Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2018

Epilogue 2018: Look in your heart

As we wind down this year, here are some of the major exclusives MSV delivered in 2018:

Mayor Ravi Bhalla slobbers over NJ Transit Big Development for Hoboken

Look who's kissing up to the Barry Brothers for a development deal

Councilman Jim Doyle savaged in TV commercial for lone dissenting vote by Ravi Bhalla's union construction pals

Hoboken voter fraud Vote-by-Mail soldier arrested 

Random praise in BromarGate for the Bhalla brothers political decepticon on the public

Bid rigging and a $700,000 ethnic cleansing extortion

Ravi Bhalla's Chief of Staff John Allen busted in nefarious political operations against city council

The Ravimobile

For MSV, it was a very good year. For Hoboken, outside of flat municipal taxes (good luck next year) and finally getting Washington St. renovated to 11th Street millions over budget, not so much.

MSV is already lining up major stories blowing the barn lid off in 2019. There's so much trading on the Mile Square City, the arrogance of power, and contract wheeling you can smell it. At least this Horse can. It reeks.

Hit the tip jar if you want to read what real truth to power means. If not, enjoy the holiday and remember, only cannibals elect cannibal kings. You'll only have yourselves to blame for buying into a con job terror flyer. 2019 holds so much more in store.

Look in your heart.


Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "NYWW Ferry Docked at Former UDD Site"

Official release:

Image may contain: text
Graphic credit: Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront
Dear friends and neighbors:
In case you have not already noticed, there is a NYWW Ferry that is docked at the former UDD site.  I contacted Mayor Bhalla who indicated that NYWW is not yet allowed to conduct any work at the site until they get their local building permits, but the City is reviewing whether they can dock their boats there while they await final permits.  NYWW has taken the position that they can park there given they own the site.  Mayor Bhalla also told me that after the City sent a legal notice regarding local zoning compliance requirements last week, NYWW's attorney said that they will not be conducting any work this year.  Prior to the legal notice being sent, NYWW had said they planned to start operation before the end of the year. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher blasts allegations of personal, race-baiting attacks coordinated by John Allen, the mayor's office and Nancy Pincus

