Chris Campos' fax number. 

Garcia had consistently demanded under his tenure he be "the sole appointing authority" on all contracts and employee matters. Some legal observers have stated this authority, one of many generous terms installed in Carmelo Garcia's controversial contract is not legal.

The Hudson County View recorded this video at last Thursday's meeting and filed this report.




Assembly aide Chris Campos who reportedly makes $40,000 under Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia responded with outrage to the questions of his participation in the process. According to HCV, Campos complained, "I find it shocking... there must be a more sinister plan here. What's the real issue?"

HHA Chair however differed simply calling the effort by Garcia's Assembly aide "extremely improper."

For the full HCV story, see the link:
http://hudsoncountyview.com/hha-chair-chris-campos-compromised-hha-rfqs-campos-responds/#more-933


Talking Ed Note: Was Carmelo Garcia about to steer the contract through his Assembly aide? Is that ethical or legal? The point is moot. There's a new sheriff in town and her name is Dana Wefer.

Politcos of many stripes in Hoboken and Hudson County are "blaming" the mayor for terminating Carmelo Garcia's contract. Mayor Zimmer however deserves none of the credit. It was HHA Chair Dana Wefer who requested and reviewed several contracts leading to a cascade of revelations all problematic to Carmelo Garcia's tenure and eventual termination.

Each time you poked under the covers, illicit activity was exposed. When HUD Newark, months after reports of procurement problems came to light on MSV decided to "sample" HHA contracts, the audit findings were already out and News 12 had jumped on another MSV story highlighting alleged possible kickbacks from HHA vendors to Carmelo Garcia's campaign committee. The same HHA vendors had no current contract with the HHA and had not been approved as required by the HHA's board.

After Carmelo Garcia's contract was terminated, HUD Newark revealed its contract sampling showed procurement problems for each and every one reviewed. An official report is expected.

The cascade at the HHA is expected to continue. On the list is the Section 8 voucher program, another problematic area HUD Washington holds a strong interest. Stay tuned.


Related: The MSV July story, "HHA audit findings spell TROUBLE for Carmelo Garcia."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Beth Mason splurges on latest screed of lies to Hoboken

Beth Mason launches screed of lies against HHA Board, the mayor and Da Horsey

It's summer, entering late August and for Hoboken residents it's a time of vacation, enjoying the great weather or merely spending quality time along the Mile Square's quaint river view promenade looking out on the Big City.

Then there's Beth Mason or rather her coterie of political operatives led by a fishy stank bottom feeder who pens most of her rancid "stuff" as here. It's on the whole regurgitated attacks designed for distraction mixed with cynical HHA exploitation. Why stop with the overwhelming truth in the HHA beginning to emerge? The Masonista creed is almost always to reach for the wallet and double down. Even if the Mason political operatives can't shoot straight, the Mason family checkbook is seen as the easy out, ace in the hole equalizer. (They just can't seem to hit a horse inside of a barn.)


This paper bag made with recycled paper courtesy of the latest from a vile Beth Mason mailer.

The Old Guard is displeased with the latest Reform advance getting to look behind the curtain in the Hoboken Housing Authority. In addition to an established semi-organized army of Vote-by-Mail captains and soldiers, there's a lot of bodies buried back there. It's a public humiliation about to get worse with further revelations of impropriety and malfeasance or worse adding to an already fetid pile of disclosures in recent months following the termination of Carmelo Garcia's contract.

For many, the feigned anger and obstructive political attacks on HHA board members has followed with silence and the anticipation of worse accompanied with the clinking of handcuffs. Even the pro Old Guard rag Hudson Reporter has begun distancing itself, burying the details of seven figure financial malfeasance in its weekend cover story. As MSV mentioned previously, the troubling numbers come in the million dollar variety.

According to reliable sources beginning to unravel the hidden financial condition of the agency, the HHA is overspent seven figures to date and projecting a three million dollar deficit in 2014. None of this is embarrassing to Beth Mason who fiddled with her ally Carmelo Garcia as the HHA was being figuratively burned to the ground. For Beth Mason, the personal politics of destruction is the watch word and her singular goal is political advancement, by hook, crook or family check.

