Monday, January 1, 2018

Ruben Ramos to be elected Council President

2018 enters with big changes on the way. On New Year's afternoon, Ravi Bhalla will take the oath of office for mayor swearing to uphold the NJ and US Constitution at Hoboken High School. Shortly thereafter those documents will be nullified by executive fiat welcoming break-ins into the People's Republic of Hoboken

It may be difficult to find the PRH on a map of nations. It may be nestled somewhere between Iran and India but when it comes to federal funding, City Hall will change its tune on a dime bellowing "We're closer to Washington DC than Newark." This even as an official release from Hoboken City Hall proclaimed, "law enforcement resources will not be expended in the enforcement of federal immigration laws."

Laws what laws? Ask Kate Steinle; she's designated a "hater" by Hoboken City Hall even while dead and so is anyone who doesn't want to see a similar fate or expect as citizens a government to "provide for the common defense." Watch how Hoboken and the area loses common 2018 federal funding.

This Wednesday, a slightly reconstituted Hoboken City Council will seat two new council members: Emily Jabbour and Vanessa Falco. This won't alter much in the way of the order of business as the council has established a professional temperament and expectations light years since the bad old days. They'll be the usual crying, whining and lying at the Cave.  Oy vey, the drama and demand for sole power. No soup or board seats for you!

The Bhalla inauguration ran into a glitch not of its own making. It's the blasted parking notifications or the timely lack thereof. One parent out of town as many through the holidays received the bad news of their soon to be towed vehicle clearing out the area surrounding the high school. She wrote her tale of woe on Facebook:

In her departing shot, Dawn Zimmer veoted a 7-2 council approval for a November referendum where the Hoboken voters will decide after five years if they desire bringing back runoff elections. Couldn't she have tended to directing decent parking notifications to residents over the holidays? Playing partisan politics is all her rage. In January, expect a duplicated 7-2 vote giving the Hoboken voters the choice on runoff elections this November.

Come Wednesday, MSV exclusively reports City Council President Jen Giattino is expected to pass the gavel to former NJ Assemblyman and Fourth Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos. New leadership will mean compromise and collegiality on the nine member body. As part of this solidarity and political reality, expect the council to pass the nomination for council president in an unanimous vote.

Ramos ran for Hoboken mayor in 2013 in a remarkably positive mayoral bid against Mayor Zimmer and former councilman Tim Occhipinti. Unfortunately, the high minded standard didn't fare well in the 2017 version with Hoboken Reform obliterated and Councilman Ravi Bhalla seizing the win with less than a third of the vote.

Former NJ Assemblyman and Hoboken fourth ward councilman Ruben Ramos will ring in the New Year with his colleagues on Wednesday in the first council meeting of 2018.
Happy New Year Council President

The effectiveness of the new council leadership will be tested out of the gate as it looks to set its reorganization and vote to appoint several board seats. Up for selection, at least several important Zoning Board of Adjustment seats and possibly one seat on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority. Oddly, a resolution appeared for the latter pointing to a moral turpitude clause. Does that apply to life requiring surgeries when you have to dial in by phone?

How that clause got in there will not be seen by most but would be a good question for Corporation Counsel holdover Brian Aloia. He like other director level positions were whispered to remain as part of the back room deal announced last June between Dawn Zimmer and Ravi Bhalla.

The Hoboken Chief of Staff position however went to failed council candidate John Allen. If one back room deal between NJ political law firms fails; then find another.

Back room deals and how to elbow Congressman Albio Sires out of his seat are the watchwords for 2018. More on names to watch in 2018 below.

Happy New Year!

Talking Ed Note: Names you'll be hearing more of in 2018: Phil Murphy, Ravi Bhalla, Steve Sweeney, POTUS, Jeff Sessions, Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez, Andy McCabe, Susan Rice, Jim Comey, Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange, Huma Abedin, The Awan Brothers, Seth Rich, Anthony Weiner, Loretta Lynch, George Soros, Sally Yates, Bruce Ohr, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, Bill Priestap, James Baker and Robert Mueller.