Month: February 2011


Grist for the Mill: BoE’s Carmelo Garcia and Maureen Sullivan in political romance?

Last week at the downtown Dunkin Donuts two people not of ideological breakfast and educational purity were spotted sharing sweet nothings over coffee.  Both are elected officials on the Hoboken Board of Education: Maureen Sullivan and Carmelo Garcia the latter also doubles as the Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority.

What was the topic of discussion?  At post time, a call was not returned from Carmelo Garcia and Maureen Sullivan is persona non grata in these parts for her unfortunate position leading into last year’s BoE election -“No interviews or questions, please see my 2:00 am blog posts for all you need to know.” Read More...


City offers free parking for residents in flood areas

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The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for our area. As a result of the forecast for heavy rain and potential flooding, the City of Hoboken is providing free parking in a municipal Garage B (located on 2nd Street between Hudson and River streets) through Monday, February 28 at 8pm for residents who reside in flood prone areas and have a valid Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit placard.

Residents who wish to extend their stay in the garage and who have a parking permit decal or Temporary parking permit placard are reminded that overnight parking (8pm to 8am) is available at a rate of $5.00. This rate is available in Garages B, D and Midtown every day of the year.

A map of flood-prone areas is available on the City website: Read More...


Beth Takes Hoboken – by checkbook

Mason killed real campaign finance reform

Dear Editor:

Last week, the Hoboken City Council considered two proposed ordinances relating to our city’s campaign finance laws. The first was sponsored by Councilman Peter Cunningham and his colleague, Councilman Ravi Bhalla. It was designed to strengthen and fine-tune the existing Pay to Play law, making it far more effective in stopping the unethical practice known as “wheeling.”

(Wheeling refers to the laundering of campaign contributions through political committees to circumvent the very intent of the Pay to Play and campaign finance laws. Currently, a loophole exists that allows a shrewd political opportunist bent on buying influence to donate five times more than the legal limit of $2,600 to a candidate, and still “technically” not break the law.) Read More...


6th ward candidate Jen Giattino launches new campaign website

Jen Giattino the 6th ward City Council candidate challenging long time incumbent Nino Giacchi launched her new campaign website.

Here’s a bit from the website on Jen:

Entrepreneur and local businesswoman Jen Giattino today announced that she is running to represent Hoboken’s 6th Ward.

“Hoboken has made a lot of progress in the past year and a half but there is much more work to be done. I look forward to working constructively as a member of the Council and focusing on solutions, not politics,” Giattino said. Read More...


BREAKING: Mayor Zimmer announces additional 5% tax cut, savings on agreement with police unions

Mayor Dawn Zimmer issued a letter to the Hoboken City Council announcing her budget proposal with an additional tax cut of 5% for this fiscal year.

In addition, an agreement with the Police Unions will save an additional $700,000 over the previous plan proposed by Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi.  Compared to the fiscal monitor’s proposed collective bargaining agreement, an additional savings of $200,000 annually is expected moving forward.  The savings are a comparison including the necessary retroactive pay to the police who have operated without a contract the last several years. Read More...


BREAKING: Hoboken Democratic Party assails illegal fundraiser, points to Maurice Fitzgibbons