The political promotion thing however hasn't worked out too well. Beth Mason has used the family checkbook donating tens of thousands to numerous NJ Democratic county committees, NJ candidates and media outlets in recent years all in the hope of purchasing a political promotion from lowly ward council member. She even purchased a prosecutor but that didn't obtain the desired results either.

Here it's August, in the bow wow days of a lovely summer and what arrives in resident's mailbox but this pugnacious purple plopping pillow fabrication fare which looks like it could have been dredged right off Mason sponsored Hate411 in its vitriolic heyday.

That would be pre-FBI Data Theft Ring raid which shut up familial Mason political operatives faster than you can say "Pentagon Papers" three times. Have you ever wondered why? Oh those pesky stolen mayor's office emails, who's inbox were they found in last? It's going to be so sad when an officer of the court must fulfill their legal obligation and turn over the file to a smiling, grateful US Attorney in Newark. At least there's no FBI open file of any prior interviews with Mason's boys of hate, right?

There's little doubt this latest political operation by Beth Mason or rather her family checkbook has fail written all over it. It's a particularly vile piece top to bottom and foretells the desperation the Mason brain trust feels for her dwindling political prospects. The uptown developer with financial ties to the HHA is not going to be motivated to turn out the tenant vote in 2015 for her and Beth Mason's very late pronouncements against the double crossing attempt to build the Monarch development has no one fooled, especially the vast majority of newly awakened residents in the Hudson Tea Building.

It's difficult to categorize which lies rise to the top or in this case the bottom where Mason and her political operatives dwell on a regular basis. Is it the implied use of K-9 police dogs against minority residents? Or is it the exploitative fabrication again referring to the HHA as "the plantation."

It all smells bad but that's how low Beth Mason is willing to go leading into her desperate bid to hold on to one of nine City Council seats scheduled for vote in November 2015?

November 2015? Yes, it's more than a year off but Beth Mason, unofficially topping the most despised in Hoboken list is opening up the family checkbook to try to find a way to overcome her massive negatives. The Old Guard poll in 2013 was so upside down negative for Beth Mason, it saw them put up Timmy Occhipinti even as a weighted anchor on a ticket they hoped would salvage at least a single but decisive council seat.

That alleged mole ridden election even looks far better today than this bottom feeding fish effort.




One quick aside. Here's a short video where Beth Mason's original public "planation" attack was countered in a City Council meeting where she first made it. As originally written and a staple atop the MSV homepage in the October 2010 story, "Tim's Street $$$ Time," MSV wrote:

For the Old Guard Machine operating in the playground in the back of the fourth ward, candidates may come and go but the plantation game stays the same. None dare call the practice of descending on the 4-4 at election time buying votes for a few quick bucks racist. Tim Occhipinti's campaign has tossed aside its earlier pronouncements and instead gone after MSV, the Hoboken Journal and Hoboken residents who back the law defending the integrity of local elections.  

Apparently in almost four years hence, no one has been able to teach Beth Mason the difference between a noun and an adjective. Perhaps one of her political operatives can buy her a vowel.

The quality of the video is due to Old Guard direction in 2010 to deter you from involvement:





Talking Ed Note: Least anyone forget, this HHA board of commissioners deserves meritorious awards for valor. The fabulous five: Dana Wefer, Dave Mello, Dave Dening, James Sanford and Judy Burrell withstood an ugly mob incited to do their worst to deliver on "concern" for public safety and see ended the proceedings.

MSV has never witnessed such a horrific meeting with several council members looking on in silent acquiescence as the meeting neared a full out riot. While the HHA special meeting was adjourned and pressure mounted on them to end it and leave with their tails between their legs, they did not. It would have been the far easier thing to do with Hoboken public safety urging the meeting's cancellation during the stoppage.

Last, Beth Mason and her Old Guard allies on and off the City Council owe the HHA board of commissioners starting with HHA Chair Dana Wefer an apology. Of course that won't happen. Beth Mason doesn't do decency or apologies, only lawsuits.

