I stand by my statement of two weeks ago: Mike Lenz is the best choice for City Council and essential to getting a southwest park. While there’s still much to be done to make the park a reality, the one thing that would destroy the prospect forever would be a return to the willy-nilly distribution of zoning variances that have come to a screeching halt under this administration and council majority.
With three Zoning Board seats up in December that could move that board in a very different direction, the importance of a continued reform council majority to the goal of a southwest park could not be clearer. It came as no surprise to me to be attacked last week by Occhipinti campaign operative Sara Stojkovic for making the fully accurate statement that the park initiative is heading in the right direction thanks to the policies of the Zimmer administration and Councilman Lenz.
I’d like to at least be able to say that Ms. Stojkovic, who supported Peter Cammarano in last year’s mayoral runoff, is sincerely and honestly engaging in a debate about an urgent need in our community, with a positive outcome being her primary agenda. However, despite her allegations to the contrary, I am not in the practice of misleading the public with false statements.
Ms. Stojkovic, who pointed to my role as a volunteer bookkeeper in the Lenz campaign but conveniently failed to disclose her own activity on Occhipinti’s team, such as a nearly $1,100 in-kind donation and being listed as an administrator on his campaign’s Facebook page, has become an obstacle to park progress.
From 2004 through 2006, I helmed the Hudson County arm of a grassroots
community-organizing network and used to forward Ms. Stojkovic’s informative Southwest Parks Coalition emails to my volunteer list, and had her speak at some of our monthly meetings.
That all changed in 2007 when Dawn Zimmer, a City Council candidate fielded by the Southwest Parks Coalition with Ms. Stojkovic as campaign manager, disagreed with some of Ms. Stojkovic’s decisions and decided to make a few of her own. One such choice was to include Mr. Lenz in the campaign, prompting Ms. Stojkovic, along with Lane Bajardi and others, to storm out and embark on a personal vendetta against Zimmer and Lenz that continues to this day. Ms. Stojkovic essentially took her bat and ball and went home, starting her own splinter group, the Hoboken Southwest Parks Coalition. To anyone who’s seen Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” film, with its Judean People’s Front, People’s Front of Judea and other similarly named factions (Q: “What ever happened to the Popular Front?” A: “He’s over there!”), or read George Orwell’s “Homage to Catolonia,” with its countless four-letter-acronymed competing anti-Franco groups, this maneuver played right into historical hilarity.