2017 busting out all over

Officially the New Year’s Day holiday falls on the second so without further ado.

What happens if the Russians hack the Hoboken mayoral election? Say a Lie-balor has emails on Masonista political operations leaked and a third-time Beth Mason bid for mayor against Dawn Zimmer is subsumed by disgusted Hoboken voters sending Zimmer to a third consecutive term.

Who gets the blame for “hacking the election” and how quickly after election day would we see a Mason Civic League – Newton Lao report blaming the Russians? It may be about as effective as the federal version featuring a disclaimer, as in, don’t blame us we’re full time civil servants trying to keep our jobs into the next presidential term.

Russians hacking the Hoboken mayoral election in 2017?
Why not, it’s the flavor of the season.

Hoboken’s big prize for the mayoral seat on the second floor officially has to wait a bit longer before the election hype fully takes over. Well at least a couple of more days when the City Council convenes for its first meeting of 2017 Wednesday night. Prepare the bullhorn for Mikie Squared and let the braying assaults begin!

The Hoboken City Council was busy over the holidays sorting out the always hot button issue of Zoning Board seats. The shuffle is concluding among several reigning commissioners but one seat looks in question, as it’s more variance friendly than the others.

The North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s is slated to be a hot tamale later this month. Coming off a huge success in launching its second water pump last year; it’s back to politics with a new commissioner seat selection.

Frank “Pupie” Raia has been hunting council votes for weeks to get back on the NHSA. He is clearly displeased after the City Council went with upstart Reform backer Kurt Gardiner last year. His failed bid ended the Pupster’s hopes to tally three decades on the only local board paying commissioners.

There’s three candidates up against Raia’s latest bid for a trifecta of decades on the sewerage board. The three candidates are: Leon Gold who finished his three-year term as a Board of Education trustee, Paul Blanos a sixth ward resident and most recently, Ed Friedrich who researched Emnet technology as a private citizen for Hoboken several years back.

Back in 2012, Friedrich was acknowledged for having done so and shown appreciation as a resident for bringing the water measurement tool to the City’s attention.

While Friedrich has direct useful experience related to the NHSA, it’s the hunt for five council votes that will determine the selection. In the end, the City Council will have to coalesce on a single opposition candidate to Raia. Five council votes are required for the appointment. The question is who among the Pupster’s opponents can come up with the five required votes?

The Pupster falls and can’t get up? Then who will pick up the costs for his previously grandfathered health insurance benefits if not the taxpayers in the State of NJ? This is a concern of the guy who tells everyone he’s one of the wealthiest Mile Square City residents. Previously, Raia in his last term managed to hold on to the health insurance benefits phased out by Gov. Christie with some quiet grandfathering and/or Soprano State arrangement. This time that’s the unheralded prize, pension padding or both.

Why ask why? Can the Hoboken City Council end the stupidity of considering anyone for a major Hoboken board who is seeking three decades on the same body? Voting for anyone to a Hoboken board for three decades is not REFORM.

Most of Hoboken’s big tent reform oriented activists don’t think council members need be reminded of this. They didn’t think they needed to communicate the obvious last year either but they did and were none too pleased about having to do so.

First order of business this Wednesday night for the City Council is selecting a chair to be President and then a Vice President of the legislative body.

Current Council President Jen Giattino is under consideration to maintain the helm. She’s held the senior post in two different annual terms and fared well both times shepherding legislation and maintaining a consistent rapport with her eight colleagues, never an easy task. That’s before consistently communicating with the Administration, another major role required for the position.

Council VP Dave Mello who may be an at-large candidate on the mayor’s ticket with Council members Ravi Bhalla and Jim Doyle this fall is facing a quandary.  Typically, the Council President focuses on the lengthy duties in holding that role and avoids the added load of running for re-election. Is it better to seek than to find?

In Hoboken, a dual role as Council President and a council seat re-election campaign means being targeting for even more ferocious attacks at the public microphone during council meetings. Most council members wouldn’t want to encourage that scenario for any number of reasons and that’s not just the incumbents who will be out campaigning for their seats come November.

More on all this in MSV premium this week. For everyone else, Happy New Year!

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