Contentious meeting changes no minds leading to November BoE election
The arguments weren’t new but the Old Guard mustered up a valiant effort, at least in terms of making noise and submitting a moot referendum petition on the matter of a November election before the Hoboken BoE finally voted past midnight to move elections from April.
Following along party lines as expected, the Kids First majority moved 5-4 with 60% of other NJ districts for November elections and were opposed by the Frank Raia slate with BoE trustee Maureen Sullivan.
The contentious meeting featured the Old Guard in force with Frank Raia, Michele Russo, Michael Russo, Beth Mason, Terry Castellano and the Calicchio Brothers in their full fledged worst all evening.
Da Horsey was challenged late in the evening after some comments near the back and overhearing Councilman Michael Russo saying, “He doesn’t have the guts to say it to my face.”
What followed was a rejoinder stating MSV would be happy to do so and Michael Russo jumped up took two steps and posed an attack more than a question yelling over the proceedings from the rear of the room “did you just threaten me…?” Having experienced this exact Russo setup from Pa Russo himself last July, the response was “No Mike, are you threatening me?”
The meeting continued but there was bad blood spilled throughout the evening with one public speaker, politico Perry Belfiore almost being taken away and arrested by Hoboken Police when he flat out refused to make way for the next speaker.
That was far early on in the evening. It would get worse before it got better.
Here’s Councilman Michael Russo getting it all wrong at the end of public portion. (The BoE attorney is 100% correct that the uncertified petitions submitted had no bearing on the governing body’s vote last night.) Michael Russo’s claims are incorrect on the petition but this is not news. He’s the master of deception and MSV was challenged by him previously on the issue of the City selling the hospital. The video of him speaking a year ago January of course proved MSV correct on his misstatement the hospital board did not have the authority to sell the hospital.
Can you say BoE November elections? Yes, you can because no lawsuit will overturn the law of the land and now over 320 NJ schools districts of 528 total acted similarly to the Hoboken BoE in moving to November elections.
That total stands at just under 60% as of this writing, a figure very likely to grow in the next few days.
(You can hear MSV quietly voicing disagreement on the false claims by Russo and he overhears the whispering. He’s not only wrong in all his claims, he’s 100% wrong on each point and any attempted legal challenge will fail.)
Talking Ed Note: There was an attempt to stop the vote with a staged fight from one member in support of the Old Guard. Ask Michael Russo about his role in that.
Kudos to a packed house with a solid turnout from Reform members including Hoboken Zoning Board member Phil Cohen, HHA Commissioner Jake Stuiver, who both spoke well and David Denning, among many others in attendance.
A big thank you for a lovely FBI hat from Hoboken’s spunky mom Carrie. It was the best gift for Da Horsey on Valentines along with the vote results. A close second was a tchacke of a race horse glass ball.
This was a good result for Hoboken last night.
|Although Beth Mason left the disastrous proceedings after speaking, her paid political operatives continued hours into the evening. Matt Calicchio (r) walked her to a car on her departure and returned making a nuisance of himself all night. Here he’s directing Mason’s cameraman Tim to take pictures of Reform members. Tim complied but some people merely posed. No one is intimidated by such tactics. Tim declined to answer why he was stalking the mayor’s home after the recent City Council meeting cut short. He claimed MSV is stalking him earning a laugh and tried to block photos being taken.|
Thug notes: All through the course of the evening bad behavior and worse was the order of the day. Bellowing from the rear was a staple throughout the evening leading to the vote and attempt to intimidate the board from voting on November elections along with some members of the public was prevalent.
Parents in attendance were not pleased with this and Frank Raia exited as the scene of bad behavior unfolded leaving Old Guard row in the right rear of the room to carry on without him.
One observer noted a Michele Russo acolyte pacing in the rear outside the room and ramming his fist into his hand while muttering, “Why don’t we go back to taking care of these kinds of things the old fashioned way?”
Well Michael Russo’s neighbor does remember the good old days.