Battle of Rec Fees: It’s Councilman Mike Russo taking on, well Mike Russo

Reader Raiser submitted this satire for your approval, the raging battle of recreation fees and who gets it right and who gets it wrong in what is best for Hoboken.

This battle comes to you courtesy of Councilman Mike Russo.  Here he takes on his worthy opponent, Councilman Mike Russo the second and Councilman Russo the third.

Councilman Russo at the last City Council meeting, “Listen to me….”  Okay, but which one

Councilman Russo recently took a strong stand against a $25 athletic fee for children who want to play sports in Hoboken.  I have taken the liberty of gathering quotes from Councilman Russo and his critics.

Mike Russo, the original – on Recreation Fees

In the Hudson Reporter, Councilman Russo commented, “She [Mayor Dawn Zimmer] is a tax and spend mayor. She’s taxing the children just like she’s taxed all the adults.” Councilman Russo then restated his belief that taxing parents per child is wrong, as are recent moves by the Zimmer administration to seize children for unpaid back taxes. He is a classy individual and latter called to confess a lack of governmental knowledge and say he meant ‘user fee’  when he said ‘tax.’

Councilman Mike Russo the second 

On the opposing side, Michael Russo blasted Councilman Russo on saying that too much revenue was being lost to residents claiming the low income exemption. 
“The majority of people are just going say they can’t afford it,” said Russo. “You put rules into place so they’re followed. You don’t create an arbitrary rule that has no ability to be followed.”  He railed against frequent reports of dishonest Hobokenites arriving at the soccer field in their Rolls Royces only to claim a low income exemption and dodge the $25 dollar fee.

Finally Councilman Mike Russo the third weighs in:

Mr. Russo blasted both Councilmen Russo and Michael Russo on Hoboken Patch, saying user fees were anathema to the very concept of a government. He singled out Councilman Russo’s anti-spending stance specifically “that’s what government does,” he said, “it subsidizes things.”  He went on to present charts and his own research to show that $25 covered the entire cost to the city for athletics and further showed a draft of his doctoral thesis linking the decline of subsidies to the imminent collapse of governments. The work is highly technical but Steven’s professors assured us the work was solid and likely would win M. Russo a Nobel prize.

So there you have it, three wildly divergent views, each tremendously principled and well grounded. If these three ever meet I’m sure it would be an interesting discussion!


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