Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beth Mason on March Madness

The March Madness mentioned in Beth Mason's latest email isn't the sound of her campaign imploding from the poor reception she has been getting at the 2nd Ward's brownstones or her latest dilemma in how to possibly distance herself from Mike Russo's implied corruption based on recent revelations in the book the Jersey Sting. No this has to do with Beth's alma mater VCU that has made it into the final four for the first time. Maybe VCU might enjoy a Cinderalla story but I have a feeling based on feedback I am hearing the glass slipper might not fit her this time around. Just another reason to root for Butler this weekend.


Dear Friend,

March Madness is upon us and I am very excited to watch the NCAA Final Four this weekend. On Saturday my alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), will meet Butler. The winner advances to the National Championship game.

Like many residents I have great college memories, but one especially stands out. It was the first day of school at 8AM in English class where I met my husband, Ricky, for the first time. Towards the end of the semester we began dating and have been together ever since.

When VCU was given a spot in the National Tournament the cynics and doubters said they didn’t belong. But now VCU’s Cinderella run for the ages continues to captivate the nation. This team is an incredible inspiration for anyone who has ever been told their dreams are too big. VCU is showing the entire country what I learned there 25 years ago, all dreams, no matter how big, are possible.

VCU’s season reminds me of when I first became involved in civic life here in Hoboken. My dream was for a more open, transparent, and inclusive government for all the people of Hoboken. To help create a Hoboken that was an even better place to live and raise a family. Many cynics and doubters said there was no way to open up the doors of government. They said the political machine was too strong and the odds were just too much to overcome.

But together we have done it. From easier access to government documents and records that show how City Hall is spending our money, to new parks, and the biggest road resurfacing project in Hoboken’s history, we have stood up for good government and the rights of everyday people. I am looking forward to the next chapter in our own Cinderella story that we are writing right here in the 2nd Ward of the Mile Square City. The chapter where we cut the inflated tax rate and return Hoboken’s $25 million surplus in the form of property tax relief.

I look forward to continuing to work together and to VCU continuing to defy the odds in route to their first ever national championship. GO RAMS!

Below is the VCU video:
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The Jersey Sting Book Signing at the Malibu Diner

"The Jersey Sting" book signing in Hoboken happened yesterday at the Malibu Diner from 3:30-5:00pm. The two authors Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin were there to sign copies of the book and promote it as well. Josh Margolin commented during the event that the response has been very positive about the book. One special guest was none other than Mayor Dawn Zimmer. It makes sense for her to have attended since lets face it, due to the aftermath of Operation Bid Rig, that sting helped make Dawn Zimmer Mayor as Peter Cammarano was caught in the dragnet and had to resign.

The topic of Mike Russo was brought up again and the authors stand by their account that Russo initially agreed to take a bribe in 2009 but never showed up to take the money. The author's are debating whether or not to release the tapes form that conversation and will make a decision soon. Here is hoping they do to shed some light as to what exactly was said. This book is much bigger than Hoboken but the details of Mike Russo's meetng with Solomon Dwek have the Hoboken voters exactly what happened between Mike Russo and Solomon Dwek.
Jersey Sting Authors Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman.

The Mayor gets her copy signed.

The Malibu has since had a makeover since Peter Cammarano went down in the sting in 2009.

Josh Margolin talks aout the book a bit:
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reminder: "Jersey Sting" Book Signing at The Malibu Diner Wednesday March 30th 3:30-5PM

Update 3/20/2011: This event is today. Go to Mile Square View blog at www.hobokenhorse.blogspot.com for the scoop on the story.

Original Post 3/26/2011:

Josh Margolin from the New York Post along with Ted Sherman of The Star-Ledger will be at the Malibu Diner for a book signing on Wednesday, March 30, from 3:30-5 p.m. They have a new book out on the Solomon Dwek case called "The Jersey Sting: A true story of crooked pols, money-laundering rabbis, black market kidneys and the informant who brought it all down", and so far they have been pretty well received.

Their website is http://www.thejerseysting.com/ and they are on Facebook  at www.Facebook.com/TheJerseySting.

My comment:

This is some good news for New Jersey in Hoboken in terms of fighting corruption both locally in Hoboken and in New Jersey. Part of the problem with our state is that investigative journalism isn't being funded in this state as newspapers face tough economic times.

