Scott Siegel: Personal reflections on the 9-11 Memorial blocked by MORTe

A new low was reached at the last council meeting when appropriating money for the proposed 9-11 Memorial was voted down by the council minority. This day holds a special meaning for me and most other Hobokenites. In August 2001 I was asked to join friends from Cantor Fitzgerald for drinks and dinner at the World Financial Center. Attending were two friends that I had known for decade among others who I had done business.

Scott Siegel is upset with MORTe politics over the 9-11 Memorial but there’s no prison time for that.
Or at least Beth Mason, Michael Russo, Terry Castellano and Timmy Occhipinti hope not.
When I was out of work in 1993 a friend at Cantor invited me to come in and make phone calls. They also provided me with advice and allowed me to eat the food the company provided. I never forgot their generosity.  We had a great time going over the past and present. There was also a young lady from Hoboken who worked there. She mentioned that she was having trouble with her landlord. I asked if she had her lease with her and she did. I pointed out an area of emphasis and said I would find a lawyer and get back to her. She was going on vacation and I was going to Puerto Rico the following week so I promised to get in touch with her the week of 9/11.

Not long after returning brought the fateful event of 9-11.  Along with others on a roof, we could see smoke rising and the towers on fire. We all knew that Cantor was above the fire, but were hoping that the roof accesses could be opened. They did not.  

When the rubble cleared I realized that I had lost 17 friends, 14 from Cantor. I later found out that the young woman had survived. I went to the Wilton House and left a note for her. I later found out she moved out of Hoboken right away and I never saw her again. Who could blame her?

Hoboken lost over 50 souls making us second only to NYC in the number of victims. There are others who lost direct, close relatives. The 9-11 temporary memorial finally collapsed and I was happy that Hoboken would erect a new, permanent structure to remember those who were murdered by terrorists. This was something that cut across political lines and was embraced by the entire community. I can’t remember any dissenting votes during the process. By voting no this time, it once again shows how little the minority members care about Hoboken and their constituents. Towns throughout this country have banded together and acted as one to erect proper, fitting memorials to those killed on 9-11.  Only in Hoboken can this tragedy be compounded by the Four Horsemen of Hoboken’s Fiscal Apocalypse.

Pier C is closed, no roads and potholes are being repaired, and Pier A damage continues because Theresa Castellano, Beth Mason, Michael Russo and Tim Occhipinti appear to be heartless and cruel as their votes. These fiscal and legal incompetents will stop at nothing to damage Hoboken and this is why the NJ Appellate Court must again uphold Jim Doyle’s appointment and install him immediately. 

I expect a budget stalemate and further obstruction unless this is done.

Also on the agenda at the last council meeting was Timmy Occhipinti’s proposal to purchase small pieces of land in the corner of the 4th Ward for pocket parks. This is an excellent example of why Timmy in particular is fiscally reckless. The property was appraised at $17 million vs. a park twice as big with a price the City of Hoboken expects it will purchase for around three million. Only a fool like Timmy would want tiny pocket parks at a far higher cost. 

Remember the actions of these people and I urge you to work hard to replace them at the next Ward election assuming you care about Hoboken as I do.

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