Monday, July 13, 2015

Grist for the Mill: Tiffanie Fisher is on the move in the second ward council sweepstakes

Hoboken already seeing an explosion of candidates off to the races in the fourth ward won't be lonely very long. Now it's the uptown second ward coming to life with a similar eruption of candidates.

Despite the saber rattling of Beth Mason, the current occupant of the second ward council seat, unannounced candidacies are germinating of their own volition ready to spring into action.

Tiffanie Fisher, Hoboken activist
is on the move in the second ward.
The big news breaking uptown is Tiffanie Fisher, a resident of the Hudson Tea and member of the Hoboken Zoning Board. Word exploded uptown Sunday she's begun collecting dozens of petitions among a groundswell of enthusiastic supporters for the Second Ward City Council election come November.

Fisher is also the Condo President for the residents in the once politically dormant building. She's been among a core of Hudson Tea residents leading the fight the last several years against Ironstate, more widely known as Applied Housing re: the Barrys who reneged on an agreement with the City to build parking and tennis courts on a parcel of land adjacent to the Hudson Tea.

The Monarch Project, proposed twin apartment towers has been strongly opposed by second ward residents, many unfamiliar with the old developer bait and switch practice of empty promises so common to Hoboken's past. The Shipyard buildings uptown were part of an earlier developer agreement granted with the city.

Residents who initially heard about the Monarch Project plan several years ago sounded the alarm reaching out to City Hall and Beth Mason, the sitting councilwoman in the second ward.

As noted in a resident letter in 2011, Beth Mason ignored their concerns over months focusing on sabotaging the hospital sale while the mayor's office responded almost immediately. Residents in the Hudson Tea Building, known for their lack of engagement in local government suddenly found themselves with City Hall leading an effort to stop the Barry family from building on the northeast pier.  The proposed Barry family plan is currently tied up in both state and federal court.

Giants Quarterback Eli Manning, a resident with his family in the Hudson Tea joined the political fray in 2013 attending a fundraiser leading into the mayoral race on behalf of Mayor Dawn Zimmer's successful re-election bid. With him, Manning QB-ed hundreds of Hudson Tea residents who enjoined the effort and will likely do so again in November, this time on behalf of Fisher for city council.

Over months, the Reform Movement has been asking who would carry the banner in the second ward, independent of whether Beth Mason would mount a re-election effort. Fisher initially demurred from such neighborhood chatter, until she suddenly become its choice by acclamation.

An awakened former slumbering giant of professionals uptown in the second ward is extremely bad news for the Old Guard Russo Clan allied Beth Mason. In the last second ward election, Mason poured tens of thousands of dollars in controversial "street money" in an effort to obtain votes believed targeting the Applied Housing buildings.

The history in Applied Housing is of "arm-twisting" mostly Hispanic residents when election time arrives. However, their numbers in recent years continue to dwindle as market rate apartments become available with the departure of long time residents rendering potential Beth Mason street money far less effective in the November council ward race.

Tiffanie Fisher declined comment at the time of this Grist for the Mill story.

Brian "Bathtub" Murray moved uptown into the second ward
with his wife, Bonnie. She is also expected to launch her candidacy
in the November election council sweepstakes. 

Turf Track: Another second ward candidate anticipated to join Fisher for the second ward council seat is Bonnie Murray, the wife of three time failed BoE candidate Brian Murray. A regular critic of the BoE, Brian Murray ran last November with Old Guard perennial candidate Patricia "Bomb thrower" Waiters on a ticket for the school board backed by the former contracted head of the Hoboken Housing Authority, Carmelo Garcia.

Garcia is talking himself up as a sixth ward council candidate this fall aiming to take on the popular Reform-backed re-election bid of Councilwoman Jen Giattino. He stopped by MSV's impromptu frivolous SLAPP-happy celebration party last Wednesday night at the Elysian sharing drinks while engaging in full campaign mode.

Let the games begin!


Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey. Submit it in confidence to smartyjones@me.com.