I sincerely hope their book hits the best seller list. Look forward to buying it and reading it as well.

Price of a Hoboken Mayor's bribe: $25k.
Having the book signing at the Malibu Diner: priceless.

About the Authors:

Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin are investigative reporters with long histories covering New Jersey for The Star-Ledger, the state’s largest daily newspaper. Both were on the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2005.


Their work examining the sweetheart deals, no-bid contracts and widespread patronage behind the scenes at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey led to the unprecedented federal takeover of New Jersey’s only medical school and mammoth criminal and civil investigations.

Both have been writing for years about the corruption that continues to plague New Jersey and its politics. They followed the scandal that plays out in The Jersey Sting since the day of the arrests. Coverage of the investigation by Sherman and Margolin and The Star-Ledger staff was awarded the Jesse Laventhol Prize for Deadline News Reporting last year from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and also was honored as finalists for the Pultizer Prize. ◦
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Update: BOE Budget 2011-2012 Draft Presented Two Weeks Ago - The Levy is Flat

Update 3/29/2011: I bumped this article up since the budget workshop special meeting is tonight on the Hoboken 2o11-2012 School Budget. This article gives a good explanation behind the costs of the proposed budget. The budget isn't finalized until the vote on April 27, 2011 when three board members will also be chosen by ballot. Tonight's meeting is at 1115 Clinton Street in basement and starts at 7PM. The public will be allowed to ask questions.

Original Post 3/8/2011: The Hoboken BOE held their meeting last night on 3/8/2011. The main topic was the introduction of the 2011-2012 budget for the Hoboken School System by Business Administrator Robert Davis. This was also the first appearance for Dr. Mark Toback who made his debut at Hoboken Schools on Monday March 7, 2011.

Robert Davis revealed the 2011-2012 budget at a high level and the most noteworthy takeaways from the presentation were:
  • The Tax levy is flat for the 2011-2012 year.
  • The Hoboken Schools can't lower the tax levy any more according to State formula. It creates what BA Davis refered to as a "reverse cap".
  • The only way to lower the "reverse cap" or floor would be by legislation on the State Level.
  • Over the last year and a half State Aid to Hoboken Schools has been cut by $5 million.
  • The number of Administrators is down to 15 for all of Hoboken Schools or 4% of expenses.
  • Funds to Charter and Non-Public Schools make up 25% percent of the budget.
Dr. Mark Toback at his First Hoboken BOE Meeting 3-8-2011
Hoboken BOE BA Robert Davis explained the conundrum of the "reverse cap"

Below are some charts and video of Mr. Davis' presentation....
Hoboken BOE Budget Summary 2011-12 - Tax levy is flat
Over $5 Million in State Aid cuts
Expenses Breakout pie chart for 2011-2012
Breakout by Expense for 2011-2012 Hoboken BOE budget
AThere are only 15 Administrators now budgeted for

Below is video in two parts from Mr. Davis' explanation on the 2011-12 Hoboken School Budget....

Part 1 of 2 BA Robert Davis gives Hoboken 2011-12 Budget Overview:


Part 2 of 2 BA Robert Davis gives Hoboken 2011-12 Budget Overview:


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Kids First Introduces itself with Website and Facebook page

The Kids First Hoboken School Board slate fro 2011 introduces itself with Website and Facebook Page:


Dear friends and neighbors, I am so excited to introduce to you the 2011 Kids First Team!

Jean Marie has been on the Board working hard for a full year now and is running again this year for a three year term with Steve and Cliff.

They are fully committed (and entrenched) to continuing the progress! They understand that when the district runs fairly, efficiently and effectively ... time, money and energy goes into the classroom ... where it belongs!