 The Hoboken Democratic Party announces: =&0=& =&1=& =&2=& =&3=& =&4=& The Hoboken Democratic Party is surprised to learn that an unregistered PAC, known as the “Real Democrats of Hoboken”, has scheduled a fundraiser on Monday February 28th at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Social, honoring the previous Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos.  This event, which is being actively promoted by Maurice Fitzgibbons, another prior Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party and a former Freeholder, is intended to raise money from developers to support candidates running against the incumbent committeemen and committeewomen who presently serve the Hoboken Democratic Party. “It is surprising and disappointing that Maurice Fitzgibbons, who was recently found by ELEC to have violated ELEC’s campaign finance disclosure requirements, resulting in a fine of several thousand dollars against Mr. Fitzgibbons, is at it again.  Hoboken has seen what happens when its politicians fail to abide by the letter of the law when it comes to campaign fundraising,”  said Gary Holtzman, Treasurer of the Hoboken Democratic Party.
Photo of the original illegal fundraiser by a group not registered to do so.  The Old Guard is back to its old tricks.
It is against New Jersey state law for an unregistered PAC, like the “Real Democrats for Hoboken” to spend money or raise money in support of candidates for political campaigns, such as the event that the “Real Democrats for Hoboken” is advertising for Monday February 28th. Vice Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party, and Chair of the By-Laws Subcommittee, Phil Cohen, added, “We are proud of the changes that the Hoboken Democratic Party have made, instituting by-laws that prohibit the funneling of funds through the Hoboken Democratic Party to support candidates for non-partisan elections, like Hoboken City Council races or Hoboken Mayoral Races.  Back when Mayor Russo and Mayor Roberts controlled the Hoboken Democratic Party, developers funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars through the Hoboken Democratic Party to support their Mayoral campaigns.  We don’t ever want to return to those bad old days.” Today, the Hoboken Democratic Party’s reformed by-laws are used as a model for other Democratic Party Organizations throughout the State of New Jersey and promoted by good government organizations. =&5=& Freeholder Anthony “Stick” Romano noted the Lincoln Dinner was originally a prestigious, non-partisan event, “If I’m well enough I’ll present Ruben with an award.  That’s it,”  He added he had been under the weather and just learned about the event the other day. Maurice Fitzgibbons may be facing questions on his role surrounding the problems in arranging such an event without following the required ELEC procedures.  Then again, he’s had these kind of problems before and he was the person who brought you Tim Occhipinti. Some habits die hard.

Rami Pinchevsky Kickoff draws 80 supporters – resistance in the 4th ward begins

Last night, 4th ward candidate Rami Pinchevsky kicked off his campaign at Northern Soul and 80 people turned up to get behind the battle for the ward election this May.

A good enthusiastic crowd for Rami Pinchevsky’s kickoff

Pinchevsky an active resident years before Tim Occhipinti showed up in Hoboken clearly energized a strong resistance as the election campaign is heating up.  Someone forgot to tell these people about yesterday’s Hudson Reporter story.  Beth Mason is proud of her monies circumventing campaign finance law and she’s happy to fund Tim Occhipinti and his 550-575 invisible army of ‘campaign workers,’ – re: voters. Read More...


Beth Mason on handing out Occhipinti loot: ‘I bought a City Council seat. I liked it!’

Councilwoman Beth Mason sent a letter to the Hudson Reporter admitting her intent to break the spirit if not the actual law itself, exceeding the individual maximum contribution limit of $2,600 to Tim Occhipinti.

$8,200 of her still unknown final tally of more than $13,000 was given in stealth-like fashion via her 2007 council campaign committee mere days before the 4th ward election.  On election day, hundreds and hundreds of Tim Occhipinti’s invisible army of ‘campaign workers,’ re: voters lined up to be paid mostly in $40 checks, after handing in evidence of their paper vote by mail ballots.  His campaign attempted to push through over 500 paper ballots in an election where he tallied just over 1200 votes! Read More...


Mike Russo searches for items to criticize in the State of the City address

Councilman Mike Russo is circulating his editorial on the State of the City address.  Notably, both he and his cousin Councilwoman Terry Castellano did not attend the event.  

This commentary frankly sounds particularly hollow, fails to even address the major points of the address in any serious way and has some old tepid arguments regurgitated by Beth Mason’s ghostwriting Mason411 attack dog.

Frankly, it’s somewhat sad to see this.  Mike Russo could have contacted me and I could give him some rational, coherent points to offer a real useful critique. 

With all the budget reductions the mayor has done in her limited time at the helm, this is frankly an astoundingly bad rebuttal, if one can even call it that.  It’s notable that the first point submitted originally sent to the Jersey Journal has been deleted.  In that editorial, Mike Russo said the event was not available in a webcast.  

Not only did the City broadcast the SOTC live on, Mile Square View used that feed to broadcast the address live as well.

An independent observer on the Hoboken scene of standing, the NY Times noted in a feature recently it was Mike Russo’s father, Anthony Russo who as mayor ignored the advice of engineers and refused to replace wood pilings at the waterfront leading to another massive bill today of $20 million.