Nancy Pincus, paid political operative for Ravi Bhalla is linked in new alleged
attacks against Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors:
If you read my 12/8 email you would have seen that I referenced a personal attack that happened at the City Council meeting on 12/5 and that I believe it was orchestrated out of the mayor’s office, specifically by John AllenMayor Bhalla’s Chief of Staff.   If you didn’t read the email or click on the links the attack was by two people – Anthony De Leonardo and Patricia Waiters – who seemed to be coordinated as they implied and directly stated that a certain council person was a racist.  And that council person was me.  
As you can imagine, being on the receiving end of something like that is awful – an experience that no one should have.  Since then I have debated whether or not to speak more fully about it.  Do I repeat the story and bring more attention to awful things being said against me?  Or do I just let it go and hope it stops?  I tried the latter but apparently, that has not worked ….
At last night’s council meeting, the same narrative continued as Ms. Waiters came to the microphone again.  At the previous meeting, she said she had received a call to come the meeting to speak and this time she said she received information from Nancy Pincus who writes a local blog and who has continuously attacked me since I supported another candidate for mayor. 
Rather than isolated events, I believe these were just the next in a series of related provocation and attacks from two people (in addition to Ms. Waiters) who seemingly out of the blue spoke out at council meetings and submitted written complaints, although having had no recent or significant involvement in local government or politics.  These two people are Mike Donnelly and Anthony DeLeonardo and they both have ties to the mayor’s office and Mr. Allen.   
What follows is a little “insider baseball"y, but the long and short of it is: 
  • I believe both Mr. Donnelly or Mr. DeLeonardo were asked by others to perform their attacks, that they had probably no reason or experience to know or be aware of the content of their orchestrated attacks, that they both appeared to rely on statements seemingly prepared by others with similar content as seen on Ms. Pincus’ blog, and that they both have ties to Mr. Allen and others in and close to the mayor’s office. 
To be clear - these aren’t two guys who came to a meeting for the first time to advocate for something that happened to them personally like getting a parking ticket under an arcane parking rule (like someone did last night).  These two each presented prepared statements on complex issues that were not directed at either of them. 
For example, Mr. DeLeonardo’s first action was actually in early November when he filed a bogus ethical complaint about saying that I illegally sought legal services and received a legal opinion in violation of a local municipal code to use such opinion for a public hearing to remove a planning board member.  Yes… read that again
First of all – it is 100% not true.  But really?  Mr. DeLeonardo is in his mid 20’s and has lived in Hoboken for less than a year.  I communicate with all of you regularly on some pretty complicated issues – many of you who have lived here a while and are really active locally.  Could or would any of you have come up with this type of complaint on your own without a little help?  And who in Hoboken actually knows enough about something like this to provide this help?  Maybe the same person who gave it to Ms. Pincus for the story she wrote about it the same day?  Maybe a lawyer like Mr. Allen?  Maybe both?
I could write more narrative, but instead, I have listed below what I have learned about each person, each event, and how they are connected to Mr. Allen and others.  
Mr. Donnelly
  • A 2nd ward neighbor who I first became aware of when he attended a council meeting in July for the first time.
  • At the meeting, he read lengthy, prepared statements that included fabricated ethical and political charges against four council members (including me).
  • He returned to the August City Council with more prepared comments and similar attacks.
  • Mr. Donnelly, who is in his mid 30’s I do not believe to be a lawyer, submitted written ethical complaints to both the Hoboken corporation counsel and the Local Finance Board against other council members that read as legal briefs, with multiple and specific code references. 
  • Through social media, it was discovered and publicized that Mr. Donnelly is a part time stand-up comedian and is close to Mr. Allen, as evidenced by the multiple pictures on Mr. Donnelly’s Instagram page and Mr. Allen’s wife’s FB page of he in small social groups with Mr. Allen. 
  • On Friday, September 14th, Mr. Donnelly was seen by people (one who I know personally) and it was reported publicly that he had dinner with Mayor Bhalla and John Allen at Dino and Harry’s.
  • We haven’t seen Mr. Donnelly at a council meeting or heard from him since.
Mr. DeLeonardo
  • On 11/7, Mr. DeLeonardo, who is also not a lawyer, emailed the complaint noted above to the City Clerk’s office and Hoboken corporation counsel.
  • Referenced in the complaint and attached to it was an email that I had sent to Councilwoman Emily Jabbour, seemingly printed from her own email account – only she and Councilman Ramos (cc’d) were on that correspondence so I can only guess how it came into Mr. DeLeonardo's hands.
  • Corporation counsel replied to Mr. DeLeonardo that the complaint needed to be filed in Trenton, which I do not believe has happened yet.
  • That day I received multiple calls from members of the press inquiring about the bogus complaint against me and heard that someone close to the mayor was actively marketing the story to the media. 
  • Also that day, Ms. Pincus wrote about the possibility of this complaint being filed on her blog. 
  • Through social media again, it was discovered that Mr. DeLeonardo only recently moved to Hoboken and is friends with a Hoboken Democratic Committee member who is close friends with Mr. Allen (we looked for it and it wasn't difficult to find...). 
  • The next time we heard from Mr. DeLeonardo was a month later when he came to the December 5th Council meeting, where he seemed to coordinate with Ms. Waiters and make their personal attacks against me. 
  • These attacks were focused on racism and were almost entirely different than and unrelated to the bogus ethic complaint he filed about me on November 7th
  • Mr. DeLeonardo and Ms. Waiters walked out of the meeting together after doing a double high five.
  • It was almost immediately confirmed and later publicized that Mr. DeLeonardo went to John Allen’s house after leaving the council meeting. 
  • Mr. Allen has since stated publicly in an “interview” with Ms. Pincus that he is friends with Mr. DeLeonardo.
  • Mr. DeLeonardo did not return to the meeting last night. 
How can all of this not be related and orchestrated? 
I know who I am as a person and can withstand hateful comments and attacks like these.  I know that not all of you want to receive or read things like this.  I get it.  It was as tedious for me to write as it probably is for you to read.  But like anyone subjected to this, I would like it to stop.  I hope you will support me by telling Mayor Bhalla and John Allen that you want these actions to stop as well.  And please keep this all in mind if you see any more similar press or stories over the coming months as we approach next year's elections.
I am writing this specifically today because I do not want our year together to end on this note or for our next year to begin on this note.  There is a lot of positive and other updates going on locally and I will move on from here and return to you after Christmas with a end of year recap.  And it will not have even a whisper of this in that letter.  I promise.
Thank you to all of you who already reached out to me with your support.  It means everything to me.  And as always, please if you have any questions or want to discuss this or anything else, feel free to email me or call me at 201/208-1674.
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

City Council: Weed, sleaze and political ops

Tonight is the last City Council meeting for 2018 and the polar vortex heading our way is going to make for one helluva global warming winter. Bundle up!

