Horse Sense: Audit Avalanche

The fallout from the State Hoboken Police audit is reverberating across town with Police Chief Falco and Police Union head Vince Lombardi each extending preliminary thoughts.

Police Chief Falco appearing at a meet and greet in the 6th ward Monday suggested he would speak to the mayor at the proper time but his initial reaction to the report’s release is to ask for more headcount.

Police Union President Vince Lombardi expressed little confidence in a negotiated settlement not a month since a leak to the Hudson Reporter of a pending agreement while the fiscal state monitor Judy Tripodi was on vacation.  The story titled “Police payout coming to Hoboken” veered off the news path and predicted defeat to any resistance of the mayor’s City Council coalition, stating Judy Tripodi would have the final say in approving the agreement.  The fiscal state monitor had all but indicated finalization of the police contract most recently in an email exchange with Hoboken Revolt just last week.

Judy Tripodi has been silent since the stunning revelations of the police audit released early Monday.  Public anger in some quarters on her lack of action to curb spending in any significant way since she took the financial reins has given way to a larger resentment for not acting on her earlier plan last spring to reorganize the police department leading into the city’s mayoral race.  Some felt that announcement was political giving police allies a cause to rally around heading into the mayoral election. (The police union came out strongly for Peter Cammarano who stated he was against any staff reductions.)  The fiscal state monitor has held a copy of the near finished police audit draft since at least the summer.   In an interview last month with MSV, Ms. Tripodi cited ex-mayor Peter Cammarano’s arrest as the reason she had not followed through.  But the fiscal state monitor has not expressed any interest in her initial stated plan or explained her lack of action most recently since.

Acknowledging the new playing field, Vince Lombardi told the Jersey Journal earlier Tuesday, “It is probable we will file for arbitration.”  Late Monday, Councilman Mike Lenz called the police audit “a game changer” and stated the City Council had no appetite to approve any retroactive pay.

MSV invites the fiscal state monitor Judy Tripodi to comment on the results issued in the police audit.  Hoboken deserves to hear her statement sooner than later.

Talking Ed Note: Beth Mason’s attack dog, the political operative known as Hudsonshark posted on the Hoboken forum asking where’s the mayor’s police plan not a day after the audit’s release.  Well Sharkie, maybe a reasonable question is where is Councilwoman Beth Mason’s statement on the matter?  Councilwoman Mason recently stated she is through being “nice.”  MSV has emailed and called the Councilwoman on this and other questions but as yet no reply.  Perhaps the Hudsonshark will have better luck and can share that answer since her interview “All about transparency.”  

For someone claiming their done being “nice” the Councilwoman has yet to offer anything on spending cuts – not a single word on Public Safety costs and no votes of any significance unaligned with the Russo clan against the mayor’s City Council reform coalition excluding those that were unanimous.  Her only significant proposal since the November election has been to go after illegal apartments which she raised in a recent City Council meeting.  Watch the tape: she almost mentions that problem in “her” neighborhood before she stops and corrects herself. 

(Yes MSV caught that too.  We’re also done being nice.  More on that soon.)

Now let’s give all public officials a chance to weigh in first ya big catfish.  

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