An interesting question among others was should the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day parade be brought back on a Saturday. The Raia-Mason ticket staple under Timmy Occhipinti has seen some interesting campaign paraphernalia highlighted here and on Grafix Avenger.
Occhipinti who arrived late looked particularly pained with the question arising.
Timmy Occhipinti looked painfully surprised when the topic of bringing back the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on a Saturday made it into the Q&A. He’s been working to develop those new single issue voters in local bars.
Surprisingly, most of the candidates voiced support to bring back the parade on a Saturday, a demand the parade committee refused to budge on leading to a replacement Irish Festival on Sinatra Drive.
Joe Mindak said he was for bringing the parade back and Peter Biancamano said 200K was spent on security for Lepercon, the replacement bar crawl largely limited to downtown Hoboken the past years.
Councilman Ravi Bhalla was next saying the residents he speaks to are against bringing it back and said he’s not representing bar owners in Hoboken but the residents. He added the concerns about criminal debauchery and two alleged rapes.
Patricia Waiters said she was for bringing back the parade and complained about the sexual assaults being magnified and claimed there were crimes not reported at the Mumford and Sons concert.
Eduardo Gonzalez was for the Saturday parade too. He said families look forward to the parade and there’s still rowdy drinking.
Frank Raia went down history lane saying Helen Cunning who serves on the parade committee was the best City Council person ever and the parade has nothing to do with the problems of people getting out of hand “on rooftops, streets,” etc. He added something is wrong if there can’t be a parade.
Britney Montgomery Cook recounted her grandparents taking her to the parade and thought it was a shame it was gone saying it should be brought back.
Councilman Dave Mello firmly stated the parade had to be moved but the parade committee said it had to be Saturday or nothing. He called the parade a burden on taxpayers and a windfall for bars not citizens.
Jim Doyle noted he was the only 100% pure Irishman among the candidates and noted the City did not cancel the parade. He added to hilarious laughter his temperance and said the bar owners make money. (But how many votes do they get?)
Laura Miani said she was in favor of the parade and called house parties the problem and rhetorically asked, why can’t we have this?
The only person to offer a rebuttal was Joe Mindak who said he was offended he didn’t get credit for concerts at Pier A and that his group ran the first one there and “we got ran out of it” this year.
Britney Montgomery Cook – misses the parade.
Talking Ed Note: Those in favor of bringing back the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday:
Joe Mindak, Peter Biancamano, Patricia Waiters, Eduardo Gonzalez, Frank Raia, Britney Montgomery Cook and Laura Miani.
Those against a Saturday St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Council members Ravi Bhalla, Dave Mello and Jim Doyle.
Have to say, considering the dramatic improvements in the last two years, year over year, the answers on this one were surprising. The parade had become a mardi gras dog whistle up and down the east coast turning Hoboken into a dangerous and ugly scene with the parade being the magnet “attraction.”