As the year ends, the City Council conducts its final meeting for 2018 and will hold final ordinance readings on marijuana. Mayor Ravi Bhalla wanted three weed stores approved and raring to go by year's end making the weed merchants do bong hits with glee and of course write checks out to Mayor Bhalla or a Ravi PAC. (See below for more.)

The Hoboken City Council has a more guarded stance on allowing the gizz to blow in the Mile Square wind. Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher is seeking final approval to install a temporary ban on any marijuana establishment within the city limits. This, at least until some clarity on the rule of law comes from the state capital in Trenton. So far, passage in some form anticipated this year stalled out completely.

The second ward policy wonk appears to have the upper hand and sentimental support of her council colleagues for the ordinance. This has the mayor's office, chock-full of aides more than a bit unhappy. She's in the way doing what she feels is best for Hoboken. Fisher is not getting the message that it's what Ravi Bhalla wants that matters. They seek a rubber-stamp to replace her next year but in the interim, they'll have to settle with calling this opposition racist.

Does that mean we should expect to see Bhalla Chief of Staff John Allen whipping out race-baiting attacks with friend number three showing up to team up with bomb thrower Patty Waiters tonight? How fast can said friendly political operative leave the City Council after reading the scripted attacks and head over to his house to pick up the loot?

The lawyerly John Allen doesn't appear able to muster any claptrap of an answer as to his political operations against council members, future ops and of course the boss' involvement.

They're so gosh darn quiet, not a creature is stirring in the mayor's office, not even a louse.

Talking Ed Note: Councilman Mike DeFusco will see a final vote on an ordinance eliminating one of three mayoral aides. Should anyone leave, no replacement would be permitted.

In his first year as Hoboken mayor, Ravi Bhalla has three mayoral aides being paid over $285,000.

In her first year as Hoboken mayor, Dawn Zimmer had one mayoral aide being paid $35,000.

Do the politics, I mean math.

Councilman Mike DeFusco: "Marijuana in the Mile Square, and more..."

Official release:

As we wrap up the year and hunker down for the holidays, I wanted to quickly update you on what's been going on around Hoboken....

You may have heard that the State of New Jersey has proposed permitting marijuana dispensaries. Legalizing marijuana on a statewide level could mean that thousands of young men, primarily of African American and Hispanic descent, will no longer have their lives permanently altered by a drug arrest. It also means a major opportunity for entrepreneurs to create a new market and for municipalities to reap the benefits of economic development. There are of course several important questions that have to be answered about legalization, and this conversation is ongoing at the state level.

While the concept is intriguing, I feel the proposed recreational marijuana law being considered in Trenton can be made better. The State Legislature and Governor are still in negotiations and will not have a law passed before the end of the year, and many local officials are arguing for more generous tax benefits and protections for municipalities, and I support those goals.  On the medicinal front, the State issued six medicinal dispensary licenses, none of which are within Hoboken.  Despite this, Mayor Bhalla had been rushing a local ordinance that would permit recreational and medical dispensaries within our city, a move that seems to be putting the cart before the horse.
November 19th community meeting discussing marijuana in Hoboken 
I am very receptive to the conversation, however, I feel it’s unadvisable to rush into passing local law until the state law has passed.  Additionally, in its current form, the Mayor’s ordinance places the bulk of potential dispensary locations in my downtown district, the First Ward, without any plans in place to ensure neighborhood quality of life, or provide any indications of how the increased revenue would be spent.  As such, I have worked with the City Council to temporarily table the recreational ordinance pending guidance from Trenton and adjustments to our local legislation.

However, tonight, the City Council will still consider two marijuana-related ordinances….  

The first permits medical marijuana dispensaries in Hoboken and the second temporarily halts the granting of zoning permits to dispensaries until the City Council and Mayor can agree on a more substantive, long-term plan. In regards to medicinal dispensaries, the City’s Planning Board recommended altering the ordinance to make dispensaries “conditional” permitting more board and community involvement.  I fully agree.  In regards to the temporary ban, I am in support so long as conversations are not stymied and we develop an ordinance that adds financial incentives and quality of life assurances for the neighborhood(s) impacted.

Let me be abundantly clear that to gain my support on zoning for future dispensaries, a large portion of revenue generated from sales will need to benefit the immediate neighborhood -- by fixing infrastructure, like sidewalks and streets, improving public amenities and adding more dedicated city services, like maintenance and police. By no means should the revenue generated be used to stuff budget shortfalls, acting as a temporary fix to cover this administration’s overspending, or pet projects that can be funded in other ways.

