Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hoboken City Council Meeting 2/16/2011 Archives- Recap

Here are the video archives from last night's Hoboken City Council meeting. There is a lot to process about this meeting but here are some highlights were as follows:

1) 911 Memorial resolution passed unanimously.
2) Beth Mason as Council President instituted a new procedure for first readings of ordinances where sponsors can't speak. This was her attempt to muzzle Peter Cunningham on his presentation of the campaign finance ordinance before the vote.
3) Lane Bajardi did finally speak near the end of the City Council meeting. I knew he couldn't stay muzzled for long. He as Mason's chief attack dog was brought in I  believe to deflect the discussion away from reform by continuing the unproven attacks on Ravi Bhalla. Yes,Ravi did donate to PACs before he got into Hoboken politics but there is no evidence of quid quo pro. More importantly the real question is what do we do abut campaign reform going forward? Team Mason was observed as being very uncomfortable with that discussion on campaign finance reform.
4) Terrry Castellano stated her constitutional expertise in declaring that Dawn Zimmer's ethics reform package is  unconstitutional. She went on toward the end of the meeting to say we need to hire more fireman and cops and cut the budget. Maybe so, but you can't hire more people and realistically cut the budget.
5) Corner Cars Ordinance tabled again.
6) First Step in Rent Control was passed 9-0 on first reading. There will be another vote next meeting. Dan Tumpson and a few others thought that the ordinance did not provide enough tenant protection among other things. Others like Ron Simoncini thought it was a good first step.
7) Beth Mason was corrected several times by Corporate Council Mark Tabakin on Roberts Rules of Order.
8) Mike Russo was against the Administration's new information policy? Where will he get his leaks once that policy has some teeth?
9) The "New Majority" was clearly against campaign finance reform, at least as it was presented lat night.
10) The meeting did not end until about 2 am.
11) Oh yeah, and the Pay-to-Play Ordinance changes were passed wihtout the campaign finance reform. These changes were nothing significant but did update the language of the ordinance to tighten it up. Jim Vance who used to be a core supporter of Beth Mason supported the idea of campaign finance reform which was unilaterally stricken from the ordinance that Beth Mason put forth.

MSV blog also has a writeup on last night's meeting and Beth Mason's City Council Rule breaking as well.....


Here is an excerpt:

"Wednesday night was a showdown on several levels for pay to play and campaign finance reform legislation at the City Council. Beth Mason as chair hit a new low even by her previous actions on the council suppressing her colleagues from speaking, ignoring motions and refusing to allow the common courtesy to introduce an ordinance in support of campaign finance reform legislation. That package offered by Council members Peter Cunningham and Ravi Bhalla adds teeth to prevent a wheeling loophole Beth Mason and PACs have used to flood Hoboken elections with money."



Archive links:

City Of Hoboken Ustream:

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:

Hoboken City Council Meeting 2/16/2011 Part 1 of 4: