Monday, April 11, 2016

Last of the 2016 Budget hearings

Tonight is the last of the annual budget hearings announced by the City.


T:he final budget hearing (Corporation Counsel & Transportation & Parking) will take place in the Council Chambers at City Hall tonight, Monday, April 11, 6:30pm.

A new council melds breaking with the past and an eye to Hoboken's future

It's been one full quarter since the new City Council was sworn-in after last November's election but the ramifications on the body transpire beyond the 7-2 majority conceptualized for Reform.

The complexities of the new body are most visibly evident in the demeanor of Old Guard leader and Russo faction head, third ward councilman Michael Russo.

Awoken to political realities with the stunning Reform sweep in 2013 seeing Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her at-large council slate re-elected, Russo's created a new persona replacing his former manic political animal self attempting to yell down and bully other members on the council.

Leader of the Russo Faction and Hoboken's Old Guard: Third ward councilman Michael Russo.

No more shouting for colleagues to don a KKK pillow case hood so the Old Guard could cash in their Lotto tickets on a real estate scheme in public housing called Vision 20-20. 

The score on that Carmelo Garcia backed scheme makes the $5,000 bribe plotted with FBI Solomon Dwek back in 2009 look like table scraps.  

One long time political observer remarked, it's almost impossible to see Russo as the person he was in his current incarnation on the City Council. His political alliance with fourth ward councilman Ruben Ramos (Russo backed his 2013 campaign for mayor) doesn't lend itself to the warring with the Old Guard practically swept out of power last November.

The remarkable changes to the operations of the council before the public at meetings and behind the scenes is drastically different and a tremendous improvement from the political warring take no prisoners style since 2009 when Reform took a council majority and then saw elevated Dawn Zimmer to the mayor's office.

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