Thursday, January 10, 2019

Horse Sense: Ravi Bhalla regurgitates veto noise but silent on alleged no show job scandal

An oddly timed release from the mayor's office today about the failed council override to eliminate a future, potential position among the currently unknown quantity of mayoral aides is raising eyebrows.

Note in the statement below, there's no acknowledgment the related inoperative ordinance was about a future position eliminated if one of three, (or is it four) current mayoral aides should depart.

Nary a word here addresses the multitude of unanswered questions pointing to allegations questioning a no show job and/or theft of service scandal in the mayor's office.

So, too, there's been no explanation why there are four mayoral aides on the payroll into 2019 and among them, two communication managers.

                                

Here's the odd and oddly timed statement on the failed override from the December ordinance.
“The ordinance in question, which attempts to weaken the office of the Mayor, is unlawful, as per the determination of the City of Hoboken’s Corporation Counsel. Each of the Council Members who voted to adopt this ordinance were placed on notice by the Law Department that the ordinance they were attempting to adopt was unlawful.  This advice was apparently ignored. The City Council Members took an oath of office to be lawmakers, not lawbreakers.  I refuse to participate or be complicit in unlawful activity and therefore VETO this ordinance.

To be clear, this ordinance was nothing more than a petty attempt to weaken the office of the Mayor and attack the hardworking members of my administration.  This staff which includes my Chief of Staff, John Allen and Deputy Chief of Staff, Jason Freeman respond to emergencies and help keep our City running at all hours of the day, among countless other responsibilities.  They are true public servants who put Hoboken first and do not deserve to be attacked by vindictive City Council Members.

Instead of wasting time trying to settle political scores, I once again, as I did one year ago, invite the City Council to join me in working collaboratively on initiatives and policies that benefit the residents we have been sworn to serve.”


If the ordinance is inoperative under the law in the future and "unlawful," why the veto?

Why blatantly misinform the public about this being the elimination of a current position?

That's a lot of hot air expended for an ordinance that is inert in 2019. So ask yourself the question, why, and why now?

Distraction.

There's been coverage of a potential no show job and/or theft of service scandal out of the mayor's office on the Jersey Journal, the Hudson County View and most recently/comprehensively MSV.

Meanwhile, there's no explanation coming from the mayor's office, the Corporation Counsel Office, the Business Administrator Office and of course nothing but silence from Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

Last week, Council President Jen Giattino asked a simple follow-up question about odd increases in payments out of the mayor's office. The Bhalla Administration told her it was for "a differential in pay."

That was not true. The real differential acknowledged at last week's City Council meeting by Corporation Counsel  Brian Aloia is there are four mayoral aides on the payroll in 2019.  But...

The mayor's office can't even tell, let alone explain to the public how many mayoral aides are on the payroll.

Friends, something is rotten in Denmark.


This editorial and investigative reporting dedicated to my friend, The Giant. More to come.