Guest of the Stable: Jake Stuiver

I stand by my statement of two weeks ago:  Mike Lenz is the best choice for City Council and essential to getting a southwest park.  While there’s still much to be done to make the park a reality, the one thing that would destroy the prospect forever would be a return to the willy-nilly distribution of zoning variances that have come to a screeching halt under this administration and council majority. 

With three Zoning Board seats up in December that could move that board in a very different direction, the importance of a continued reform council majority to the goal of a southwest park could not be clearer. It came as no surprise to me to be attacked last week by Occhipinti campaign operative Sara Stojkovic for making the fully accurate statement that the park initiative is heading in the right direction thanks to the policies of the Zimmer administration and Councilman Lenz.

I’d like to at least be able to say that Ms. Stojkovic, who supported Peter Cammarano in last year’s mayoral runoff, is sincerely and honestly engaging in a debate about an urgent need in our community, with a positive outcome being her primary agenda. However, despite her allegations to the contrary, I am not in the practice of misleading the public with false statements.

Ms. Stojkovic, who pointed to my role as a volunteer bookkeeper in the Lenz campaign but conveniently failed to disclose her own activity on Occhipinti’s team, such as a nearly $1,100 in-kind donation and being listed as an administrator on his campaign’s Facebook page, has become an obstacle to park progress.

From 2004 through 2006, I helmed the Hudson County arm of a grassroots
community-organizing network and used to forward Ms. Stojkovic’s informative Southwest Parks Coalition emails to my volunteer list, and had her speak at some of our monthly meetings.

That all changed in 2007 when Dawn Zimmer, a City Council candidate fielded by the Southwest Parks Coalition with Ms. Stojkovic as campaign manager, disagreed with some of Ms. Stojkovic’s decisions and decided to make a few of her own. One such choice was to include Mr. Lenz in the campaign, prompting Ms. Stojkovic, along with Lane Bajardi and others, to storm out and embark on a personal vendetta against Zimmer and Lenz that continues to this day. Ms. Stojkovic essentially took her bat and ball and went home, starting her own splinter group, the Hoboken Southwest Parks Coalition. To anyone who’s seen Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” film, with its Judean People’s Front, People’s Front of Judea and other similarly named factions (Q: “What ever happened to the Popular Front?” A: “He’s over there!”), or read George Orwell’s “Homage to Catolonia,” with its countless four-letter-acronymed competing anti-Franco groups, this maneuver played right into historical hilarity.

Sara Stojkovic was with Tim from day one at his HQ kickoff but is not a 4th ward resident

Ms. Stojkovic set up the new “organization” simply as a vehicle to confuse the public and diseminate e-mail bulletins that served as poorly disguised political propaganda pieces for the Mason-Russo contingent. One particularly bizarre screed I received March 25 actually lamented the rejection of a 12-story high-rise at 511-521 Newark Street — an area in which the group had previously objected to high-rise construction to preserve space for the park. Ms. Stojkovic, who no longer lives in the Fourth Ward, has repeatedly proven willing to adopt any position so long as it opposes those of Dawn Zimmer and Mike Lenz — even to the extent of actively opposing park progress –and is more concerned about wielding ownership of the park issue and pursuing a revenge fantasy than actually getting a park.

The real Southwest Parks Coalition recognized the urgency of curbing variances in a July 18, 2006 email headlined “Zoning Board continues variances on park land,” and a January 8, 2007 one stating “Mayor Roberts’ planners presented a redevelopment plan for the southwest area of the city. The plan calls for blocks and blocks of 12-story residential towers with a small park with grass on rooftops.”

Once again, the choice voters face this Tuesday is between continued change in the right direction or a sharp, swift reversal to the ways of the past. Please vote for Mike Lenz this Tuesday for continued progress.

Jake Stuiver is the campaign treasurer for Lenz for Council.  The Occhipinti for Council campaign said it was submitting an article several weeks back but did not and instead sent out a press release accusing others of placing “bounties” for the names of vote by mail applicants.  

Tim Occhipinti was invited in August to submit an article on the surplus when Mike Lenz had submitted a guest piece on the topic.  Tim declined to do so.  His campaign was originally told they would be given a second opportunity to submit an article before the election.  They have not responded to emails including one most recently from my attorney, Alex Booth demanding they not use my image and likeness in their political advertisement.  Such use without consent is illegal.

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