Friday, January 23, 2015

Tiffanie Fisher appointed to Zoning Board in 7-2 vote

Tiffanie Fisher returns to Hoboken Zoning Board as Second Alternate through end of 2015

The City Council overwhelmingly voted Tiffanie Fisher back to the Hoboken Zoning Board in a convincing 7-2 vote Wednesday night. A vote for Fisher came up short at the previous council meeting.

The vote total comes amidst the backdrop of much politicking and varied political agendas on the critical board tainted with corruption in recent years.

Fisher via email offered a statement writing, "I was really proud to be part of the Zoning Board last year and mainly because I felt like each decision was made by a group of people who asked all the right questions, exercised discipline in a difficult environment and always acted in the best interest of Hoboken residents."

Tiffanie Fisher returns to serve on the Hoboken
Zoning Board as a second alternate to year's end
with a one year appointment.
In July 2009, the City Council took back the reins of Zoning Board appointments with the full backing of then Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer in the wake of former mayor Peter Cammarano's arrested for trading on his office and zoning variances with a FBI informant for $25,000.

Now a convicted felon, disbarred in NJ from practicing law, Cammarano's corruption ghost hovered over the council proceedings as competing political agendas politely clashed on the process for nominating and voting on Hoboken Zoning appointments.

Councilwoman Terry Castellano one of the two votes cast against the appointment stated she was not convinced by Fisher's answers on affordable housing saying they were "not something I can support." She did not elaborate further.

The only unexplained no vote came from Fisher's own council ward representative, Second ward Councilwoman Beth Mason who has a history of public antagonism against professional women who become active in local Hoboken issues. That antagonism goes back years when Mayor Dawn Zimmer became a councilwoman and Mason urged her election be investigated.*

Fisher has been publicly active in recent months and led the fight with her Hudson Tea Building neighbors against Ironstate (re: Applied Housing) and its proposed Monarch project on the northwest piers. She has voiced no interest however in municipal elected office.

Some complain Hoboken Zoning Board appointments no longer should first and foremost look at integrity in applying the law following Hoboken's Master Plan arguing for a "diversity" standard.

Mike Evers, a former Hoboken Zoning board member who served a full term but was not re-appointed has recently been critical of "white people" with property values in the seven figures like himself being appointed to the board.

Evers has been voicing support for minority candidate appointments to the unpaid Hoboken Zoning Board and opposed Fisher's appointment Wednesday asking no vote be taken.

Evers suggested at the meeting the vote be postponed and then any future vote take place after a potential nomination be publicly written on a resolution 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

Some council members explained the proposed idea was not appropriate or legal. Evers himself is a fundraising consultant and is believed by some professionally connected to affordable housing projects outside of Hoboken.

Talking Ed Note: Affordable housing was a topic mentioned often by some council members leading into the zoning board vote. A report by City Hall attempting to quantify the number of affordable housing or subsidized units in Hoboken was undertaken months ago. Some reliable sources believe the report is complete and when available to the public will reveal the Mile Square City has a large amount of subsidized affordable housing units in comparison to some of its surrounding neighbors.

It's unknown if the report will include any tax impact analysis for existing subsidized affordable housing units in Hoboken.

Update/Turf Track: MSV hears Mr. Evers' business focus is on hospital and other similar non-profits. As most know, Mr. Evers is keen to bring people to the public square in favor of more Hoboken affordable housing. The idea of imposing by ordinance 20-30% mandatory affordable units in Hoboken is not tenable to any existing business model with the ensuing results in evidence.
MSV welcomes all discussion on public policy including Mr. Evers should he choose to voice it directly in comments or in a separate guest piece.

In the interim, a little read website letter casts some long winded comment interpreting incorrectly, the policies covered here and identified MSV as an "OPBLOG." If that designation means Old Guard opposition, Da Horsey pleads guilty as charged. Thank you very much air crash mode.  This is a reform based news website with no censorship and eager and willing to take on all takers. Like Tom Brady, bring your own balls.

Related: A report examining affordable housing in Hoboken, surrounding areas, the county and similar sized cities and population reveals the Mile Square City an undisputed leader.


* A well known Beth Mason paid political operative was also cited in 2012 for perjuring himself on the stand in a Union City Municipal Court case for allegedly harassing a woman and former BoE trustee with her kindergarten age daughter on the street outside the Wallace School. While no conviction was issued, the judge made clear this behavior was inappropriate and part of "Hudson County dirty politics."

Beth Mason refused public comment for her employee's behavior and kept him on her payroll although he's testified in court he worked for Beth Mason's "family" at the Mason Civic Association, a listed 501(c)(3) charity.


Photo copyright MSV 2015