Grist for the Mill: Who gave the Hoboken approval to put Beth Mason on the HHA?

When word of the stunning appointment of the notorious Beth Mason to one of seven seats on the Hoboken Housing Authority board came, most reports focused only on the end of term outgoing governor.

Later MSV learned, State Senator Steve Sweeney was the impetus but he’s not the representative of Hoboken, Brian Stack is.

The appointment reportedly had to be cleared through the sitting senator and mayor of Union City. The typical approval for a gubernatorial appointment then rests with the mayor of the operating municipality.

As the appointment was officially made last month, it would have reached the ears of Dawn Zimmer. She in turn may have noted her final days punting to Ravi Bhalla and suggest he give his approval.

If the approval came from the mayor-elect last month, what was the reaction to the idea of his and the City’s long time nemesis being planted in the vote farming friendly confines of the Hoboken Housing Authority?

Add to the mix, the pointed battles and jabs between Ravi Bhalla and Beth Mason over the years. In 2010 they attacked each other on ethics allegations calling for their respective resignations. Some of the warring carried on for years in a proxy war and into his 2013 council race. Can you say ugly?

What deal could have been made to see Bhalla agree to put Beth Mason into the HHA?

Speaking of deals, who else is anticipating obtaining a job at City Hall? Well, that speaks to who you know and those who say they do point to a deal for someone who ran for mayor last June.

Second council meeting of the year is slated for tonight. While City Hall security upgrades are up for a vote, the only questions may seek answers for the overall cost and effectiveness. More importantly, there are already questions about the early hires compared to the Zimmer administration. It’s gone beyond the previous one with two aides to the mayor: John Allen and Jason Freeman. That’s one body beyond what the norm has been for eight years or more.

In addition, no matter how you slice it; that cost is way beyond the first term in last administration, less than 40K. Here it’s likely more than four times that with Jason Freeman brought in at $85,000 and John Allen higher but at an unknown cost. Don’t ask for an answer; it’s a national security secret.

The City Council however is likely to question it as soon as tonight.

As for City Hall, questions on who in the Mile Square City gave the green light to see Beth Mason put into the belly of the beast in the HHA returned nothing but crickets. Funny how a couple of well posed questions causes the vault to shut. A zebra has never been so silent.

Grist for the Mill is MSV’s rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey? Send it to All email is kept confidential and is protected by Da Horsey’s proven Reporter Privilege upheld under the NJ Shield Law in Hudson County Superior Court. In farm animals we trust.

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