Marijuana legalization would create an enormous societal change for our state that would have benefits and consequences on Hoboken, whether intended or unintended. As a Council member, it’s my job to make sure that Hoboken and the First Ward are prepared for this new circumstance and ready to take advantage of this industry while protecting our neighborhoods and our quality of life. I will be holding a neighborhood community meeting on this topic in the coming weeks, and will distribute scheduling information shortly via my social media platforms. 

Hoboken has a unique opportunity to have an unimpeded and interconnected waterfront at the former Union Dry Dock site along Sinatra Drive. I stand with the mayor and a unified City Council in saying that we must do everything within our power to protect that space as public park land, for the benefit of generations to come. However, I am troubled by the lack of accountability.  
For over nine years the now-mayor sat on the City Council, many as Council President, but always as the right-hand man to our last mayor. Through that period, the city had the opportunity to purchase the property at market value but passed because leadership at the time hoped to acquire it once Union Dry Dock ceased operations. Unfortunately, what they didn’t foresee was another maritime operation, like New York Waterway, stepping in and buying the property once the former dry dock vacated the site.

Then, just last January, our new mayor pointed to outgoing Governor Christie as the problem, before changing direction and placing responsibility with our state’s new executive, Governor Murphy. This all without seemingly understanding that NYWW is an important transportation provider for the state, and it was a logistical, not political, decision.  In April the Mayor announced an “agreement” with the governor that he said would solve things; however, last week  the Army Corps of Engineers granted approvals to build, dispelling the notion of progress.  So now, the mayor is back to petitioning Governor Murphy to fix this municipal mistake.  

We can’t go back in time, but as we look forward for productive solutions, it’s important to understand how we got here.

One of those proposed solutions is the potential of moving ferry fueling operations to the Lackawanna Terminal, which certainly deserves consideration as it’s the terminus for New Jersey Transit and PATH. Operationally it remains to be seen how a ferry maintenance facility could operate without direct road access or how they safely fuel vessels within the busiest transit hub in the state -- with over 60,000 commuters passing through daily. Similarly, how we brace for significantly increased downtown traffic, including industrial sized vehicles when the roads surrounding the terminal are already packed at rush hour, is something that I am very concerned about.

There are more questions than I have answers for at this time, but do hope that this is not just another position crafted by the mayor's press team to kick the can or reassign blame. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and work with everyone to create a remarkable, one of a kind, waterfront park while simultaneously building a stronger transit hub for the entire city and state.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Pupie - 'I'll pay with cash'

This time, it ain't $40. In lieu of a lien to forego pretrial detention, Frank "Pupie" Raia put up $100,000 in cold hard cash.

There's no satirical sacred cow gored in that. In California however, ballot harvesting is coming back in a big way. Maybe that's just a sign of the times or maybe that's the future.

Related: Frank "Pupie" Raia is arrested for conspiracy to promote a voter bribery scheme by use of the mail back on Halloween. He's facing five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Frank "Pupie" Raia with Beth Mason back in 2013

Monday, December 17, 2018

Mayor Ravi Bhalla to join Linda Sarsour in presenting John Allen the Al Sharpton award

Official release:

Mayor Ravi Bhalla cordially invites you

To his fourth 2018 fundraiser honoring himself with 
special guest and friend Linda Sarsour

who will be presenting an award to

Ravi Bhalla’s Chief of Staff John Allen

The prestigious:

December 28th 2018 6:30 – 10:00 pm
108 Solomon Dwek Developer Drive, Jersey City, NJ

Entry fee: $1,000
Honorary supporter: $2,600
Louis Farrakhan Leadership Table: $5,000

Please make checks out to:
Ravi Terror Flyer PAC 2019*

* All contributions are deductible from your Hoboken tax bill just don’t tell anyone

 This is satire. If you're not laughing; you’re probably a Ravibot.

Ravi Bhalla to make major announcement on Chief of Staff John Allen

An announcement from the mayor's office today is anticipated with Mayor Ravi Bhalla issuing some statement surrounding the uncovered political operations against sitting City Council members by his chief of staff, John Allen.

Ravi release on John Allen?
MSV blew the lid off with a series of investigative reports of the political attacks out of the mayor's office after the last City Council meeting. The evidence uncovered points to a political and race-baiting attack by a now confirmed friend of John Allen's who teamed up with Patty Waiters against Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher. The ugly racial attacks have reminded the Hoboken public about the Ravi Terror Flyer days before the mayoral election last year. To date, no one has been arrested.

