Ravi Bhalla: ‘Screw democracy, I wanna be The Dictator!’

Last night the new mayor Ravi Bhalla, not three months into his term, announced he’ll seek absolute total control eluding him on the City Council.

The power play announcement came at a fundraiser at 10th and Willow Thursday night.

Apparently, the City Council approving more than 90% of the administration agenda isn’t enough so Ravi Bhalla will raise money and run a slate in November 2019 in search of rubber-stampers.

“Me and Michael Russo need two seats,” Ravi says.

Not three months into the job of mayor, Ravi Bhalla announced he’s focusing on 

council elections for November 2019. You read it right: November 2019. 
Absolute power above all.

The targets officially are Peter Cunningham, Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher with some cannon fodder to be named later but it’s the women who stand independently on good governance that he can’t stomach.

Too many awful council questions raised about that shady employment contract with a NJ politically connected Republican law firm and all. Public accountability after a promise broken immediately? How dare they!

If Ravi Bhalla can pull off a double ward turnover, he’d have a five-member council majority: Emily Jabbour, Jim Doyle, second and fifth wards joining the decider and ultimate kingmaker: Michael Russo.

Who told you about the Ravi-Russo alliance and the effort to have the Solomon Dwek meeting, $5,000 zoning board selling enemy of Reform (and Dawn Zimmer) in Councilman Michael Russo elevated to City Council President last November? 

So Ravi Bhalla’s answer to working with a smoothly well-functioning City Council and focusing on Hoboken is to make Michael Russo the fifth and deciding majority vote!

Ravi Bhalla wants to make Michael Russo the Kingmaker (and Deal Maker) of Hoboken! 

Talking Ed Note: The public admission by Ravi Bhalla is for a council slate but there likely won’t be any candidate “found” in the third ward, home to Michael Russo. If one is, it’s ceremonial and will join the other cannon fodder on a ticket in the fourth ward vs. Ruben Ramos, first ward vs. Mike DeFusco and fifth ward vs. Peter Cunningham.

Is this what Councilman Jim Doyle had in mind for a second council term? He’ll have to take orders from Ravi Bhalla’s would be kingmaker Councilman Michael Russo in 2020 if Ravi Bhalla has his way. How the worm has turned. #FreeJim.

Unfortunately for Jim Doyle and Hoboken, Ravi Bhalla resents having to work full-time for Hoboken. Since he can’t put more of his focus and energy into his real interest, re: seeking higher political office; he’ll just have to see Hoboken burn down in the interim.

Weeks ago, council members had responded to Councilman Jim Doyle their calls to Ravi Bhalla were being ignored. So, Hoboken’s new mayor, not three months into the job would rather make the job of working for Hoboken secondary to his desire to once again elevate Michael Russo to kingmaker and be rid of the good government council members.

Tells us much about who Ravi Bhalla is and he’s obviously no reformer or principled good-government advocate. If his power play doesn’t work out, maybe he’ll do another deal with HudCo and get out of dodge. Either way, it’s Ravi’s way or no way.

Update: As MSV predicted in Premium, the second veto of Mayor Ravi Bhalla on the splitting appointment powers on the Rent Level Board is officially cast.

The mumbo-jumbo attempting to deceive the council on their ordinance authority to alter board appointments as it did in 2009 for the Zoning Board is below. Note, the documentation was released not to the public but to Ravi Bhalla’s paid political operative Nancy Pincus.

MSV publishes the documentation in its entirety in the full interest of the Hoboken public. The veto puts Councilmembers Vanessa Falco and Michael Russo front and center. Falco changed her vote from yes to no on the last ordinance vote. In doing so, she makes Michael Russo’s sixth yes vote both a question mark and him a kingmaker. Six votes would be required again to override.

So, what do you think Michael Russo will do with his first kingmaker opportunity? 
Right behind this is the pending outcome of the expiring Church Towers Pilot.

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