Team Bhalla appeals to virtue signaling, cult of personality and “stuff”

A good turnout Tuesday at 10th and Willow begins the long march to November and Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s political options out of Hoboken.

Call it the backup plan if he’s trapped in the Mile Square City forcing a run for re-election in 2021.

The current City Council will never back Ravi Bhalla’s broken promises like his second job with a
politically connected Republican law firm. It’s one real reason he wants compliant replacements.

Officially, the campaign is for a November council slate for six ward seats. On this ticket with the exception of Phil Cohen, nary a single individual is known to the wider community. There’s nothing in the way of ever backing The Reform Movement, fighting on any important Hoboken issue let alone any issue in this decade on behalf of the Mile Square City.

They are being hailed as “new energy” with blank resumes. It resembles what you’d typically see back in the bad old days of an Old Guard BoE slate. Faces appear and mouth proclamations about their commitment to education and the children. After election and defeat, they go back to what they did before their announced candidacy. They’d never even show up at a BoE meeting.

Despite that similarity, Ravi Bhalla put up his best face, the one accustomed to feeding the public whoppers, big, fat and indistinguishable from his ugly mayoral campaign in 2017.

Referring to Peter Cunningham, Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher, Ravi Bhalla issued this limp fabrication: “I don’t know what happened. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know what happened but something happened where we came to a point where I realized that new leadership is needed.”

It was in that very same space only little more than two months into his term as mayor in 2017 where Ravi Bhalla announced he would seek to eliminate any vestiges of Reform and the good government leadership trio and turn out the incumbents (with the exception of ally Michael Russo in the third ward. A deal is a deal.)

And the mob cheered as history was vanquished, Year One begins. Pol Pot couldn’t do it any better.

The political messaging against reality continued with Ravi Bhalla congratulating himself and his Administration for Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s accomplishments. First for her double A financial rating but claiming “we stabilized our finances” even as he’s repeatedly been pushing a three percent tax increase after a landslide 8-1 council vote reducing it to a mere one percent.

In over eight years as mayor, Dawn Zimmer kept taxes flat. It was one of her greatest accomplishments. Ravi Bhalla continues fighting for his fatter tax increase. He’s lobbying Trenton hard to overturn domestic sovereignty and local rule to make it happen.

On the pending Hoboken budget, Ravi Bhalla even brought out George DeStefano, the official town CFO who hasn’t been heard from on a budget in about forever. Uncle George (of the Russo Clan) did make this election day appearance in what a County Board of Elections official declared a major election violation.

Even with 95% of an agenda passed by the City Council with success on the Suez water contract being a major accomplishment because of the existing council, the mayor is seeking compliant legislative replacement parts.

Eyeing November, those accomplishments will pose a major obstacle. The Hudson County View inquired if the Team Bhalla slate is swept, what does it mean for him? He talked about “family” and his office welcoming the council members.

Well, that’s an improvement over throwing councilwomen out of City Hall.

One can only hope any municipal council family isn’t treated as poorly as in this exclusive story.

How to treat your City Council “family,” a primer by Mayor Ravi Bhalla.  

Talking Ed Note: Councilwoman Emily Jabbour was featured with some mic time and said the replacements were needed so they could get “stuff.” One imagines it must be “good” stuff.

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