Related: Grafix Avenger posted a hilarious sendoff on the Beth Mason letter:
http://grafixavenger.blogspot.com/2014/08/an-important-message-from-councilwoman.html

Thursday, August 14, 2014

HHA Chair Wefer: HHA in "State of Crisis"

Update: The Hudson County View attended the regular HHA meeting Thursday night reporting on an agreement unanimously approved with the West New York Housing Authority.  A national search for an Executive Director is getting underway.

http://hudsoncountyview.com/hha-adds-bob-divincent-interim-director-resident-calls-richard-fox-2/



From the desk of HHA Chair Dana Wefer:








Update to Community on Hoboken Housing Authority’s Management Transition


I write to update the community on the HHA’s management transition and the condition of the authority.

The HHA is facing severe financial and physical problems.  Really, it is in a state of crisis.  The budget is overspent and the HHA is in a severe financial crunch.  Our recent audit revealed a plethora of issues, including frequent violations of NJ and federal laws, and HUD has informed us that they are going to subject the HHA to a $0 procurement threshold because of the very concerning results of their recent procurement review.  This means that every HHA procurement will have to be approved by HUD.  The very strict oversight will likely result in some initial hardship, but the HHA is taking steps to mitigate that by fleshing out the inventory tracking system and enforcing a comprehensive preventive maintenance program. 

The current lack of internal control mechanisms to track preventative maintenance, inventory, and vendor contracts is the reason maintenance issues go unaddressed for so long.  The administrative issues may seem boring, but they are the foundation upon which the authority is built.  If they are weak or failing, so is the HHA. 

In addition to the administrative and financial issues in the public housing management, the Housing Choice Voucher Program is also in crisis.  The HHA’s HCVP program is in shortfall, which means that the funds being expended to help subsidize rents for hundreds of low income residents exceeds the amount the HHA is getting from the government and administrative fees.  HUD’s offices are collaborating with the HHA to minimize the shortfall and get us on the right track, but the extent of the problem is not yet clear.

To guide the HHA out of this difficult time, the Board is bringing in experts.  Acting Director Richard Fox is currently managing the day to day operations of the HHA and the HHA is negotiating an interlocal agreement with West New York whose director is Robert DaVincent.  Together, Mr. Fox and Mr. DaVincent bring a combined 60 years of executive director experience to the table and are skilled at guiding housing authorities out of troubled times.  We are aggressively pursuing solutions to longstanding maintenance problems, such as the elevators constantly being down and security issues.  We are working to replenish our inventory so when a resident calls in with a maintenance issue, we do not have to wait for the part to come in, we already have it.   It’s going to take some time to right the ship, but the HHA Board and staff are committed to moving beyond this crisis.   

My goal is to get the HHA out of crisis mode and to a point where the authority is humming along in an established routine.  It’s going to take some time, but once we have achieved that, we can tackle our infrastructure issues.  It’s not fair for residents to be living in apartments with constant leaks and mold.  It’s not fair for residents to be out of power for days because of corroded electrical panels.  It’s not fair for senior citizens to be forced to navigate steep stairs because of unreliable elevators.  And we must fix that.  We must bring the buildings into the 21st century and all residents should feel secure that they will not be displaced in the process.  To be clear: No residents' home is threatened in any way.   

I hope that the Board and residents will have a productive and ongoing dialogue about the HHA’s future.  I encourage all residents and members of the community to attend our meetings and voice their views.  The Board, residents, and staff are strongest when they are united toward a common goal.  Come, tell us what your goals are for the HHA, and let’s work together to navigate this crisis and plan for the HHA’s future. 


Sincerely,

Dana Wefer, Chairperson of the Hoboken Housing Authority  

Sign of the Times: Julio Fernandez at Sinatra Park tonight @ 7:00


photo courtesy the Boken

Tonight at 7:00 down at Sinatra Park, it's son of Hoboken Julio Fernandez of Spyro Gyra fame in what will be a great summer event in Hoboken.


More at the link:
http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2014/08/hobokens_jazz-fusion_superstar.html

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hoboken Housing Authority Special Meeting - part 2




With the transcript available below some may be inclined to see more unedited footage of the HHA special meeting or rather the takeover of same in the video above. This leads into the complete stoppage of the proceedings with the HHA commissioners exiting.

The first portion from start of the meeting is available here.

