Horse Sense: Reflecting on Hoboken’s lacking a 9-11 Memorial
Hoboken’s temporary 9-11 memorial in Pier A Park fell apart sadly and the permanent one which went through agonizing public input sessions with major contributions from family members who lost loved ones living in Hoboken seemed all but done early this year.
It was on the agenda for final approval in March at the City Council. Eight members were present with one awaiting swearing in who won his council seat case pending an approval. Can you guess how the vote for Hoboken’s final 9-11 Memorial went?
MSV was there and filed this story:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20TH, 2013
Clearly frustrated with being limited in power even while they have blocked the fifth swing vote on the council with their manufactured lawsuit out on appeal, the Hoboken Sopranos took maybe their most audacious obstructive action, voting down an emotional issue in the form of the 9-11 memorial.
The project, a replacement for the smaller scale, interim glass design that broke was ready to go ahead in its new form, but in the end, flexing their political power courtesy of the legal wrangling, the vote failed 4-4.
Councilman Michael Russo kicked off the conversation with some blistering grandstanding complaining about the memorial taking more than a decade for completion. Councilwoman Terry Castellano insisted the 9-11 committee needed to be brought up to speed since 2010. Tim Occhipinti who saw his pocket parks plan fail to ignite his unannounced mayoral candidacy with only a few people speaking in favor who live across the street requested the memorial be tested in a Stevens engineering wind and water testing machine. Councilwoman Beth Mason relied on her old standby she needs more information. (It’s all on the city website.)
In response, Council President Peter Cunningham made it clear there would be a vote as the memorial was ready to go and Director Brandy Forbes informed Councilwoman Castellano there had been many conversations and conference calls since 2010 the last of the councilwoman’s recollection.
Councilman Ravi Bhalla spoke plainly on what was transpiring before him and said politics shouldn’t enter into the process with the vote before them. His pleas for unity on the matter to approve the 9-11 Memorial was met with on and off mic heckling by Timmy Occhipinti.
Voting yes to approving and building the 9-11 Memorial: Council members Ravi Bhalla, Jen Giattino, Dave Mello and Council President Peter Cunningham.
Voting no: Council members Terry Castellano, Timmy Occhipinti, Beth Mason and Michael Russo.
Followed by much gnashing of teeth and moaning by the no voters, not dislike a chapter out of the Bible with devils being exorcised.
|Councilman Michael Russo stops to pose in the lobby of City Hall for Da Horsey’s photo.
Minutes later he would complain about “blogs” taking photos outside the bathroom, which is around the corner
150 feet away. He followed that leading the Hoboken Sopranos to vote down the 9-11 memorial. Good job Mikey.
Talking Ed Note: On the City’s Facebook page one person complained there was no memorial but MSV noted there was a temporary one that broke and the final memorial with extensive input from the public and the victim’s families was complete and everything ready to move forward last spring.
While MSV won’t say an approval in March guaranteed the permanent memorial this year, it’s an absolute certainty voting down the 9-11 memorial last March insured that would be an impossibility.
Hoboken’s Old Guard council take a bow. MSV’s prediction Timmy Occhipinti would run for mayor has proven out too.