This recent political attack is but the latest among others over recent months when MSV uncovered another John Allen friend performing in the exact same capacity. That person was later spotted having dinner at an uptown steakhouse with John Allen and Ravi Bhalla. The earlier attacks were more broad-based against sitting council members and lacked the one-two race-baiting punch as at the last council meeting. 

After public portion in the last City Council meeting, said John Allen friend immediately set foot to the home of Ravi Bhalla's aide with the pre-written speech in its original manila folder in hand. Was a drop of the original materials being returned after the dirty deed for an agreed upon amount of cash? 

John Allen has remained mute for over 10 days to the $1,000,000 question although invited to offer any explanation why he had his friend report to his home immediately after public portion at the last council meeting. In its place, he's offered meaningless comment about how his friend allegedly got into the building. 

Will Ravi Bhalla be finally answering to both his and John Allen's role? Stay tuned! 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

John Allen hides from the $1,000,000 question

It's a full week since the exclusive series of investigative reports began unveiling a swarmy race-baiting attack during the Hoboken City Council meeting against Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.

That gift bestowed on her from the mayor's office came on Hannukah and trails literally to John Allen's door.

Ensuing cover-up attempts, finger-pointing, and distractions, re: the usual have followed, even as much of the stacked bullet points yesterday are confirmed and belatedly admitted as John Allen remains hiding from the $1,000,000 question.


Mayor Ravi Bhalla's Chief of Staff John Allen

So here's the official running clock on the efforts to have John Allen answer to the public accountability of his role.

The question Hoboken is likely to see an answer to first is which of John Allen's friends turns up yet again a signatory to a legalese-fueled "ethics" complaint against sitting Council members.

It's simply "organic" they'll say in their best Big Lie gaslighting wink. In the famous sarcastic words of former Business Administrator Arch Liston, "Oh I believe that."

More to come

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Political operation goes sour as John Allen attempts coverup on council hit job

The fur is flying in the revealed series of stories here involving political hit jobs last week in the City Council leading literally back to the doorstep of Mayor Ravi Bhalla's Chief of Staff, John Allen.

Among the distractions, fabrications and silly attempts to attack the messenger, John Allen reportedly claims he was not contacted by MSV.

This as noted below is only one notable problem.

In all the gyrations including John Allen's glaringly obvious limp team effort with Nancy Pincus, head cave dweller at Sybil's Cave; he utterly fails to explain why Anthony Deleonardo dropped an ugly stink bomb apparently teaming up with Patty Waiters at the City Council - then immediately left - running to John Allen's door.

For the moment, here's the the true and actual evidence of MSV efforts since last week to contact John Allen.

On December 6th, this text message was sent to the recently returned Vijay Chaudhuri in the mayor's office:

There's a friendship with Vijay, the former chief of staff to Dawn Zimmer going back years and he called a little before 2:00 pm. The conversation lasted just over 15 minutes. The details of that frank discussion are off the record but on several occasions throughout; it was requested not once, not twice but several times for John Allen to "give me a call."

Vijay was receptive and as usual, professional throughout. There was no response from John Allen in the six days since that conversation.

At 8:10 am this morning, a message was left for John Allen informing him there was another major story going to publication in approximately an hour. Approximately an hour later, the story was published blowing the lid off the emerging scandal. 

John Allen is again invited to discuss the related issues of public concern at his convenience.

Talking Ed Note: MSV can confirm that Nancy Pincus did not seek any information here confirming the facts published since last week including those as stated above. In place of decency is a screed of lies. 

More to come.

EYEWITNESS: Attack dog seen arriving at home of John Allen minutes after departing council meeting


The following exclusive report is an accumulation of MSV's investigative efforts, analysis, and opinion now into the tenth year covering Hoboken government, politics, and corruption. All the opinions as stated below are the sole responsibility and copyright of MSV.

Tag team political/race-baiting attack on Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher revealed:

Anthony Deleonardo a "close friend of John Allen," Mayor Ravi Bhalla's Chief of Staff

Eyewitness: After the staged, scripted political operation in the City Council meeting, Anthony Deleonardo seen visiting Hoboken Chief of Staff John Allen at his home minutes later!

