Horse Sense: Council ‘Majority’ to public – “stay out of our way”
There’s been two City Council meetings since the midnight “emergency” overthrow of Council President Carol Marsh and it should shake people from the slumber thinking corruption in Hoboken was dragged away with Peter Cammarano.
Following the installation of Tim Occhipinti since the massive fraud in last November’s 4th ward special election, this new council ‘majority,’ has moved quickly to sabotage everything from Corner Cars to a matter as straight forward as passing a temporary budget. (Tim again says thank you Beth Mason for that ethical $13,400 to pay the hundreds of ‘election day workers’ re: pay for votes in his invisible army.)
So is it everything they bargained for? Well from the aspect of shamelessly seizing power – yes. They have shown no restraint whatsoever even as the New Jersey Attorney General and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office have not issued results to Tim “Mr. Integrity” Occhipinti’s campaign with several criminal referrals passed up by the county Board of Elections pending. It’s the kind of shameless display the Soprano State has become accustomed. Until you actually shut the door on their jail cell they’ll complain about the injustice of their arrest right into sentencing.
What’s most remarkable among the numerous travesties being perpetuated on Hoboken people is the reaction to just a handful of Hoboken residents getting up and resisting their grandstanding on a given issue – this one on the handwritten Russo budget presented as a substitute to the mayor’s ordinary temporary budget following state guidelines. Being among them MSV can tell you the only person we anticipated seeing was Scott Siegel who speaks consistently on financial issues. To his great credit, he laid down the foundation for others to follow building into a crescendo from former Councilman Mike Lenz who laid down some heavy lead of his own.
The fiasco of substituting the typical temporary budget with the underfunded handwritten one by Mike Russo led to no bills being paid, city employees at risk of not getting their paychecks, and an emergency meeting called by the mayor to pass a temporary budget. Most of New Jersey’s 500 plus municipalities do so in a matter of minutes along the standard guidelines the state established. It’s not rocket science and there’s no partisanship whatsoever in approving one. Resident Joe Branco, getting up to speed on these matters asked a penetrating question of Councilman Nino Giacchi who has served for more than a decade on the City Council. What has changed in this temporary budget for him to suddenly declare it not worthy of approval while the full budget is being prepared for delivery next month?
Councilman Nino Giacchi one of the more temperate members on the council suffered a sudden loss of institutional memory. He’s gone from being a quiet and sometime strong intellectual contributor when areas of disagreement arise and thrown in with this new corrupt council majority. (Will 6th ward residents be getting a picture of Nino and Tim Occhipinti to replace the previous one at election time of him with Peter Cammarano?)
Instead of answering the questions put to him by the public, Councilman Giacchi put on a tinfoil hat and joined the Legion of the Beth Mason Conspiracy Minion Brigade. Everyone in the majority clearly had their talking points prepared denying reality. Beth Mason went as far as calling her Mason411 political operative “the public” in her concluding remarks before the vote. As if.
Mike Russo the unspoken leader of the Tim Occhocorrupto crew got into a snit at the end of the meeting when a simple question joined with his previous remarks on decorum were casually highlighted. His reaction was contemptuous and would it be fair to say this ‘majority’ considers the public all in the same vein? Judge for yourself in the short clip:
To his credit when confronted about this after the meeting, Mike Russo did apologize.
Beth Mason on the other hand has not for her earlier unfortunate race baiting remark.
While attending most City Council meetings in more than a year and rarely speaking, it’s become fairly obvious what this council wants more than anything is to perform in a series of one man Shakespearean acts devoid of reality while putting forward their agenda against the will of the people. When just a handful of the public show up to make their observations on the farce before them, they become insolent, sneering and snippy.
Then the council ‘majority’ have their full time “unemployed” political operative from Mason411 take the microphone and weaves conspiracies out of thin air claiming knowledge of operations being run from the second floor from the mayor’s office by the communications manager. Because you know he’s up there like well, never.
What this council ‘majority’ clearly fears is more of the public speaking the truth before them. A handful of Russo political operatives and Tim Occhipinti absentee ballot “handlers” are the ones causing the commotion during recent meetings. Beth Mason rarely lifts the gavel let alone asks them to behave. The Russo clan has no issue with their behavior either – discouraging the public from participating is exactly the remedy they have in mind. Beth Mason indulges the constant rabble making, never taking decisive action – most likely with the approval of Mike Russo, the defacto chair.
Councilman Dave Mello interjected on the constant inappropriate use of profanity coming from the rabble in the audience and his admonition has also fallen on deaf ears. The farce continues to get out of hand, and our colleague Jimmy the K noted before the Arizona shootings, something bad is going to happen. Da Horsey agreed.
From the streets in the back of the fourth ward to the sunken pier in the 2nd to the heart of corruption at ‘the Association’ in the 3rd, there must be an answer to stop them from turning all of Hoboken into a banana republic. With the blatant fraud in the 4th ward special election, they have shamelessly taken the swing vote on the council and made a go of exactly that.
The city wide elections in May are around the corner. Please join all Hoboken people of good will, from civil servants to those who have worked for reform recently and over decades, and those quiet residents doing the hard work of raising their families and let us unite against the corruption in our midst.
Let them see the soul of Hoboken is not available for $40 per vote or for any price. Serve their contempt for the public on a platter and hand it back to them at the ballot box in May.
The crescendo ends there, but the battle must begin now.