Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Last call for a 6 acre park in Hoboken?



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If there wasn't enough already swimming in the Hoboken ether with the council candidate faceoffs this November, the series of legal discussions in multiple City Council sessions on the six acres in northwest Hoboken is up for a vote tonight using eminent domain.

That's not the only big legal issue looming before the City Council.

On the agenda, three votes will take place related to the BASF Cognos-Henkel site.

The mayor in a released statement earlier this week said, "This six-acre property is the City's last remaining option for acquiring such a large amount of contiguous land for open space, and it would provide Hoboken with a unique opportunity to address three of our most pressing challenges - flooding, open space and parking."

Unrelated, Grafix Avenger exploded today with a legal bomb on the four consecutive missed City Council meetings by Beth Mason. The report suggests in Mason's doing so without a legitimate reason, under NJ law she's automatically vacated the seat.

Mason had gone to ground after the Hudson Superior Court's final legal verdict on the Bajardi v Pincus civil case. The verdict declared the venomous litigation against a dozen Hoboken residents a frivolous SLAPP-suit and ordered sanctions against Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi and three of their attorneys for over $276,000.

The City of Hoboken must review the NJ statute on the lengthy, unexplained absences by Beth Mason and protect its interests. Any participation or vote by Beth Mason may place Hoboken in legal jeopardy.

Hoboken's City Council meeting is slated to begin @ 7:00.

Beth Mason returned to discover a legally required closed session of the council was needed to manage the fallout from her blowing off eights weeks and four City Council meetings since July 8th. She was required to stay outside the Council Chambers and overheard yelling at someone on the phone while awaiting the council's action. She disappeared after the July 8th decision of Judge Patrick Arre in Hudson Superior Court slamming her pals Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi with $280,000 in sanctions for a frivolous litigation. Mason announced the SLAPP in the July 2012 City Council meeting 15 days before it was filed against a dozen Hoboken residents although that's gone unreported in other local media for years.

Update: First reading of ordinances related to the six acres in a potential acquisition by the City of Hoboken possibly using eminent domain on land owned by BASF passed 6-3.

Voting in favor: Councilmembers Peter Cunningham, Jen Giattino, Dave Mello,  Jim Doyle and Council President Ravi Bhalla. The key sixth required vote came once again from Timmy Occhipinti. (If the same six votes vote similarly in two weeks, the action will pass.)

Voting against acquisition: Terry Castellano, Michael Russo and Beth Mason.
Next reading in two weeks with public comment and a second and final vote.

Earlier an unplanned closed session of the City Council to deal with the vacated second ward council seat previously occupied by Beth Mason. Since July 8th, she has missed eight weeks without explanation in council activities including four straight meetings into the September meeting.

Under NJ law, a council members automatically vacates the council seat when they are MIA for unexplained lack of participation as here.

An unread resolution allowed Beth Mason to be reinstated to finish her term obtaining approval from all the council members who were forced  under NJ law to consider what possible reason Mason had for the unexplained absences. 

It's unclear what excuse after the fact Beth Mason offered.