|Ravi Bhalla - going to the mattresses for|
his higher tax increase.
The City Council voted at its last meeting to reduce Ravi Bhalla's proposed three percent tax increase down to one-percent cutting spending by less than a million.
That vote passed overwhelmingly 8-1 but the pushback from the mayor's office to take back the tax reduction is underway.
It's a doozy.
A series of letters from various departments intended to generate a sky is falling narrative is disintegrating before it can get airborne. Public safety, always the bulk of municipal costs is indifferent with letters from both the Hoboken Police Department and Fire Department issuing a big yawn.
While the Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia bemoans the possible lack of funds for overtime administrative work, the mayor's office is unhappy with a $115,000 reduction to its staff funding.
Efforts to whisper layoffs into the halls of City Hall are falling on deaf ears as details from a roundup of documents are issued in round two by the mayor's office versus Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, the sponsor of the council's successful budget amendment.
No warrant issued for her arrest yet. She'll have to settle for the harsh glare of the public on Ravi Bhalla and his staff for being booted out of City Hall caught with City Council President Jen Giattino in the building trying to help a resident stave off eviction at the rent office.
Councilman Jim Doyle who voted with the council landslide to reduce Ravi Bhalla's tax increase has apparently been taken to the woodshed. He's now proposing with Emily Jabbour (the sole pro-tax increase vote) an amendment to reinstitute much of the higher spending and tax increase. (Clerk 2)
Meanwhile, Trenton is reviewing the budget amendment previously passed by the City Council. A final budget approval lies in wait with the City Council meeting Wednesday night weighing in the balance as Ravi Bhalla's desired tax increase of three percent.
Talking Ed Note: In the midst of the budget brouhaha, Ravi Bhalla is asking for almost $60,000 to put in automated security doors in the mayor's office. With the mayor's office bloated spending 40% higher since Dawn Zimmer left office, Ravi Bhalla continues to seek ways to insulate himself from the public.
Update: Today's story featuring a reader-submitted photo based on the comedy hit by Sacha Baron Cohen "The Dictator" was used in social media to allege worse behavior than the recent tossing out of City Hall two councilmembers who went to the rent office on behalf of a resident.
Do Hoboken residents have a right to go to visit the rent office at City Hall? Or does that fall under the whims of "cough cough?"
Related: With Hoboken voter fraud making the headlines, here's a feature on that "tradition" past to present. It's an issue Mayor Ravi Bhalla and this pony worked toward the same ends in years past: bettering Hoboken. Be best.