In the latest blockbuster in a series of reveals reported here beginning last Thursday:
  • John Allen is described as a "close friend" of Anthony Deleonardo, the speaker who delivered a back to back one-two punch in personal and race-baiting attacks with Patty Waiters against Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.
  • Anthony Deleonardo left the council meeting & immediately reported to John Allen's home
  • Anthony Deleonardo exited the City Council chambers with his arm over certified bomb-thrower Patty Waiters as captured on the live City Council feed (see below).
  • Deleonardo is thought the signature on emerging pending political "ethics" complaints
  • A secret meeting was held a week prior at John Allen's home with Mayor Ravi Bhalla in attendance
  • The latest sordid political operation is eerily similar to earlier attacks on City Council members by another confirmed friend of John Allen revealed in an August MSV exclusive report.
  • The political race baiting efforts revealed are not unlike the atrocious smears seen in the 2017 Hoboken mayoral race which saw a Ravi Terror Flyer deployed days before the election.

John Allen, Mayor Ravi Bhalla's current Chief of Staff
has avoided answering to his role in the personal attacks
on Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher at last week's City Council meeting
Anthony Deleonardo, identified as another friend of
John Allen launching scripted political attacks on City Council members
not in lockstep with Mayor Ravi Bhalla in a council meeting.

In ironic if not karmic timing, a Hoboken homeowner witnessed Deleonardo arrive outside his building where John Allen is a resident. He unlocked the door allowing Deleonardo inside where the just departed City Council speaker stated he was seeking entrance to visit John Allen. It's the same John Allen who holds the position of Chief of Staff to Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

The resident was exiting the building to walk his dog but requested anonymity for fear of retaliation. That eyewitness confirmed the person entering the building to visit John Allen is the same person who appeared in the video on MSV last Thursday.

Another witness to the spectacle at last week's council meeting confirmed they were told of the personal relationship between John Allen and his "close friend" Anthony Deleonardo shortly after the meeting.

In yet another odd circumstance, the live City Council feed captured Deleonardo exiting the council chambers with his arm embraced over Patty Waiters. In an unprecedented attack even for her, a rant against Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher alleged she held hatred for black people and she had supported another outsider BoE candidate who won the third seat in the school district election last month.

The official camera of the Hoboken City Council meeting captured this shot of a mostly empty chamber with
Anthony Deleonardo visible exiting (circled in red) after the public portion with his arm around BFF, bomb thrower Patty Waiters. He was seen visiting and admitted to the home of John Allen mere minutes later.

A week prior, at the same location where John Allen resides, Mayor Ravi Bhalla was seen arriving. Some believe the timing and the oddity of that offsite meeting may be tied to the political operation launched during last week's City Council public portion.

The political and race baiting attacks during the public portion of the City Council meeting represents an escalation of political savagery Hoboken was once known for but thought remanded permanently to the past.

MSV can also exclusively report that word of another alleged ethics complaint has been legally prepared for use against council members who've declined fealty to the mayor - again - scripted by Ravi Bhalla's Chief of Staff John Allen.

If all this feels a bit like "deja vu all over again," it is. Previous coordinated attacks last summer alleged to have been constructed out of the Hoboken mayor's office were focused on several council members but lacked the race-baiting one-two punch seen in last week's City Council meeting.

At the August council meeting, Hoboken resident Mike Donnelly claimed "no one sent" him. Not a month later, MSV exclusively reported Donnelly was seen having dinner at a table with John Allen and Ravi Bhalla at Dino and Harry's uptown.

Previously, Councilman Mike DeFusco issued a press release last August about coordinated attacks coming directly out of the mayor's office. From that release:

Repeated invitations to John Allen for this story have seen no response. Anthony Deleonardo is invited to offer his explanation at a suitable time and place.

Talking Ed Note: Welcome to Hoboken's 2019 City Council ward races, Ravi Bhalla & John Allen, master of ceremonies. If you liked the Ravi Terror Flyer last year, you're really going to love the 2019 City Council ward elections. This is a taste of what they have in store.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Councilwoman Jen Giattino: "City Hall is now being run as a political operation"

City Council VP Jen Giattino's public remarks point to direct evidence of race-baiting political attacks being orchestrated out of the mayor's office

At last week's City Council meeting, Council VP Jen Giattino returned from a brief chat outside the chambers during public portion to hear a trail of vindictive pus oozing from the resident microphone at Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.

In the strongest public statements in her seven years as a councilwoman, elected three times by her council colleagues to lead the nine-member group as City Council President since 2011; Giattino lambasted the ugly race-baiting attacks against Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher and pointed to their evidenced origin out of the Hoboken mayor's office.

