Horse Sense: Hoboken’s nonpartisan mayoral election

There, I said it. There’s been some fanciful talk about Hoboken’s mayoral election and its three at-large council seats and the recent venom floating in our land injected last weekend by a small coterie of millennial foaming, corruption fine, party first zombies.

Not theoretical, it was actually written, party first and corruption is okay when it comes under the party banner. The same corruption Reform members of all party affiliations and beliefs fought in hand to hand combat for a decade or more in Hoboken.

There’s largely been silence from political corners who see this as advantageous for their narrow political interests. Sadly, among them are elected officials who benefitted by seeing united under Reform all political groups, identifiers and beliefs with a string of election victories back to 2009.

As one person who was a key member of the group Hoboken Revolt said in recent days, “I was with Dawn (Mayor Zimmer) back to 2007. We all worked together. We don’t matter anymore?”

That was the frustration talking and it’s been the frustration speaking from many corners when the sudden withdrawal by Mayor Zimmer from the November election and a united coalition began cracking with the cynical immediate announcement of an endorsement without so much as conferring with anyone who helped carried the flag to the top of the hill at Stevens.

In Hoboken, progress since 2009 came under
its nonpartisan municipal elections.
This is not theory, a feeling or hope.
It’s a fact.

In recent days, a nuclear weapon was detonated in the hopes of succeeding where a unilateral action last week at a press conference had failed. The vicious personal attacks on council members Tiffanie Fisher and Jen Giattino have been castigated by Hoboken residents of all political persuasions. The attempts in recent days to whitewash those KKK type accusations are not acceptable.

No one really cares what rabid foaming millennial zombies think about Hoboken’s nonpartisan election. They don’t even know enough about recent history let alone a decade back, the battles waged and won on behalf of all Hoboken residents.

The Reform Movement succeeded in electing a mayor in 2009 not in spite of but because of unity among its residents who acknowledged and embraced Hoboken municipal elections being nonpartisan.

That’s not self-serving, an emotional plea or because a horse feels like it. It’s a simple fact.

Perhaps it’s time for other people to get a clue. Because however this election goes in November: win, lose or draw – there’s a very large group of people who have invested and supported this movement called Reform. They’ve all invested and bled together under a united banner where as one friend of mine on a nearby satirical blog so appropriately said not long ago, “Democrats, Republicans, Independents, in Hoboken we are all friends and get along.”

Perhaps some recognition and acknowledgement of actual Reform history is required. Council President Jen Giattino was asked in 2011 to step up and represent her community and join the coalition she had supported called Reform and run for city council. She ran side by side with Mayor Zimmer who was struggling mightily with the Russo-Mason hydra paralyzing the city, except paralysis would be far better than the sabotage underway to torpedo any positive progress for the city and the struggling local hospital.

On July 1, 2011, Jen Giattino stepped on to the dais of the City Council after being sworn-in to uphold and protect the Constitution of the US and the State of New Jersey. One of her first votes was a critical fifth vote to upgrade pay-to-play laws in Hoboken. The beneficiary of this landmark legislation was to uphold the sovereignty of Hoboken residents to keep outside big money from overturning the will of its residents.

Later the same year, another critical vote by Giattino who was the fifth and deciding vote approving the plan to save the local hospital, a feat Mayor Zimmer rightly holds as one of the proudest moments of her administration. It’s a pride we all felt and embraced under the leadership of the hospital board led by its chair, Toni Tomarrazo and the late Steve Rofsky.

Councilwoman Jen Giattino has gone on since to be an integral part of the reform oriented council majority changing the entire tenor of our local council meetings. She’s been endorsed for re-election and has in turn endorsed Mayor Zimmer for re-election. It’s all part of getting things done for Hoboken.

The ugly millennial voices attempting to inject partisanship into a nonpartisan race in Hoboken in recent days on the local Democratic Committee are short on history and long on rabid frustration, seeing the world doesn’t always let you get your way. Perhaps this is shocking to some but no one should be following their lead and pulling a Fagen, applauding party over substance and embracing corruption as was advocated under a partisan party banner.

People who have suffered, fought and bled to see Hoboken change and put down the seedy corruption rampant in the ranks here over decades deserve better. So do all Hoboken residents, no matter their political affiliation or lack thereof.

Please make a note of it.

Hoboken’s nonpartisan races means none of
these party animals get to call the shots for mayor
or municipal positions such as city council.

Talking Ed Note: There’s a reason we hold nonpartisan municipal elections in Hoboken. It’s the law.

Here’s a portion of the referendum letter by the Hoboken City Clerk’s office pointing out the considerable fact when Hoboken’s nonpartisan elections moved from the spring to the fall. This November its mayoral and council at-large races will be separate from any partisan races on the ballot.

Start liking it.

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