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“Emergency” Power Grab by Mason-Russo

In a move to overthrow the current City Council President Carol Marsh, a resolution introduced by Councilwoman Terry Castellano was put on the table and declared an “emergency” by Councilman Russo not minutes before midnight at last night’s City Council meeting.

With no public notice on such a power grab, Councilwoman Beth Mason who speaks about transparency constantly as her calling card threw down in favor of the staged move  by the “new majority.” An earlier story by the Hudson Reporter claimed Councilwoman Beth Mason sought power as Council President.  MSV also reported on and confirmed their exact story.

Councilwoman Beth Mason – backed the transparent power grab.  She also funneled over $13,000 in the closing days of the fourth ward election to Tim Occhipinti.  Legal and/or ethical?  The public’s right to notice and transparency means nothing to her now.  She also attacked MSV by name during council discussion during the resolution supporting an investigation by the State AG.

The new ‘majority’ exists due to new council member Tim Occhipinti – who is under a black cloud as criminal referrals and questions of voter fraud surrounding his campaign were forwarded from the Hudson County Board of Elections after their independent investigation to the county prosecutor.  In the very same week, the county prosecutor sent on the matter to the New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow’s office for review.  

Earlier the Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the efforts for an investigation by the Attorney General after a similar comparison to a 2007 resolution was amended to the proposed one.

The first item on the agenda, parking spots for Corner Cars turned into a long, multiple hours battle.  Close to two dozen members of the public spoke, almost all in favor of the resolution and ordinance to support the City run program contracted through Hertz Connect.  The program has already amassed close to 1,000 members in a short time with more members submitting parking permits than parking spots required.

Corporation Counsel Buzak who was filling in advised the City Council body to approve the parking spots by ordinance as is done by all five hundred plus council bodies in the state of New Jersey.

The new council majority ignored that legal advice voting down the ordinance.  Voting no: Council members Castellano, Russo, Giacchi, Occhipinti and Mason.
Voting yes: Council members Cunningham, Bhalla, Marsh and Mello.

Instead, Corner Cars was extended on a temporary 200 day resolution.

The several plus hours spent on Corner Cars was not just due to the public support present.  The Council of No fought against the program and pretended their 4-4 vote against the program with no explanation at the last City Council meeting never happened.

Councilwoman Terry Castellano claimed the public was being deceived the program was threatened.  Her remarks denying the reality of their earlier vote was echoed by Councilman Russo and Councilman Tim Occhipinti.

Councilman Peter Cunningham gave a rousing defense of the program resulting in spontaneous applause from the audience that seemed to go on for two minutes.  He cited the record as evidence of the deception pointing to Councilman Russo’s action as his claim. 

Talking Ed Note: On the second resolution regarding investigation of the Attorney General into the recent 4th ward special election, Councilwoman Beth Mason went off topic to attack MSV by name!

City Council President Carol Marsh then gave permission later for a reply to her false and defamatory allegation.  Councilwoman Mason protested and was told she had called out a member of the public and time would be given to respond.

More on that to come.

If anyone thought the questions surrounding Tim “independent” Occhipinti would lead to an amicable working City Council, the truth has proven otherwise.  His independence is anything but and his investors are collecting their spoils.

The bill is now being paid – at the expense of all of Hoboken.

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