Diary of a failed BoE power grab as Cunningham and Marsh leave in protest on MORTe “emergency” resolution


Last night’s scheduled Council meeting ended when the legally required five of nine members failed to attend and be counted as present to begin the meeting.

The four remaining members, re: MORTe saw their planned surprise power grab to subvert a likely vote at the BoE February 14th seeing its election moved to November end before it began – in failure.

A repeated attempt by MORTe to introduce that resolution putting a referendum on November BoE elections instead of a vote on the BoE election itself does not have five votes at the next meeting, likely to be held within seven days.

While resolutions can be raised at Council meetings, it’s considered unethical to put important matters on the agenda without prior notice to the public and declare it an emergency.  In this case, the City Council was acting on the jurisdiction of the BoE.

Below is the exclusive video leading into the meeting.  MSV decide to record the lead in to test its software unaware it would lead to this exclusive.  (You can call us psychic pony.)

 The video begins with a wide shot of the council dais. On the far left is Councilwoman Terry Castellano who looks extremely happy. She has been speaking with Hudson Reporter writer Ray Smith and then Hoboken Patch editor Claire Moses who is seen walking away with papers in hand.  Does it include the resolution acting to take powers away from the next meeting of the BoE?

Next you see a series of across the table gestures between Councilman Mike Russo and Tim Occhipinti.  Occhipinti will stand up and proudly go over to Assistant City Clerk Jerry Lore and show him a text message.  Occhipinti takes instruction from Russo and hands over papers.

Enter City Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin who after stepping on the dais says, “We have no quorum.”  He repeats this to Mike Russo again and walks right to his table where he states he will not be staying.  Russo replies, “We’ll wait.”

Tabakin then turns to the well of the chambers and informs the people in attendance there is no quorum, therefore no council meeting and “no action can be taken.”  To this Mike Russo rises and takes the microphone and announces “We’re here.”  Well he is there along with the rest of MORTe, but there are not the required five council members present required to hold an official meeting.

No matter there is no quorum. The plan hatched to act on the Hoboken BoE’s election before its elected officials can meet is stopped before it can begin.  

Talking Ed Note: Once again Beth Mason’s cameraman Tim was in attendance.  After the meeting failed quorum, she had him go upstairs to the second floor where the mayor’s office is located.

There’s a question if a Beth Mason paid operative has involved himself in yet another questionable criminal matter in a possible threat against a municipal employee.

Did Tim, Beth Mason’s cameraman also capture that on video?
Precautions should be taken to preserve that footage which could be part of a criminal matter.  Discarding that material may be construed as obstruction of justice Ms. Mason.

MSV will be looking into that story too.

The New Jersey law allowing Board of Education officials across the state to save money by moving their elections to November and increase voter participation remains in effect for Hoboken.  As of today, more than 140 NJ Boards of Education have already met since the law was passed moving their elections to November.

The law permits local governing bodies to also act on behalf of their respective BoE, binding any outcome for four years.

Related: The Hudson Reporter’s Ray Smith has a first hand report up and worth a read:–Hoboken-City-Council-meeting-canceled-after-mayor-s-allies-walk-out-of-City-Hall-in-protest-of-last–minute-resolution–?instance=up_to_the_minute_lead_story_left_column

Grafix Avenger weighed in and puts MORTe’s anger in context and its impact on the notorious vote-by-mail scheme out of all proportion coming out of Hoboken’s Housing Authority:

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