Zoning, sewerage appts, Council chair and managing public comments

Last night saw not the three expected but four Hoboken Zoning Board positions come to the fore for appointment, transparency be damned – at least that was Councilwoman Castellano’s excuse or as she put it, ‘We learned it from you.’  That’s from the kid’s playground school of “No, you are.”  Alrighty then.

The most interesting nomination in some respects was a young supporter of Tim Occhipinti – Michael DeFusco who previously is said to have been a supporter of Peter Cammarano.  It appears he contributed to each ($100 to Occhipinti) and last night he was awarded a prize at the tender age of 28 for one of the most important board positions in town.  Not too shabby.  But why was he selected among so many people on the applied list?

Below is his letter last November after the fourth ward special election to the Hudson Reporter speaking some powerful accolades about Tim Occhipinti.  The departure from reality in this letter began as soon as Tim took the seat.  There are many words to describe Tim Occhipinti and his performance last night was woeful in many respects, but the worst moment was him eager to take on State law ignoring the required ordinance on Corner Cars for two pods being moved.  He was adamant pushing to violate State law and do what he wanted right up until sanity prevailed (finally) and the issue was sent to subcommittee. 

Also newly named to a zoning board seat was Joseph Crimmins who earns some accolades for his intelligence.  Irene Smith was bumped from fourth to second alternate and former fire chief Richard Tremitiedi was a surprise for the final fourth alternate position.

Here’s Michael DeFusco’s November 21st letter to the Hudson Reporter.  At the Jubilee Center debate, Tim Occhipinti made a reckless, flippant charge asking how much a zoning board seat goes for suggesting the price was $1,000.  His terrible showing that night belies his going rate – it’s down to 100 bucks.  Thanks Tim.

Dear Editor:

I would like to congratulate the 4th Ward’s newly elected councilman, Tim Occhipinti, for running a positive and issue-based campaign. Despite unwarranted attacks from his opponent, Tim stuck to the issues and the voters responded for change. Having known Tim for a number of years, I can affirm that the residents of the 4th Ward elected a good man whose integrity is rock solid, whose ideas are pragmatic and whose optimism is infectious. The 4th Ward desperately needed a dedicated representative, not a politician, to address a number of issues, and they’ve now found that in their new councilman.

Now, the time has come for City Council to get to work and, more importantly, work together to benefit our city. I believe that Councilman Occhipinti will be a strong voice for his constituents and bring a sense of reason to the council. To that end, I encourage the council members to work with their new colleague to pass legislation, not point fingers. I would hate to see politics get in the way of progress.

Michael DeFusco

Balance of power
What seemed so unlikely  a year ago has changed in an eyelash.  The Zimmer appointees left: Phil Cohen, Nancy Pincus and the very able and popular Jim Abel are now outgunned with the other four votes.  The redeeming issue with the seven seats?  You need six to get variances issued.  But it spells trouble if merely one of the three has a headache and can’t make a meeting.  Of course Mike Russo has shown strong interest in getting Pincus’ chair.  He’ll be in for a real big fight if he takes that on but never say never with La Familia de Russo. 

What about that smell?
Speaking of buying, Frank Raia and his questionable voting contributions to Hoboken was overlooked in him obtaining another term on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority with not the five votes required but six count’em six of nine votes.  Does the Russo support guarantee he stays out of the 3rd ward race against a less than beloved Michael Russo?  It doesn’t look like it hurts.  The sixth vote was not required but is believed misguided at best.  Councilman Dave Mello who provided that sixth vote will be hearing about that from people.  As MSV pixels hit the net, it appears Grafix Avenger’s already has.  Yikes, that’s going to leave a mark:

But first a question.  Who told Beth Mason she could start issuing proclamations?  Is she now Hoboken mayor or speaking for the entire City Council issuing paperless proclamations for photo ops in Council Chambers?  Maybe she thinks public portion is also as easily amenable.

There was some significant improvement in the City Council, including a drastic elevation from Beth Mason in running the meeting overall (with some caveats) but the most stunning was the return to reason by Councilman Nino Giacchi.  He kept the meeting from derailing at a couple of points by being consistent in a return to logic and the law.  Most importantly on the matter of moving Corner Car pods, he pushed to have the matter moved to subcommittee.  Better late than never but he did get “the memo” apparently and his tinfoil hat is definitely no longer working.

It’s an election year after all.

Related: The Hoboken Journal adds some additional insights and the ever popular Hoboken Patch does yeoman’s work laying out the straight news on the zoning appointments.

Talking Ed Note: MSV wishes to apologize for not having the important video on the hospital up.  It’s still not available from the city and an earlier decision was made to use that instead of the limited video taken.  As soon as it comes, we’ll make it available.

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