Grist for the Mill: BoE’s Carmelo Garcia and Maureen Sullivan in political romance?

Last week at the downtown Dunkin Donuts two people not of ideological breakfast and educational purity were spotted sharing sweet nothings over coffee.  Both are elected officials on the Hoboken Board of Education: Maureen Sullivan and Carmelo Garcia the latter also doubles as the Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority.

What was the topic of discussion?  At post time, a call was not returned from Carmelo Garcia and Maureen Sullivan is persona non grata in these parts for her unfortunate position leading into last year’s BoE election -“No interviews or questions, please see my 2:00 am blog posts for all you need to know.”

Were the two discussing a unified ticket to take down the BoE led moms of Kids First?  As odd as that may appear to some, the Maureen Sullivan brand of Real Results fared badly in a three ticket race last year and would not do much better this year considering their leader voted with Kids First well over 95% of the time and as a minority BoE member has brought no detailed vision to the table to present as a platform.

Last spring Maureen Sullivan articulated slashing costs while consistently refusing to state an amount let alone where cuts should be made through an entire election cycle.  Nothing changed from that blank rhetorical platform this past year while her small band of Lonegan Republicans crow she is the next coming of Ronald Reagan.  Those who fell for the pitch, some Hoboken Revolt folks among them failed to see the local parallel to Beth Mason’s exact repetitive song on the City Council: talk big on budgets/cost reductions, never roll up your sleeves and do the real work and never put anything significantly tangible on the table in the way of cuts.  (One outsourcing custodian proposal is not significant.)

The Academy Awards were last night and last year Councilwoman Beth Mason said Council people should stay out and not politicize the BoE race, a policy she repeated from the previous year.  Then not dissimilar to last November’s 4th ward council race, a late check arrives unbeknownst to the public.  In Maureen Sullivan’s case, it was a perfectly legal family donation to Real Results for $5,700.  Will a local reporter get Beth Mason to repeat her stated “policy” again on staying out of the BoE race?  MSV received that word last year but didn’t issue Beth her 2010 award for Best Campaign Funding Fib in a Lonegan BoE Performance.

Back to our Dunkin Donuts breakfast romance, what would a Maureen-Carmelo ticket exactly look like?  One big arena of chatter – aligning the charter schools is all the rage, but uniting them under a Maureen-Carmelo ticket wouldn’t be so simple considering a rather large annoyance of disparate rents paid among those schools.  Hoboken Charter pays a real one and HoLa has a sweetheart deal at the Boys & Girls club with a rumored paltry $50,000 annual rent.  Who owns the Boys & Girls Club cutting such a deal again?  (Surely Tim Occhipinti would fix that meager sum to obtain needed funds to keep the pool open longer in the summer? He’s probably correcting that oversight right now.  Okay stop laughing.)

Perhaps what Sullivan and Garica have in mind is to join forces in a non-agression pact against Kids First if they don’t pull off one ticket.  Let’s see what the next 2:00 am blogging cycle brings.  We’re sure Maureen is dying to tell us.

Tim Occhipinti, occupier of the 4th ward council seat who deemed it criminal for street money to appear on an ELEC report showed his true colors later setting a record for it himself.  Along with his Hudson County leading avalanche and Hoboken ward record of paper ballots, Tim Occho-corrupto is far from done showing his political brand of continuous flagrant hypocrisy.  He’s seeking “re-election” and using an interesting source to identify new sources of green: Jersey City’s Steve Fulop.  A mailing list appears to have gone out to all local businesses and contributors from the perennial Jersey City “reformer” who happens to work in the same company in Manhattan as Mason-Russo’s rubber stamp.  (Yes that would be “independent” Tim Occhipinti.)

Fulop’s address book appears to be the source of a recent mailer where Tim Occhipinti asks for a PAC contributions of up to $8,200.  Hey why ask for a lowly $2,600 individual contribution limit when the PACman is dying to fulfill your wishes for a mere $8,200.  The good thing about selling out your family name (and the Hoboken community) is you only have to do it once.  Then it’s just rinse, repeat.  Just follow the instructions written out for you word for word in your binder Tim.

People may want to consider sending a love note to “reformer” Steve Fulop, the Hoboken interloper who brought this plague on Hoboken flipping the 5-4 council majority and will of the people.  Maybe Hobokenites should fund a similar paper ballot “invisible army” of ‘campaign workers’ against him when he runs for mayor in Jersey City.  A karmic thank you being the best retort of all.  From all of us here in Hoboken, Fhank you Fulop.

The Jersey Journal’s Augie Torres posted a puff piece on Councilman Mike Russo and his new softer, nicer rebranding pr campaign image.  Nothing of substance appears in the story on the goings on of Russo in the City Council where he’s terrorized Hoboken people (and his colleagues) in countless ways with almost every appearance.

One of Mike Russo’s most memorable moments was his fight against an investigation (and the truth) of the almost seven figures in missing quarters in the Parking Utility coming out.  Councilman Peter Cunningham’s lament – “For God’s sake… there’s money going out the back door,” was met with steely indifference and worse by Russo, his cousin councilwoman Terry Castellano among other Old Guard council members.  They couldn’t have done it though without the Russo clan but hey that’s history.  As Councilwoman Terry said THREE times to a public inquiry on the matter, “It’s been resolved,” no need to look there.  The mob connected NJ arcade vendor specializing in Hoboken quarters collection wishes to give a big shout out of thanks to Mike and Terry.  With their aid, they almost got away with it.

Russo has made up for his quarters suppressing effort since.  His attacks on the superb professional efforts of Director Ian Sacs over months have been so nasty, it was obvious he wanted to bully him into quitting.  He must really miss old pal former Parking Utility Director John Corea.  Speaking of criminals, anyone hear from Corea lately?  If only his theft (and its revelation) remained a Mike Russo finance committee on paper only “mistake,” as the Councilman called it, nothing more would have happened and John Corea might still be Hoboken’s Parking Utility Director.  (Mayor Zimmer got in the way of that though before law enforcement came on the scene.)

Russo can expect ironclad support from his Church Towers neighbors who admire the Soprano State antics along with their rent subsidies in the 3rd ward election this May.  But what about all those new 3rd ward residents?

6th ward council candidate Jen Giattino was feted at a local meet and greet Sunday of local moms.  Councilman Nino Giacchi, the long time 6th ward incumbent has nothing to fear from some Hoboken moms.  He’s family friendly, always gentlemanly and beloved by ward residents who don’t have a clue how he votes in lockstep with the Mason-Russo cabal.  They forgave him for supporting Peter Cammarano and never publicly saying a critical word about the scandal a long time ago.  Or have they?

On to 5th Ward Council race news: The final entries are not in for the ward as incumbent Councilman Peter Cunningham seeks another term.  City historian Lenny Luizzi announced his intention to run and others are not declared but at least one if not two are most definitely jumping into the fray.  An inquiry to one candidate led to a non-denial on MSV’s sources.  The field is not complete.  Is the past about to repeat itself?

Video clip based on a compilation via

Grist for the Mill is a rumor column but it meets an even higher standard than some news in these parts.  Got a juicy carrot for Da Horsey?  Send it to  

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