No one should find a first week definitive of course but there's notable highlights and some of concern.
First, the mayor's office is seeing a rapid, dramatic expansion with a significant increase in cost. The mayor's aides are a major expansion both in cost and headcount. The HR&A notes there are two people replacing the former and initial Chief of Staff under Dawn Zimmer - at multiples in cost higher.
We're not talking chump change either. Prior to Mayor Zimmer, convicted felon and former mayor Peter Cammarano brought in Joe Garcia as Chief of Staff with a generous salary of $125,000. His replacement with Cammarano's departure off to the clink under the succeeding mayor was in the $40,000 ballpark.
No one can say Mayor Zimmer threw around taxpayer money with high salaries. Her initial arrival as mayor saw a reduction in the mayor's office budget in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was impressive and in stark contrast here.
|The Hoboken Resistance & Advocate is curious if there'll|
be an expansion of Ravi Bollards on the streets of Hoboken?
The complete original humorous graphic is depicted there.
Now the HR&A notes a newly created assistant position to the Chief of Staff held by Jason Freeman is $85,000 meaning the CoS position with John Allen is likely into six figures.
In addition, Mayor Bhalla is looking to remove much of if not all of the public interface of the mayoral aides to a newly created office for constituent services. It's not clear how many people will work in this new office but if you have two people hosting the role, it's likely going to add approximately $100,000 in additional salaries to the budget of the mayor's office.
This doesn't address the complete cost to Hoboken taxpayers. All told you'd need to multiply the salaries by 25% to be inclusive of pension and benefits.
There's also rumors of additional personal security for Ravi Bhalla although it's unclear if this is temporary or will constitute another full time position. What would be the bill for a retired full time detective working 40 hours a week? What about feeding a nasty hit job blogger spreading filth and lies?
For more on this story, please see the Hoboken Resistance & Advocate:
Talking Ed Note: On two fronts Mayor Ravi Bhalla gets mixed grades here. For his designation of Hoboken as a city-state principality with its own foreign policy and border control or lack thereof inviting illegal aliens, he gets an F. That's an F for failure and refusal to adhere to the controlling law of the United States of America. This on the same day as Ravi Bhalla swore an oath to uphold the Constitution.
We'd like to think it was the US Constitution. We're checking with versions from Venezuela, Cuba and the defunct Soviet model for comparison.
On the plus side, the recent snowstorm was a challenge. It hit hard with high winds but Hoboken streets were not only passable, the main thoroughfares showed blacktop. That merits a B+ for a fine effort.
Once again, MSV contacted our animal counterpart, Zebra for confirmation on John Allen's salary and there's been no answer. Very bad Zebra, very bad.