In this clip the effort to shut down the meeting repeatedly includes a myriad of interruptions stopping the proceedings. Carmelo Garcia's assembly aides and spokespeople feature prominently. Among them Assembly Aide Nick Calicchio, ($8,000 from the taxpayers), Assembly aide and former Hoboken resident and councilman Chris Campos ($40,000), the Carmelitos, Vote by Mail "Captains" and "soldiers" in the HHA, and Council members Terry Castellano, Michael Russo and Beth Mason.

From the link below when insanity ensues, each council member is visibly seen doing absolutely nothing to instill calm and allow the meeting to proceed. Why would they? That wasn't the plan.

Lots of disruptions and not much meeting here but it is featuring the chants, "Hell no we won't go," "Do the right thing," "It's not fair," the Beth Mason favorite, "This is illegal" and that old democratic standby, "Shut it down." (9:10)

Footage where this reporter is targeted in The Fracas is available at the link:
http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2014/08/the-fracas.html?m=1


Talking Ed Note: Based on the information coming public, it certainly appears the HHA board who voted to terminate the contract actually did the right thing. More on that to come.

Thursday night in City Council chambers, the HHA will return for its regularly scheduled August meeting. The board is expected to approve an interlocutory agreement with the West New York Housing Authority. Bob DiVincent is expected to bring senior leadership in addition to interim Acting Director Richard Fox.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In the aftermath of HHA scandal, Beth Mason political robocalls strike Hoboken

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE



Be on the lookout for a Beth Mason paid robocall coming your way. Yesterday, the first reports of a Beth Mason funded robocall struck the Mile Square.

As one reader remarked on the call they received yesterday:

"With a real person saying he was calling for Beth Mason... saying we need to do more to protect the civil liberties of Hoboken residents. I hung up at that point from sheer laughter."

We could of course ask Beth Mason to confirm but she won't talk unless it's scripted through her political operatives in an advertising friendly publication.

Beth Mason, a clear and present danger to the free speech of Hoboken residents.


Beth Mason is concerned about civil liberties? Well how about First Amendment civil liberties?

There are five civil liberties protected by the First Amendment: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of press and freedom of petition.

Do you think suing numerous Hoboken residents does harm to civil liberties? MSV the most commented Hoboken website continues to suffer with numerous residents who only feel safe to do so under the anonymous moniker "guest." They don't want to be subjected to a Mason family funded SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).

Or does civil liberties only apply to Beth Mason's misguided efforts to oppose a federal meeting properly noticed and open to the public for an Old Guard ally?

The rank hypocrisy of Beth Mason stinks to high heaven.  She's writing family checks doing harm to the First Amendment in Hoboken while bankrolling this latest tone-deaf political operation.


Another Hoboken resident listened to the Beth Mason "This is illegal" poll and flipped the tables on the pollster.
Doesn't sound like Beth Mason can make this case for an HHA connected uptown developer to turn out votes for her in the second ward next year either. Maybe $100,000 in street money will work this time Beth.


Update: Another Hoboken resident gets the Beth Mason "it's an illegal meeting call" and opted to have some fun with the pollster saying of an MSV guess of the call's position, "You hit the nail on the head; meeting was illegal because everyone could not get in."

Really? That's the best scam Beth Mason's paid brain trust can come up with?

The polled Hoboken resident continues:

"... also they said that it was illegal because other police departments had to be called in. I replied to him that if that was the case then are all parades illegal; by calling the other police departments they were protecting my civil liberties.  Silence... I asked him again why the meeting was illegal and they hung up."


CITY OF HOBOKEN RECEIVES APPROVAL FOR LOAN TO BUILD NEW FLOOD PUMP

City of Hoboken announces:


STATE AGENCY APPROVES LOAN FOR NEW FLOOD PUMP

<image003.jpg>

Loan Will Also Fund City Hall Sustainable Stormwater Improvement Project


The City of Hoboken's application for a low interest loan from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, in partnership with North Hudson Sewerage Authority, has been approved by the State of New Jersey. The $11.7 million loan will pay for the construction of Hoboken's second wet weather pump station (WWPS) to be built underground near 11thStreet and Hudson Street. The wet weather pump station will be designed, constructed, operated and maintained by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) on a long-term lease from the City.

