One with zero controversy came by unanimous vote on behalf of Aaron Lewitt, a founder of the Elysian Charter school. He was sponsored by City Council Vice President Jen Giattino and Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.
The second planned vote for Eduardo Gonzalez was pulled immediately at the start of the meeting and replaced with bomb thrower Patricia Waiters.
Wait, Patricia Waiters? This Patricia Waiters?
Waiters who has taken race-baiting performance art at the microphone to Al Sharpton-like levels for years in Hoboken, is also the former Assembly aide to ethnic ethics-free cleanser Carmelo Garcia and appeared at the council meeting to remind them she's an HHA candidate. She also insinuated to the nine-member body she won't be far to repeat her allegations they are all racist and launched a bizarre rant at Councilwoman Vanessa Falco who happens to be African American. No assault on Councilwoman Jen Giattino at this meeting; let's call that progress.
The vote for Eduardo replacement Waiters went exactly as MSV predicted and exactly opposite to what Ravi Bhalla's Queen Ravibot and paid political operative propagandist Nancy Pincus claimed. Councilman Jim Doyle unceremoniously voted "no" to installing Patricia Waiters on the HHA board joining the good government trio of Peter Cunningham, Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher.
|Councilwoman Emily Jabbour|
On the Waiters vote, 'I'm here, present'
Then the critical moment with four votes aligned to approve Waiters as Emily Jabbour was up on the roll call. City Clerk Jimmy Farina called her name to vote.
"Present," as in I wish to indicate I'm here sitting in a chair on the dais of the City Council. "Present," as in sorry running mate Jim Doyle, you take the heat and get called nasty names because I'm not going to walk that plank with you and the good government council colleagues. Jabbour who is five months into an elected position she had little knowledge and less history on local townhall issues perhaps gets a little slack with a primer from the MSV archives back to 2009 on the "The Art of Abstain."
Elected representatives being who they are, can sometimes forget the chief purpose of their presence in an elected body: representation. Almost always, a vote of abstention requires an explanation, either in the political body where cast but certainly to the public at large.
When someone chooses to vote present or abstains on a vote, they alienate all the other voting participants of a body and their own supporters, not to mention the entirety of their constituents in one fell swoop.
What's Councilwoman Jabbour's reason for the passive-aggressive action against her colleagues, the good government trio and her running mate Jim Doyle? MSV reached out twice for comment and received no reply.
Meanwhile, Waiters, who reportedly is verbally assaulting officials at BoE meetings with her trademark bomb throwing will only feel empowered to return with her signature performance art at council meetings.
She'll 'be bach' but maybe this time the next assault will be on a different council member. Nothing should be scrubbed from the recording of the council meeting this time.
Update: Minutes after publication, Councilwoman Emily Jabbour offered this comment via email:
"I do not feel that the Council should have moved forward on the second seat for the HHA Board because we didn't publicly notice the names up for consideration. We received Andrew's application at 12:35pm along with another qualified applicant and had received several other strong applications the day before. I had many residents reach out to me in support of Aaron's application because his name was noticed publicly. I did not feel comfortable voting on individuals who had not received the same due process and opportunity for public comment.
I would also note that James Sanford asked us to postpone the vote in order to properly vet all of the applicants. He commented as such during public comment and emailed the Council with this request."
Talking Ed Note: Voting "yea" to a Patricia Waiters on the HHA board: Mike DeFusco, Michael Russo, Vanessa Falco and Council President Ruben Ramos. Voting nay: Peter Cunningham, Jim Doyle, Tiffanie Fisher and Council Vice President Jen Giattino.
Not voting but "Present" - Emily Jabbour.
The resolution to install Waiters on the HHA failed on a 4-4-1 outcome. Council President Ruben Ramos later nominated former council candidate Andrew Impastato. He submitted his application a year back and is known for working with children at the HHA. His nomination passed easily 7-1-1 with Councilwoman Emily Jabbour voting "abstain."
The HHA board is heaving a sigh of relief. Members Dave Mello and James Sanford both appeared before the council asking for new members. While neither asked that Waiters be nixed, it was implicit as both have been on the receiving end of Patricia Waiters verbal abuse in HHA meetings.
Related: Carmelo Garcia's paid aide goes on racial rant at HHA meeting