Beth Mason informs BA Liston, “I write my own stuff”
At last week’s council meeting there were some real gems but this one between a fed up Business Administrator who is sitting next to a pile of about 1,000 pages of information doled out to the self-proclaimed council minority in order to facilitate a simple end of year line item transfer leads to some classic council moments.
After much back and forth mostly between Councilman Michael Russo the turn to take a shot and play the gotcha game with the Business Administrator Arch Liston falls to Councilwoman Beth Mason. She’s eager to play but doesn’t begin with any question. Instead she whines about being kept in the dark and Liston interjects saying he is happy to answer questions and invites Mason to submit the questions in advance of the meeting “as other council members do.”
Mason refuses and complains she should not have to do so without the benefit of the TV cameras and it leads to some golden moments where self-awareness falls by the wayside and Liston continually calls Mason’s non-questions “a game.”
MSV had to keep the scope of this to five minutes so did edit a prepared speech Mason decided to deliver during this time. It was her usual fare of twisted reality, false claims she is representing the taxpayer (she never does) and accusations the Zimmer Administration did not deliver a 25% tax cut in its first year. That’s the only information she actually gets right but it’s notable Mason herself ran on a tax cut in 2009 for mayor and said she would right-size government. During her doomed fall campaign she refused to explain what her right-sizing plan would actually do and has not offered any budget cuts other than repeated political attacks on the salary of the mayor and directors already reduced.
Back to the clip, there’s more hilarity when Mason complains about a $600 budget correction (in a $100 million annual city budget) and then adds her protest to Liston’s sarcastic remark she paid more for someone to write her speech.
The councilwoman retorts, “I write my own stuff” and Listons sarcastically replies, “I believe that.”
Talking Ed Note: BA Arch Liston does a superb job for Hoboken. But he’s finally had enough. What takes hundreds of NJ municipalities not even 10 minutes took Hoboken three council meetings, threat of the firefighters not being paid and unknown man hours producing almost a thousand pages of data to a council minority that you can bet didn’t even read it.
At the end, Councilman Ravi Bhalla notes the council minority’s refusal to refinance a low cost bond for the midtown garage will cause budget problems shortly and the responsibility lies with the council minority.
Councilwoman Terry Castellano is not pleased with that fact and lodges a protest of no substance and MSV will consider a clip of that next. It’s interesting in her attitude toward the hospital as she blames the council majority for being willing to bond $5 million to save the institution.
Little hint to the councilwoman, when you failed to sabotage and kill the hospital as you and your MORTe friends tried to do, it’s best to walk away from the loss than adding to it.