“We are very pleased that our application for this critical flood pump was approved by the State,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The latest National Climate Assessment confirms what we have all been experiencing first-hand -- heavy rain events in the Northeast have increased more than 70% in the last 50 years, and when those downpours occur near high tide, we flood. This pump will help alleviate flooding in Northwest Hoboken, particularly in the area around ShopRite, as part of an integrated four-part ‘Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge’ water management strategy.”

“The partnership between the City and the Authority is an excellent example of how we can work together to solve the critical infrastructure and environmental challenges facing our communities today,” said Dr. Richard J. Wolff, NHSA Executive Director. “We expect the new H-5 WWPS to operate as effectively and efficiently as the Authority’s H-1 WWPS that has significantly alleviated flooding in the southwestern sections of the City.”

The station, which will consist of two 40 million gallon per day pumps with an emergency back-up generator, will be operated and maintained by North Hudson Sewerage Authority. The City is hopeful that if all paperwork is approved, it will be possible to go out to bid for construction in the fall. Construction is estimated to last approximately 24 months.

In addition to the wet weather pump station, the loan will also fund the City Hall Sustainable Stormwater Improvement Project. The aim of the project is to set an example for other city blocks for how to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that enters the combined sewer system. The project will disconnect downspouts from the sewer and will include vegetated bioswales, a large cistern, community gardens, porous pavers and shade tree pits. The project is estimated to prevent 47% of City Hall's stormwater runoff from entering the combined sewer system and collect an average of 13,122 gallons of rainfall per month.

Monday, August 11, 2014

HHA Chair Wefer: "No truth" to rumors residents being kicked out

A week after the termination of Carmelo Garcia's contract, Hudson County View's John Heinis interviewed the HHA Chair to discuss the current issues.

From the interview:
  • The HHA's elevator agreement was cancelled as of last month lacking payment of $125,000 owed and the service provider was no longer responsive to elevator issues.  The HHA Board was NOT informed of the vendor cancellation and monies owed.
  • A problem with the locksmith vendor owed thousands of dollars led to major problems for residents who could not obtain keys and locks.
  • Those problems should be resolved by the end of this week.
  • The HHA is bringing back Bob DeVincent though an agreement with West New York with Richard Fox - over 60 years of Executive Director experience between them to "right the ship" by the end of the year.
  • It's "absolutely untrue" residents are all being evicted. 
  • It's unclear who is spreading the bad rumors.
  • "We need to bring the HHA buildings into this century."
  • The generators "have been sitting out for a long time." Another issue to rectify.





Talking Ed Note: Who is going to bear the brunt of presenting these factual tidings to council members Terry Castellano, Michael Russo, Timmy Occhipinti and Beth Mason. Not to worry, they will ignore it and keep pumping out the vitriol of fabrications to whoever will listen.

Official transcript of the HHA special meeting

Hudson Reporter can't open its eyes to damning HHA audit findings

Hoboken is "special" or so the rationalization goes when malfeasance or corruption surfaces. It's a way of excusing certain behavior and actions doing great harm to residents, its institutions and often the taxpayers.

Coverage and frustration with the termination of former HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia's contract is causing the Old Guard much agita. A fascinating perspective on the change posits the termination as a temporary loss, couching the contract's ending as "for now."

There's been a complete lack of interest in the damning audit findings covered on MSV just last month. Hoboken is an odd political environment. Facts are called lies, telling the truth is deemed spreading hate and revealing corruption generates complaint for putting Hoboken in a bad light.

Yes, Hoboken truly is special. There's more "special" coming our way in the Hoboken Housing Authority. In the interim let's aid some in the fourth estate with facts they refuse to digest.

Nowhere in the Hudson Reporter does it even mention last weekend the severely problematic audit findings released only last month. 