"City Hall is now being run as a political operation," the two-term councilwoman stated matter-of-factly before adding, "instead of a governmental one."

Those remarks, low-key but devastating undressed Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the gutter mudslinging out of the mayor's office.

Giattino called up Patrick Wherry to discuss the details of an agenda meeting to remove a resolution to see Chris Brown appointed director replacing Brandy Forbes and allow council members a chance to meet with him "following protocol;" as the City Council President would allowing all its members of the council to meet with the candidate.

That meeting took place on the Thursday prior to last Wednesday's council meeting at 5:30. A mere two hours later, Giattino noted that Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher was being attacked and called racist online.

Noting that Councilwoman Fisher didn't even attend the agenda meeting, Giattino pointed to the obvious source of the race-baiting attacks that have followed on Ravi Bhalla's paid political operative website and others, most recently, this one.

"Whoever Patrick reported to (in the mayor's office) after that is clearly the person that started spreading this word. And I think it's so so rude to Chris Brown to put that out there... How do you think he's feeling about this? This is disgusting."

Giattino concluded by pointing the finger directly at the Ravi Bhalla Administration for launching this race-baiting attack against Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher and saying both the councilwoman and Chris Brown were owed an apology. Some of her remarks appear below:

In addition to the gutter tactics seen coming out of the mayor's office against Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, there's more abject filth appearing online calling Councilman Mike DeFusco an anti-Semite.

A reader submitted evidence from the political operative website where Ravi Bhalla runs his paid political operations. Even loyal campaign supporters back to the days of former mayor Dawn Zimmer have publicly, and loudly, begun bailing. Here is the first submitted instance and apparently all of it appears to the present on Nancy Pincus' cult of personality website on behalf of Ravi Bhalla:

Talking Ed Note: Does any of this give the Hoboken public pause and insight into who's behind the Ravi Terror Flyer? Look at all of the evidentiary revelations going from the Hoboken City Council Chambers and leading foursquare into the Hoboken mayor's office for the clues.

If we could only point to the list of unseemly actions and revelations since January as an abject disappointment.

You are so much worse than a disappointment Ravi.

More to come.

Monday, December 10, 2018

When the mayor's office goes Al Sharpton on a Jewish councilwoman for Hanukkah

Mayor Ravi Bhalla's Chief of Staff John Allen has some race baiting 'splaining to do

The buzz began last week after a full-on assault on Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, a good government policy wonk snared in an Al Sharpton level attack during the City Council meeting.

She also happens to share a similarity with another former councilwoman good government advocate in Dawn Zimmer: both are Jewish.

This Al Sharpton-like political operation was hatched, conducted and deployed using Hoboken taxpayer's money right out of Mayor Ravi Bhalla's office. There's more to this exclusive story.

Unlike the Ravi Terror Flyer, this one was burned almost immediately in the Hoboken Horse exclusive report on Thursday:

That's right John Allen, I'm calling you out. That's for starters. Stop hiding!

Ravi Bhalla Chief of Staff John Allen

This story is breaking...

Talking Ed Note: Meanwhile, at the loony bin Sybil's Cave, the cult of personality Ravibot website, Ravi Bhalla campaign operatives are in-fighting whether a pending City Council ordinance the mayor's office is limited to two confidential aides under NJ statute.

While fascinating to see Bhalla campaign operatives differ publicly on the issue; it's beside the point.

The real question is will the City Council ordinance pass at the next meeting limiting the mayor's office to two when one of the three departs?

It's not Jason Freeman who will be terminated but John Allen who will be waved goodbye. If the ordinance passes, the mayor would not be able to replace his impending departure keeping the mayor's office at two confidential aides and limiting further scummy political operations as seen last week.

More to come.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "UDD, Monarch, Washington St, Clydesdales, Personal Attacks"

