Yes, it's time for Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his 25 paeans to himself.
MSV readers have been asking if there would be any story appearing about that list. After Bhalla's second job and that promise broken in a single month in office, the recent Supreme Court smackdown that came within a hair of yanking Ravi Bhalla's law license, not to mention the crawling, long overdue Washington St. project, one would think Hoboken deserves a break from sleazy self-promotion.
So Hudson County View weighed in first with the good, bad and the ugly. HCV gets it mostly right to the chagrin of Ravibots while lightly glossing over some areas and sparing a more painstaking analysis of dem dose dare 25 dings.
There are more dings than accomplishments but we're all going to get muddy having to dig into the half-truths, full out fabrications and in-your-face falsehoods. At least there's some good news too.
Back later after you digest a more honest assessment about Ravi's self-proclaimed 25 accomplishments.
25 things but is the truth even one?
Let's start with actual good news. This year's Hoboken budget is flat with no tax increase. Some may bicker that in order to do so, Mayor Ravi Bhalla dipped into the surplus. That's true but he gets full credit for presenting a flat budget to the City Council which once again delivered one of many unanimous votes for the new mayor.
The bad news counterpoint to this year's budget is a different listed "accomplishment." Ravi Bhalla took it upon himself in a highly questionable executive order to just hand over to municipal workers paid parental leave. He cites this as accomplishment no. 21.
This was not part of any negotiation with nothing in return in a contract by way of productivity increases, givebacks, etc. Without any consultation with the City Council, Ravi Bhalla decided he would bestow this gift at taxpayer's expense. How is this budgeted for in next year's budget? Good luck trying to get an answer to that obvious question. The City Council tried and can't. No worries, you'll be paying for it.
When it comes to paying employees their own money, Ravi Bhalla is as the NJ Supreme Court pointed out, far less than generous doing so himself.
Looking at one of the most grievous fabrications, it's no. 2. Ravi Bhalla cites the fiscal AA++ rating of Hoboken as his accomplishment. This is sadly an outrageous falsehood. Hoboken took years to obtain that change and it came in late 2013 under former mayor Dawn Zimmer.
What is it with these sleazy campaign type lies? To make matters worse, the periodic reconfirmation of the credit rating came in most recently in February of this year. So who should be credited for it, the former mayor and city officials or Ravi Bhalla who was in office for a month and had nothing to do with it?
On the positive side, Bhalla amped up action against the Hoboken St. Patrick's Day substitute Leprecon or Leper-con. Some question if railroading bars was unfair but on the whole the results drowned out those questions. Let's call no. 6 a plus.
Unfortunately much of the rest of the list is a mixed bag of half-truths and policy announcements not accomplishments. The hastily announced Homeless Taskforce really consists of mayoral aides who could be doing actual work versus being put on a press release as if that means anything. The timing of it came right after the NJ Supreme Court bashed Bhalla in the head for refusing to pay a former employee monies owed over more than a half-decade. So there's your explanation for that "accomplishment."
Gender neutral bathrooms are a farce but one Bhalla held a big media to-do over and then promtly did... nothing. There's some new door tags on the remote area of City Hall's third floor. That sound you hear is of Ravibots applauding.
Much of the accomplishments Ravi Bhalla claims as his own are programs begun under Dawn Zimmer or in concert with efforts by members of the Hoboken City Council. The 10% decrease in crime report is truly a credit to the HPD and Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante. One of the remarkable things about good leaders is they credit all pulling on their team. Bad leaders take credit for the work of others and bad politicans are always atop that list.
Which one do you think Ravi Bhalla is?