Thursday, September 24, 2015

4th ward City Council race heats up with Councilman Tim Occhipinti interview

Later today, MSV will publish an interview with Councilman Tim Occhipinti courtesy of the Hudson County View. Occhipinti is facing two opponents in Ruben Ramos and Dana Wefer for Hoboken's fourth ward (southeast) City Council seat.

Ramos has not been seen much in recent days with the Carmelo Ticket but he and his mother were reportedly in attendance for the kickoff of fifth ward running mate Eduardo Gonzalez last night.

That kickoff held for Eduardo Gonazalez is eyeing incumbent fifth ward Councilman Peter Cunningham and took place at the uptown Ale House last night.

A small group of mostly Old Guard adherents/politicos gathered to hear some comments from their running mate. Among those in attendance the Russo family including Michele Russo and her son, third ward Councilman Michael Russo and long time Hoboken politico and Reform critic Perry Belfiore.

Also in attendance Peter "Monarch Man" Biancamano with a brief appearance by Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano who last week declared war on Reform's council candidates.

The Carmelo Ticket - back together for another ally's kickoff in Eduardo Gonazalez (second from left) at the Ale House and pictured here previously with Peter "Monarch Man" Biancamano, council members Terry Castellano, Michael Russo and head of the ticket, lame duck Assemblyman Carmelo "the Wire" Garcia.

Related: Grafix Avenger has seen some unusual activity from commenters here and abroad with her analyis of the second ward race and designation of Peter Biancamano as "the Monarch Man."

Second ward residents have to consider who is best for backing its neighbors and the City of Hoboken in the ongoing litigation with the Barry family and its Applied Housing/Ironstate Development companies which are looking to put up residential towers on land earlier contracted as part of the Shipyard development for parking and tennis courts in the northeast corner.

Biancamano by all reports is seeking to leverage the Barry influence on Applied Housing residents to vote for his council candidacy. Whether Applied Housing residents see higher density and a developer deal in their best interest remains to be seen. Historically, arm twisting has been a tool of voter encouragement and more recently, the machinery hired and paid there on behalf of the outgoing Beth Mason has transferred to Peter Biancamano. Who's footing the bill?

One second ward resident appears to have concluded there's no need to join the fight against the Monarch Project towers and what is lacking in the litigation is more information for second ward residents who may oppose the viewpoint of Hudson Tea Condo Board President Tiffanie Fisher. Those who agree with that sentiment have their champion: Peter "Monarch Man" Biancamano.

The triangulation verbosity here is not all that complex. When it comes to Old Guard powers seeking elected office, their affinity is to side with big developers against Hoboken residents.

Whether it's residential towers as part of reneging an agreement with Hoboken or pushing similar residential towers for international chemical firm BASF in northwest Hoboken, the Old Guard players change but the game remains the same.

Insert your Eduardo Gonzalez or Peter Biancamano as you like. There's always others in Hoboken willing to step up to the plate and assume that mantle on behalf of big developer interests in the Mile Square.

On November 3rd, you and your neighbors get to decide if you'll let them.

Unrelated: NJ Assembly candidate Annette Chapparo received an endorsement from JNESO as reported on PolitickerNJ.