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors:
I hope everyone is settling into the weekend and either went or was able to see online the Lighting of Hoboken’s Christmas Tree.  We are in the season full swing!  I unfortunately could not make it as I am away to attend a funeral for a longtime family friend who at 80, passed peacefully with a smile on his face and surrounded by loved ones.    
There is always a lot happening in our own version of Sesame Street… this newsletter includes an update on just a few:
  • Hoboken Waterfront – UDD and Monarch
  • Update from 12/7 Council Meeting including:
    • Protective and medical Marijuana legislation
    • Update on Washington St. timing
    • Personal attacks against me
  • The Budweiser Clydesdales coming to Hoboken
As you may have seen, Mayor Bhalla issued the following statement yesterday that he received notification that the US Army Corps of Engineers has given approval for NY Waterways to move their ferry operations to the former Union Dry Dock site.   
“I have just received notice that the US Army Corps of Engineers has granted NY Waterway a permit to move their ferry maintenance and refueling depot from Weehawken to the former Union Dry Dock site in Hoboken.  I am incredibly disappointed but for me, this fight is far from over.  I am re-doubling my efforts to ensure that this property will be a public park, NOT a ferry maintenance and refueling depot.  Before NY Waterway is given permission by Governor Murphy to ravage our waterfront and environment, I invite the Governor and NJ Transit to visit the site so they can see firsthand the detrimental impact this will have on the families and children of our community.”
This decision is so frustrating, although not unexpected.  Mayor Bhalla has already reached out to both Senators Menendez and Booker and, along with the City Council, remains committed to continuing this fight.  
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Graphic credit: Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront
The single most critical next step is for Mayor Bhalla, Governor Murphy and NJ Transit to agree on a superior location for ferry operations.   And right now all reports – ours and NJ Transits - point to Hoboken’s own Lackawanna Terminal as one of the preferred sites.  Given this approval, it may be more difficult to stop NYWW from occupying the former UDD site in the near term, but that doesn’t mean we should not stop fighting for the right permanent location elsewhere.
I urge all Hoboken residents to call Governor Murphy’s office at 609-292-6000, tell him how important our waterfront is to our community and ask him to do the right thing for his constituents: protect Hoboken’s waterfront and better align all public transportation at one or all of the superior sites identified, including Hoboken’s Lackawanna Terminal.  Please also email our representatives and post on twitter and FB including the links for the video showing our waterfront and to the Alternative Site Engineering reports.  
To those who are less supportive of this effort.  Please note none of us are supportive of NYWW shutting down under any circumstances.  That is not what this is about.  This is about continuing the decades-long effort of protecting our waterfront for the best and highest use for Hoboken and working for the best strategic solution for all transportation needs.   

Last week, I attended the oral arguments for the remaining legal case outstanding relating to Monarch.  This was the appeal of the lower court decision that Hoboken's flood ordinance banning residential development in high flood zones along the waterfront does not apply to the Monarch site.  What is being decided is whether health and safety trump property interests.  The judges pushed the attorneys on why our ordinances should not be seen as being targeted at the developer, and the attorneys for the city's position did a great job explaining both the legal position as well as providing context of what the flooding risks are in Hoboken.  As Mayor Bhalla recently said, appeals are difficult to win, but we await the decision which we expect to receive at the earliest, prior to the end of the year, but more likely early in 2019.  
Also, as you may have heard through the grapevine, Mayor Bhalla is actively working with Dave Barry and Ironstate/Applied, owners of the proposed Monarch site as well as other development sites in Hoboken, to identify a solution that could see the conclusion to the longstanding battle for our waterfront including vacating their interests on the north waterfront.  This is by no means a secret, and Mayor Bhalla encouraged socializing this issue more broadly as he continues settlement discussions.  
He recently met with residents across Hoboken including my neighbors at Hudson Tea to discuss ideas and get input.  If you happen to be someone in the commercial real estate advisory and/or appraisal industry who is interested in seeing a settlement and could offer some thoughts on evaluating development projects, I urge you to reach out to the mayor’s office to offer your support.  Profitability is the main currency in development negotiations and is front and center in this settlement.  

Friday, December 7, 2018

Holiday Grist: US Army Corps of Engineers approve permit for NY Waterway at Union Dry Dock


The Hoboken Horse at MSV can exclusively report the pending decision from the US Army Corps of Engineers came in and NY Waterway may commence full commercial operations at the site of the former Union Dry Dock.

It's unclear for the moment when exactly the decision came down but reliable sources inside City Hall confirm the unified fight among many in the city from Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Council President Ruben Ramos, Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher on down to community activists is lost.

Talking Ed Note: After former mayor Dawn Zimmer completed her second term, there was a discussion in the community to obtain the Union Dry Dock site and add it to the public waterfront.

This all but confirms what some close political observers had anticipated. NY Waterway has the green light to continue work and begin its commercial operations at the former Union Dry Dock site.
More on all this to come.

Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column but its success makes it the most popular column in all the Mile Square City. Have a tasty carrot for Horsey? Send it to smartyjones@me.com and be assured your confidentiality is protected with MSV's State of NJ Shield Law protections upheld repeatedly in Hudson County Superior Court.