Grist for the Mill: “It was a shitshow”

Update: This story features actual live video courtesy of The Hudson County View.

Chaos reigned at Room 84 as although there’s a new chair in the somewhat reluctant form of Freeholder Anthony “Stick” Romano, there’s no actual tally for that office or any other according to multiple independent witnesses.

Independent observers say what transpired was less a committee meeting and more “a shitshow.”

As noted earlier, Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo did in the end take the prize for Vice Chair. This even with voices raised questioning how that was possible as the existing bylaws suggest the position go to a woman if a man is chair.

Another observer described the entire proceedings as an utter embarrassment calling it “chaos.”

Apparently Chairman Jamie Cryan tried to run the meeting and hold a vote to see appointment of a president pro tem so he could participate in an actual vote as a candidate for Chairman.

That position was not so much voted upon as seized based on multiple observers who noted Cryan never had a chance to “say two words” or do anything much less see an actual vote.

Michele Russo nominated Carmelo Garcia to run the meeting who then “took over” and later ran clear across the room to get a working microphone silencing Cryan’s efforts who more than meekly stated repeatedly, “You’re not recognized.”

Not minutes later he would walk out on the entire scene.

New Vice Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Committee?
Can Michael Russo without a committee seat be made an officer?

The bylaws say that’s not the case but
a suggestion was forwarded the bylaws had been “amended.”

On hand for the vote that was never conducted by even paper ballot, the actual Hudson County Board of Elections head Michael Harper who some say was there with a wooden ballot box never used to tally votes.

Instead a public vote by hands was taken whereby Romano and then Michael Russo were both quickly “elected” Democratic Chair and Vice Chair respectively.

No vote tallies of any kind are available.

Hudson County View was on site and provided actual video footage of the meeting.

Other officers “elected” with what sounds like a show of hands but no recorded vote: John Castellano, Treasurer; Joe Branco, Secretary and Linda Petrazelli, Sergeant-at-arms.

Beth Mason was in attendance although she’s not an elected
sitting Hoboken Democratic Committee member.
She left the proceedings with nothing to the utter chagrin
of her political operatives.

Beth Mason who is not an elected committee woman was somehow allowed in attendance. She however left with nothing to the deep consternation of her political operatives.

Cryan walked out on the proceedings and was not the only person to leave displeased.
Others in attendance said Beth Mason would leave in a huff, storming out.

Actual video footage from the meeting courtesy of The Hudson County View:

Talking Ed Note: Based on a show of hands it appears Anthony “Stick” Romano had the majority of votes to be as he called it “the compromise candidate.” Other observers state there was an obvious fear of a secret ballot.

John Heinis of Hudson County View was in attendance and filed the above exclusive video report.

In the video, you can hear yelling and screaming as Michele Russo suddenly blurts out her nomination for Carmelo Garcia to run the meeting as President pro tem as former Chair Jamie Cryan is ignored.

It sounds like the prefabricated takeover is then seconded by none other than fourth ward committeeman Matt Calicchio.

And the bum rush is on!

You can also see in the video at the front of the room, the head of Beth Mason’s employee and 4th ward committeeman Matt Calicchio, Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo and hear the voice of newly elected Democratic Committee woman Patricia Waitiers yelling out for of her former employer Carmelo Garcia.

Another committee member in attendance quipped, “Jamie never had a chance.”

The video concludes with a brief interview with Anthony “Stick” Romano calling for unity and no “rancor.”

Good luck with that.

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