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Wot about Beth?

Tonight’s City Council meeting should offer a few surprise and more of cough, cough the same.  With the State police audit’s possible implementation on the resolution pack list, it’s going to be interesting to see what the Old Guard does or puts forward other than the typical obstruction of serious business.  On the important issue of the budget, there’s been absolutely nothing put forward, zero.  From the self-proclaimed “budget hawk” Councilman Mike Russo or “the football guy” a double zero.  (Someone place an order at Stan’s for his football jersey.)

Which brings us to our “transparent” Russo clan ally, Councilwoman Beth Mason.  After the election, we were pretty surprised to hear some people independently voice how to bring Beth Mason “home.”  The idea was to help her find her way to rejoin the “reform” group and plough ahead with the much needed changes for mere decent governance in town.

But how would that help Councilwoman Mason?  How could she remain fast tracked and still be viewed in the glamorous role of heading to State Senate or the Governor’s office?  (At least in the imaginations among her political consultants and her anyway.)  If you had any doubts about the lack of seriousness from Councilwoman Mason all you have to do is look at what really gets her motor going to “serve” the 2nd ward today: fast tracking a real estate woman in Church Towers as an alternate to the Zoning Board.  In the video from the last City Council meeting, she joins the Russo clan to bypass the dozens of other Zoning Board applicants and suspend the City Council agenda to name her as an alternate.

MSV would like to state agreement with Councilwoman Mason on the rules of procedure.  If there is a motion and a second, the point of order is to act on that motion before proceeding with other business.  Please see the Roberts Rules of Order for details.

It’s worth noting that neither Councilman Russo nor Councilwoman Mason have offered a single substantial idea on reducing the current Hoboken budget.  And neither have uttered a single word about Public Safety, by far the largest ticket item driving the town’s costs.

Based on her “performance” people have begun speculating about what kind of challenge Councilwoman Beth Mason may see in a future 2nd ward race.  We’ve always laughed at the idea noting how much money she’d throw to retain the seat.  She blew a cool post tax million for two mayoral bids last year after all.  But based on her behavior and voting in lockstep with the Russo clan, you really have to wonder.  As one resident close to the political winds in town said, the opposition just might make post cards with their photo, name and two bullet points about their platform and on the reverse side merely say, “I’m not Beth” and roll straight to victory.  Sound crazy?
We’re not so sure.

Talking Ed Note: The next time Councilwoman Mason may get inspired is on selecting a forensic audit firm.  In 2008, the Councilwoman advanced Howard Safir and his “comprehensive” forensics team from Alvarez and Marshal into the top spot in a no bid process.  That attempt to fast track Howie failed but there’s another chance up ahead.  Safir’s forensic firm has a record of business dealings over several years with the law firm of Councilwoman Mason’s husband Watchtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.  No conflict there.  They don’t share an office with each sending a rent check to the same landlord.
(That’s the standard now?)

Here’s a quote from the article from a Beth Mason political consultant on the matter:
“… Mason didn’t mention the “relationship” because it wasn’t worth mentioning.

“‘They don’t have a relationship where they’re interdependent financially,’ he said. ‘They’re two totally separate entities that happen to have some mutual clients, which is not unusual. The bankruptcy and restructuring business is a fairly narrow area.'”

So you know, it’s all good.  How does this parallel with Councilman Ravi Bhalla and his office mate attorney Paul Condon who operate independent law firms?  Well on that side, Beth Mason calls it “the most blatant conflict of interest” she’s ever seen.  Way to go Beth.

This article is available for reprint free of charge in any upcoming 2nd ward race when used in its entirety.  🙂

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