Here's a summarized list below from MSV's original July 14 story:

Among the more than a dozen and a half serious problems delineated in the HHA Audit Report:

  • Five vendors were paid over $26,000 where a bid process is mandatory under law
  • None of the five vendors fulfilled a required sealed bid requirement
  • Two of the five above vendors were paid over $100,000
  • "Questioned costs" totaled over $573,000
  • Payments to numerous vendors was out of compliance with prices authorized by the HHA Board of Commissioners
  • The HHA accounting department was "unable to print a vendors history report" 
  • One vendor overpaid without contract authorization exceeded $753,000
  • The partial period of emergency is no excuse for the excessive unauthorized payments
  • All contracts should be properly reviewed when reaching 70% of approved contract expenditure
  • Fiscal controls relating to HHA procurement are not "as required" by law
  • No emergency procurement reports were filed with the state as required under law
  • The HHA is "not in compliance" with state and federal procurement laws and regulations.
  • Detailed required bills submitted for payment to the HHA examined lacked required vendor certifications in all examples examined.
  • Internal control over aspects of procurement are "ineffective"
  • More than $100,000 in expenditures with the illicit use of a credit or store card
  • Section 8 files contained major problems and are "materially incomplete"
  • Costs deemed problematic connected to Section 8 can't be fully determined due to the lack of required documentation
  • The HHA is "not in compliance" with the Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Low Rent Public Housing Program regulations

In addition, the audit report findings state payments throughout the year to a host of suspect vendors totaled almost $800,000 and the "state of emergency" due to Hurricane Sandy shows most of the expenditures "occurred outside the scope of the emergency."

At a recent meeting HHA commissioner and Councilman Dave Mello marveled at a seven-thousand dollar bill with no itemized details at Home Depot and demanded to see how the store credit card was being used. As it turns out, use of any credit or store card is not permitted. It's unclear how long HHA ED Carmelo Garcia did so.

The report said excuses were made pointing to Hurricane Sandy but this was not deemed acceptable.

Vision 20/20 or Vision Money/Money is officially an  undocumented and
kaput plan. In its place will come action designed to benefit the HHA
residents not the Old Guard's pockets.

Later MSV will make available another 25 minutes of unedited footage from last week's Hoboken Housing Authority meeting.

Talking Ed Note: Some of these audit findings will be making more news. On Friday, MSV noted in its editorial questions swirling around the HHA's application of the Section 8 program had raised eyebrows all the way in HUD's Washington Office. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Meeting Hijack - part two of the Carmelo Garcia political operation last Monday

For MSV subscribers:

Another unedited 25 minute segment of last Monday's HHA special meeting held in City Council chambers is available and sent via email.


A picture of the camera bag stolen with all contents within feet of assembled media.
No other media reported their gear stolen.
The MSV bag was a secondary prize for Carmelo Garcia's crew at Monday's special meeting.


Talking Ed Note: Which Beth Mason political operative was thrown out of the meeting Monday in the first ten minutes but magically is seen at various points later?

Contrary to a signed letter by Councilwoman Terry Castellano in the weekend paper, it was Matt Calicchio, a Beth Mason political operative who was the first person ejected from the meeting. The Chair gave the order within the first 10 minutes of the meeting. Calicchio exited but returned in miraculous fashion.

A second person was escorted out before the stoppage and that may have been driven largely by safety concerns after a minor misunderstanding led to the first full meeting stoppage and melee. Carmelo Garcia and his "spokespeople" swung into action. More on that later.

Contrary to a confirmed false report, MSV left the meeting after a second troubling approach by Carmelo Garcia occurred in the City Hall lobby during the stoppage.

Acting Chief Eddie Garcia along with others stepped in restraining Carmelo Garcia. After, Chief Garcia asked MSV to go to the police station and report the theft of property at the meeting and the request. His polite request was fulfilled.


Matt Calicchio ejected last Monday but a Hoboken miracle
saw him soon return. We've seen this before.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Horse Sense: For the HHA, now the hard work begins

The epitaph for one "destined for greatness" Carmelo Garcia has yet to be written.  The political class within the HHA (yes there is one) will sing his praises and remember his favors for their unyielding support but if the damn is not broken, the seams are already tearing.

There's going to be one big mess to clean up at the Hoboken Housing Authority.

It's day four since the former Executive Director's termination and the problems covered up are already beginning to pour forth. In the weeks and months ahead, revelations will come to the fore. For a few, this will not be a surprise. For others, a quick disavowal and forever shall their mouths cease uttering the name Carmelo Garcia.

