Trying to do the professional role of a HHA commissioner in Vision 20/20
Commentary from last night’s meeting from the front lines:
Last night’s HHA meeting was on the sedate side. There was about three dozen HHA residents among the thousands in the authority in attendance and nary a Mason thug or political operative on her payroll in sight.
The significant agenda item was the fifth attempt of the HHA Executive Director to force through the reappointment of the HHA legal counsel. It’s akin to a bad movie watching this process unfold like a scene cut off the cutting room floor of the movie Groundhog Day.
Director Garcia in the video below speaks about how he has “educated” the commissioners about Vision 20/20. The battle ensuing with HHA commissioner Dave Mello is a first on several levels. First, this came after the vote not to reappoint Charles Daglian as HHA counsel. He remains as a holdover as he has for months. (How many MSV has lost count.)
Second, Mello is holding a fully functional microphone. The volume is actually set at the same level as the Garcia’s – perhaps an all time first. Mello recognizing this, refuses to yield on a point of order to the HHA counsel.
A band of residents MSV has dubbed Carmelitos yells out and causes chaos at a mere question from Mello.
Is this any way to run a government meeting?
It gets better – or worse depending on your point of view.
Garcia in the video claims Vision 20/20’s size is dependent on what the HHA commissioners decide. This is not met with receptivity by some of the commissioners. On what basis can any commissioner trust anything Carmelo Garcia says when just the other day he claimed the HHA counsel contract didn’t involve him but would reflect the will of the commissioners? Would any rational person conclude that after five “shove him down your throats” votes on reappointing Charles Daglian?
Is that the reason why they were voting for the fifth time on Garcia’s insistence they re-appoint Charles Daglian? If Mr. Garcia is unwilling to work with his employers – the HHA board on identifying and appointing legal counsel what makes you think he will be doing anything remotely desired on Vision 20/20 where
millions, correction tens of millions of dollars are flying over (and under the table)?
Watch the video and ask yourself if you as a professional could handle the utter lack of professionalism in a meeting under these conditions?
Then watch as commissioners Dave Mello and Jake Stuiver ask basic questions of the legal counsel on the role of the Board Secretary Carmelo Garcia. See if they get an answer on his role.
Talking Ed Note: The Chairman of the HHA currently is Rob Davis. At times he makes an effort to get the noise level under control but he never issued any warning to members of the audience who would yell out continuously during the meeting. What’s heard here is with not even a half-filled room.
Mr. Davis needs to review the Robert’s Rules and specifically the points of order. This pretty much is required by all members on Hoboken government bodies. Also, before a vote on any matter before the commissioners, members need to be invited to comment, ask questions or initiate discussion before a vote is called. More than once, the Board Secretary Carmelo Garcia called the vote without the chair inviting his fellow members to do so.
Just another symptom of a far greater problem.
Garcia in the video again says someone claimed the HHA sought to triple the size of the authority. This time he doesn’t specifically make the false claim it came from MSV.
Garcia says the HHA Board of Commissioners with the City Council will decide the ultimate size of the authority. He says he can provide studies from Harvard and Yale on mixed income housing. Here’s one study from Yale and it doesn’t advocate anything along the lines of 50-50 low to moderate housing with market rate let alone 80-20 with the latter being market rate.
“The False Promise of the Mixed-Income Housing Project,” a 2010 paper by Robert C. Elickson, Yale Law School. (MSV has not read the complete paper but thinks the summary provides a strong reference point on the topic. Note the percentages here of low income housing are criticized and fall in the 10 – 25% area. This is not what Vision 20/20 proposed in the more than massive doubling of the size of the HHA.)
The only reason these fallacies are brought forward is to make the project bigger and the developer and those in Hoboken connected, richer.
MSV hears Hoboken411 has been brought back from obscurity to promote Beth Mason’s propaganda on Vision 20/20. The woman is cravenly pushing this ahead without any redevelopment plan even presented to the City Council.
Got transparency Beth Mason?
Hoboken better prepare itself for war. With the amount of money involved here, the Old Guard will fight to the death to line their pockets on Vision 20/20.