Friday, February 16, 2018

DAS BOOT: Ravi Bhalla boots Cheryl Fallick and Mike Lenz from Rent Leveling Board

In a letter issued yesterday to the City Clerk's Office, new mayor Ravi Bhalla offered a full list of seven candidates to fill the totality of expired positions on the Hoboken Rent Leveling Board.

Notably eliminated from the board are two well known Hoboken government officials: Cheryl Fallick and former councilman Michael Lenz who served as the board's chair.

The two board members given the boot share one facet in common: both publicly backed Councilwoman Jen Giattino for mayor in last year's mayoral race.

The board removals with announced replacements will see a vote by the full City Council at next week's meeting on Wednesday.

The Hudson County View filed its story on the Friday breaking news at the link:

Mayor Ravi Bhalla finally made appointments to the hollowed-out Rent Leveling Board.
Its 2018 meeting was cancelled lacking any members for a quorum.
Now it lacks board members Cheryl Fallick and Michael Lenz.
They've been booted.

Talking Ed Note: MSV noted Wednesday, the Hoboken Rent Leveling Board awaited action by the mayor's office. Mayor Ravi Bhalla had been traveling on political junkets to Washington DC and Austin, Texas with the entire board unable to hold any meeting in 2018 pending action by the mayor and City Council confirmation.

As a result of six weeks into 2018 with no action by Mayor Ravi Bhalla, the previous 2018 Rent Level Board meeting was cancelled.

Yesterday the letter seen above shows all seven board positions submitted by the mayor's office for approval. The seven appointments will be confirmed in a vote on Wednesday by the City Council sans Cheryl Fallick and Mike Lenz.

Can you say retaliation?

Last month, the City Council made its appointment to the North Hudson Sewerage and named its representative to the Hoboken Planning Board. Former councilman Anthony Soares won the overwhelming vote 7-2 and Councilman Mike DeFusco similarly got the nod to the Planning Board.

Although both are council appointments, Mayor Ravi Bhalla voiced indignant displeasure to council members about the potential for Soares winning the NHSA vote. Reliable sources said he's incensed about the appointment where a close friend of former mayor Dawn Zimmer and Bhalla's was replaced. The mayor's badmouthing campaign along with his paid political operative at the Cave had no impact on the council's vote for the appointment.

The mayor's office was invited to comment on this story. The office and the exiting Zebra in residence remain silent to all inquiries.



Office of the mayor announces:

The Hoboken Police Department is investigating an incident that occurred at the Mayor's Office on Thursday night.

A male individual entered City Hall through the Newark Street entrance just before 8:00pm on Thursday, February 15th, 2018. The person went through metal detectors and told security officers that he was going to use the restroom.

At the time, the only person in the Mayor's Office was Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Freeman. Mayor Bhalla was on his way to the office following a community meeting. From his office, Mr. Freeman observed that a bag with an object had been thrown in the direction of the administrative assistant's desk and made eye contact with the individual. The individual then ran out of the Mayor's Office. Mr. Freeman called the police, which are currently investigating the incident.

"This incident, along with death threats to me and my family, is an unfortunate reminder that we need to take security seriously," said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. "The Joint Terrorism Task Force has evaluated City Hall, and we have been working to implement their recommendations for physical and procedural changes to improve security for all employees in the building."

"We take incidents like these incredibly seriously and will continue working to ensure the security of the mayor and everyone who visits City Hall," said Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante.

Talking Ed Note: No one can say what this bag contained that was tossed in City Hall. So there won't be any speculation what it contained. But if it dangerous, it should have been included in the official release. 

The City Council previously approved requests for expenditures for added security in City Hall this year.