They didn't like him much. Once he couldn't deliver on the million dollar profits of Vision 20/20, the Hoboken Sopranos had little use for a guy who'd throw them under a bus on a whim to advance himself. Everyone knew it and if they'd forgotten, Mister Carmelo's little tape recorder reminded them.

Carmelo Garcia, former Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director on Monday night in council chambers.
The truth of what's been transpiring in the HHA is only beginning to emerge. There's far more coming.

Some of the problems leaping out of the HHA will certainly keep Richard Fox the interim Director very busy for the foreseeable future. The upside is he brings enormous institutional knowledge he can exert in the short term while a national search is launched for a permanent HHA Executive Director.

Trouble brewing from the lengthy list of publicly available audit findings, reported here on MSV revealed a serious list of trouble but our local media didn't pause to dig into it. The coverage of the meeting Monday has been beyond abysmal, reading more like Middle East election campaign copy for a single candidate running for the title of "dictator for life." Horrid isn't a worthy description.

PolitickerNJ summed up the political fallout for the Assembly seat Garcia holds. The local political columnists covering Hudson County will be offering some lackluster milquetoast with obligatory paeans to the potential Carmelo Garcia represented in the he could have been a contender mode and it's Mayor Dawn Zimmer's fault. As if.

Let's look to a positive with mention of a very bright young man in Carlo Davis, a talent passing through the doors of the Hudson Reporter. Early on he seemed impressed with the astroturf political operation and not knowingly so. His visible distress when repeated threats within feet of him to this editor during one stoppage must have matured him some. (He's captured on the left of the man making less than mundane threats to MSV.) 

So as truth may be somewhat scarce in these parts after the at least partially astroturfed political operation Monday night. In the coming days evidence of the monumental failures, some intentional, some due to incompetence, indifference or worse will be making themselves known.

In Washington, HUD was reportedly scrambling almost a month prior to Garcia's termination, trying in vain to get him on the phone for answers to serious issues uncovered in its Section 8 Housing program. Garcia made himself scarce and is said to have hid from their conference call.

That's just one among a a number of issues, some highlighted recently in the audit findings. That was in some respect a scratch at the surface. Once the professionals finally get a chance to look under the covers, there's going to be some real horror stories coming to light. Is the HHA actually running multi-million deficits on a $17 million annual budget?

Wednesday night, the City Council passed a certificate of need following a similar approval by the Hoboken Housing Authority board. Lots of moaning and gnashing of teeth about the timing but it was already on the agenda. Pointedly, there was no trust whatsoever with Carmelo "the Wire" Garcia.

For Hoboken, a stable HHA with all its residents being treated with respect and compassion is better for the entire Mile Square City. It's going to take some doing. HHA Chair Dana Wefer however will continue to carry the torch and divert her professional capabilities to aiding the new HHA leadership. There's good people in the agency who just need a chance and some direction.  

Political cynics will continue to cast the change at the HHA as mere politics. They clearly have no knowledge of how Hoboken works. Mayor Zimmer is not your typical Hudson County mayor and she didn't call the shots here. HHA Chair Dana Wefer was driving the process from the time when she requested a cursory review of HHA contracts. It led to a cascade of events culminating in the necessary termination of Carmelo Garcia. That decision did not come easily or quickly and was in the end overdue.

Now the last major public budget in Hoboken will see reform for the betterment of all the citizens it serves. Let's get to work.

Before the meeting began Monday, HHA counsel Charles Daglian gives a friendly wave as HHA commissioners
Rob Davis and Jeanne Rodriguqez look on. Is he waving goodbye?

This Horse Sense editorial is dedicated to the long suffering Jessica Coco. Growing up in Hoboken gave her zero support or protection from Old Guard officials once she was suspected of skepticism about an undocumented land deal called Vision 20/20.  She was cavalierly tossed out as chum for the Vision 20/20 land whores - every one of them. The "faithful four" Sigsby Cheatham calls them.

Beyond their ugly cynicism, our officials and institutions on every level failed Coco as she was repeatedly victimized with vandalism, break-ins, cybercrime and death threats. Authorities brought no pressure to bear whatsoever to stop the obvious source of the attacks. A disabled woman was disgracefully abused and many of the voices competing with hers were solely focused on million dollar Vision 20/20 profits and were not merely cavalier to her plight but indifferent and worse, hostile.

