Budget Hearing ends with declaration of budget’s demise
Not to be outdone by Councilman Michael Russo’s announcement the 2013 budget is Dead-On-Arrival, Tim Occhipinti the occupant of the fourth ward council seat at the end of Saturday’s hearing announced mockingly a similar fate saying, “good luck passing the budget.”
As Public Safety Director Jon Tooke was finishing his presentation, Occhipinti said he had one more question for the Business Administrator Quentin Wiest. Following an obvious preplanned line during the temporary budget discussion by Michael Russo, the question was asked if the municipal employee contract was complete.
Told no, Occhipinti launched into similar demands as Russo had done previously over the temporary budget saying the budget should have a line item with the figure needed to settle the municipal employee negotiation. Councilman Dave Mello found this public revelation and negotiation unacceptable and asked why a long card game needs to be concluded in five minutes.
Occhipinti complained the municipal employees have not had a contract for six years. He then blamed the Zimmer Administration saying they “did nothing.” Mayor Zimmer took office in July of 2009 so it’s unclear why Occhipinti would make such a claim.
As the staged question is met with resistance by Councilwoman Jen Giattino who questions the value of asking for a public discussion on matters of ongoing negotiations, Occhipinti blurts out, “good luck passing the budget.”
If the City will not compromise itself and give up its hand, Occhipinti states he can not vote for the budget.
Although not a made member of the Hoboken Sopranos, Tim Occhipinti certainly is adhering to the party line laid out by the “godfather,” Michael Russo.
The Hoboken Sopranos have no intention of passing the budget. This is just more grandstanding to “the base” – the local employee unions – as the vote is not in doubt.
With Jim Doyle having seen victory with the Hudson County Superior Court declaring his appointment legal, the appeal to the NJ Appellate Court keeps him from participating and voting on the upcoming budget.
Michael Russo said the mayor has to call him if she wants the votes. With the Hoboken Sopranos continuing the sue Hoboken strategy, the budget will fail in a 4-4 vote as it requires five votes for passage.
The Hoboken Sopranos want to make the empty council chair count – for their power grab of course.
Talking Ed Note: Tim Occhipinti strolled in to the Saturday hearings an hour late, the only member of MORTe to make an appearance. Councilwoman Beth Mason asked the City Clerk’s Office to set up a phone relay so she could call in. The City Clerk early in the meeting said she didn’t.
Not exactly a surprise. She probably had more important things to do like hold meetings with lawyers on the appeal suing Hoboken people.