Questions & Soprano State Answers starring Hoboken mayor Ravi Bhalla

MSV offers its political analysis/opinion on the Mayor Ravi Bhalla answers to 26 City Council questions

The terse, smirking 26 Q&A “answers” from Mayor Ravi Bhalla to the City Council questions about his law firm employment contract is a blueprint for how the Soprano State entitlement is executed in the Hoboken post-Malibu Diner period.

Let us all take a moment to thank former Mayor Dawn Zimmer for “only trusting Ravi” to pull a stunt like this and mock the entire Mile Square City a month into office while doing so. Legacy.

Look, 25 large in Fedex envelopes is so old hat. We’re talking far, far more on the table. Let’s feast!

But let’s not kid ourselves. The money is already F-L-O-W-I-N-G, of this there should be no doubt. Recall, Ravi Bhalla’s new law firm employment contract was backdated to Febuary 1st. Ravi could barely make it a month into the job before the money train started flowing right through the Office of Mayor.

What, you thought this law firm deal has nothing to do with the office? The office was the guarantor of the contract.

For evidence and evidentiary proof just see the second “executed” agreement between Ravi Bhalla and Lavery, Selvaggi, Abromivits & Cohen, the Republican-leaning land use and zoning law firm.

That employment law firm contract is designed with one purpose: generate profits for both the law firm and Ravi Bhalla using the long arm of government as the inducement.

The contradictory rewritten employment contract dated February 16th and 22nd was a hasty maneuver to make it appear on the up and up. The merest scrutiny reveals it isn’t.

Let’s delve into the gory details but be forewarned. This isn’t good government. It’s not even the appearance of decent government.

First, the employment contract details were first dumped to the Hudson County View on a Friday night not two weeks back. It was a cynical maneuver to as they say dump the body.

Then the answers to the City Council questions didn’t come in the form of any public release from the mayor’s office but were dumped to its paid political operative’s website with a fanatical bearing to protect her paymaster. Hoboken411 only dreamt of making it this far with Beth Mason.

The lunatic asylum at Sybil’s Cave has its privileges.

Ready for more of this Soprano State stew? Let’s dumpster dive into the gory details. We begin with Ravi Bhalla answers to City Council questions 1-14.

Question 1. “I have no specific responsibilities.” Those throw-in clauses about mentoring law firm associates and providing strategic advice? That’s over. The Hoboken public didn’t buy it, so Ravi Bhalla ain’t selling it.

We’re moving on and going with the more craven HudCo “Hey, look at my no-show job.” Now pay me $60,000 and I’ll move clients from Florio Perucci and everything in my Rolodex at City Hall pronto.

Question 2, 3, 4 – Ravi Bhalla says, “See that PR rewritten employment law contract. Pretty funny, no?”

Question 5 – “How much time will I spend on this? See answer no. 1. Didn’t I tell you this is a no-show job? Where’s my $60,000 annual salary?”

Question 6 – Think of this Ravi Bhalla answer along the lines of “My smartphone and mobile banking app is my office.” Ka-ching!

Question 7 – See answers to questions 1 and 5. “Why won’t you take ‘no-show job’ for an answer?”

Question 8 – 13 – See that tragicomedy Soprano State employment law firm contract. Funny stuff, right?

Question 14 – Travel to a job? See answer to question 6. Nifty ain’t it?

Question 15 – Put this in the, “We’re sticking to this no matter what gets exposed on the “Trading Places Contract Carousel” down the road. Oh, there’s a market trading on NJ municipal contracts but you’re not invited to the party.

Question 16 – See no. 15 and “Hey, that’s the official answer. Our lawyer told us to stick with it.”

Question 17 – See 15 & 16, “Under advice of counsel, I will never admit to a conflict. Ever.”

Question 18 – “Meet with clients? I just make it rain right here on my smartphone.  It’s a Festivus Miracle.”

Question 19 – “I assure you the Fox is guarding the Henhouse with my authorization.”

Question 20 – “My political contributor assures me all is well in the Hoboken Corporation Counsel Office. And I believe him.”

Question 21 – See no. 19. “I’m quite fond of the ‘Fox guarding the Henhouse Model.’ I’ve perfected it.”

Question 22 – “Any politco who says they don’t like me is fodder, let’s milk the hell out of it.”

Question 23 – “I’m an expendable city resource and I plan to expend as much to enrich my bank account as possible.”

Question 24 – “Mission Accomplished. Hey don’t ticket that Brinks Truck out front of City Hall, it’s authorized.”

Question 25 – “The Corporation Counsel assures you it’ll be kosher. But first he’ll write me another check. Thanks Brian.”

While some may find all this Soprano State – Hudco wordplay entertaining; the joke is most assuredly on you – the people of Hoboken.

Sure, thanks Ravi.

This truth-telling satire is dedicated to Catrina and the very not Not Stempler

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