Councilwoman Beth Mason's is one name which immediately comes to mind.

Coco sought justice for her friends and neighbors throughout the HHA. She repeatedly asked where were the written guarantees promised residents before Vision 20/20 would see approval? Many returned the favor with scorn and more abuse eager to please their landlord. In total, the collective Old Guard abuses and the allies of same almost killed her.

Thankfully she's lived to see this day, a modicum of justice for her and a silent majority in the HHA. 

Talking Ed Note: An eyewitness report says when MSV passed by Carmelo Garcia entering council chambers before the meeting Monday night, a hand raised in the telltale signature of a gun placed behind the head followed. 

There were at least several incidents with Garcia clashing with people before the second half of the meeting. Troubling reports of instability have followed since Monday. 

An appropriate police report will be filed.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sign of the Times: "You gotta get outta here"


An identified man repeatedly follows up on the urgings of Sigsby Cheatham strongly suggesting "a solution" to 

 MSV's presence Monday night in council chambers. Carmelo Garcia Assembly aide Patricia Waiters is on the right.

On Monday night at the Hoboken Housing Authority meeting in City Hall, this video during the unscheduled stoppage offered some illumination on the proceedings.

Of the council members present in front and Beth Mason not several feet from Sigsby Cheatham, how do they respond to the less than democratic actions taking place?

Unglued and undone: a political operation gone sour

Video is back! This opening segment of the meeting runs less than 19:00 minutes.
This is better quality than previous with clearer audio and captures a continuous unedited segment from the start of the meeting.





The undoing of a political operation and hijacking the meeting for "public safety" failed to stop the HHA special meeting

With the onset of the HHA special meeting, it didn't take long for deploying Old Guard tricks in a vain attempt to salvage the Banana Republic of de facto leader Carmelo Garcia and all the goodies that goes with it.

Previous standbys for the Old Guard deployed a plan to derail the meeting under the guise of "public safety." Mere minutes into the meeting after Councilwoman Beth Mason declared the publicly noticed meeting "illegal" for failure to house all demonstrators brought in to save the Executive Director's contract, Bayonne resident Nick Calicchio would hijack the microphone stopping the proceedings. (Approximately just over four minutes into the meeting.)

Although Chair Dana Wefer followed saying no one could take over the microphone to stop the board's business, no one acted on her comment as Calicchio was then joined by the self-appointed master of ceremonies, former Hoboken resident and 4th ward councilman Chris Campos. Their tradeoff of stopping the meeting and hijacking the microphone continue unimpeded right through the stoppage.

Wefer is heard later saying Calicchio is a disruption but he continues to present his theory of public safety concerns.  (MSV can be heard in the background joking that safety would be better served if Nick Calicchio is not there.) The police officer in the frame admonishes "be quiet" as Calicchio pushes the narrative forward.

The public safety "issue" would be quickly picked up by Carmelo Garcia. As meeting secretary he calls the roll to record votes but here he refuses to call a vote as instructed by the Chair; a tactic he's used whenever the insubordinate whim suits him. In this case, Garcia would state he's obligated to offer his soliloquy to the Chair.

The speech is greeted with some enthusiasm by those in attendance.

Acting Police Chief Eddie Garcia in the confusion of Calicchio's meeting hijack takes the microphone to inquire if theres a question. A discussion on public safety follows.

The Chief outlines his view on those potential concerns. He says should the meeting be deemed problematic, action will be taken. He also asked if it would be possible to move the meeting to a larger venue to accommodate the large group of people outside.

How the police would be able to handle a larger venue is unclear. Soon after, the meeting would degenerate into a raucous affair of yelling and screaming making it impossible to conduct the proceedings.

Talking Ed Note: Carmelo Garcia, Chris Campos and Nick Calicchio were clearly launching an organized plan to shut down the meeting and prevent a vote on terminating an at will contract. Later, the crowd would chant repeatedly "shut it down."

That two former Hoboken residents could manage to launch the plan in the council chambers repeatedly interrupting the meeting was classic Old Guard 101, by any means necessary.

More to come.

Video courtesy intrepid photographer jhnny "to the butter" newman.
Copyright MSV. All rights reserved.