Please "like" the new Kids First Facebook Page and keep up to date on events!
http://www.facebook.com/#!/KidsFirstHoboken

Please check out the new website for bios, platform, endorsements and the donation button!
Website: http://www.kidsfirsthoboken.com/

Pass along to all your friends! With your help....we can continue moving forward! ◦
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Reminder: City of Hoboken Traffic Calming Meeting Tonight

From the City of Hoboken:

REMINDER: TRAFFIC CALMING, PEDESTRIAN SAFETY & TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY MEETING TONIGHT


Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs will host a community meeting tonight, March 29th, to introduce Hoboken’s “Traffic Calming Toolkit” and address pedestrian safety and transportation issues. The meeting will begin at 7pm in the basement floor conference room of City Hall, 94 Washington Street. ◦
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Hoboken BOE 2011-2012 Budget Meeting Tuesday March 29, 2011

Hoboken BOE will be having the public budget meeting starting tomorrow night Tuesday, March 29, 2011 7:00pm at the Hoboken Board of Education basement at 1115 Clinton Street in Hoboken NJ. Below is a summary of the proposed budget....



Link to Agenda: http://www.hoboken.k12.nj.us/files/Public%20Budget%20Meeting%20Agenda%20March%2029%202011_0.pdf
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BOE Candidate Clifford Godfrey Introduces Himself

BOE Candidate Clifford Godfrey introduces himself. The Hoboken BOE elections are on April 27th and he is part of the 3-4-5 Kids First Slate of candidates.....

Clifford Godfrey Hoboken BOE Candidate
My name is Clifford Godfrey and I am writing to introduce myself as a candidate to serve on the Hoboken Board of Education. I am proud to be running with Jean Marie Mitchell and Steve Feinstein on the Kids First ticket.

Growing up in the urban public school system of both Newark and Nutley, I thrived as a strong student and athlete. I owe this success to the support of my family, teachers and coaches and understand the importance of paying it forward. That’s why, while completing my Business and Technology degree at Stevens Institute of Technology, I joined organizations that sought to work with young people. Most notably, I was a member of the National Society of Black of Engineers and served as the Pre-College Initiative Chairman. In this post, I mentored many high school students about the importance of education. I also got to know hundreds of Hoboken kids as a student athlete in the Stevens Summer Youth Basketball Program and later as a coach for the Save the Youth Program. To continue my passion for working with our youngest citizens, I have established the ‘Living Our Way’ organization, which provides athletic training to young people.

My passion and vested interest for the continued success of the Hoboken school system lies in me becoming a parent a little over a year ago. My partner, Stephanie LeBlanc and I have made the decision to raise our daughter in Hoboken and have her become a part of the Hoboken school system when she is of age. My mutual goal with Kids First is to enhance our schools for our children to prosper and for other young families, like mine, to be confident in their decision to remain in Hoboken through their child’s Pre-K through 12th grade education.

I am very excited by the accomplishments of Kids First over the last two years. The Kids First focus on student success is evident by the hiring of educational consultants to support teaching staff, the expansion of the laptop program, the return of 8th grade algebra, and the implementation of AP at the high school level. It is most impressive that under the leadership of Kids First the budget is at the lowest level allowable by law; a reduction all the more impressive as it was accomplished without layoffs and after absorbing millions of dollars in state aid reductions.

Serving on the Board of Education takes a great deal of commitment, hard work and the ability to fully participate in all Board functions. I vow to fully commit my time, energy and life experiences to get behind every single student in the Hoboken Public Schools.

Thank you for considering me and my team mates, Jean Marie Mitchell and Steve Feinstein for Board of Education.

Best regards,
Cliff Godfrey
Hoboken BOE Candidate ◦
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Tapas with Tom Greaney 3-27-2011 at Lolas Hoboken Recap

Yesterday, Sunday March 27th, 2011 from 2-4pm, Tom Greaney held a gathering at Lolas for his first event at a public space since his formal campaign kickoff. Over 40 people were in attendance with a good showing from Hoboken's 2nd Ward in terms of taxpaying residents. Not a bad turnout but it should be noted that many people are coming forward to volunteer for Tom in true grass roots fashion. If Tom is going to in the election against his main challenger Beth Mason, that is how he is going to do it. Here are some photos and a video from the event of the keynote speakers:

Greany on the Door at Lolas

Tom Greaney chats with Carol Marsh and resident as the event starts up.

The fountain at Lolas added an nice ambiance. Too bad campaign money
for Tom Greaney doesn't flow like water.
Tom Greaney and City Councilwoman Carol Marsh.

Tom Speaks to 2nd Ward residents.

Tom Greaney speaks but first is introduced by Carol Marsh:

Also, down Washington Street, Beth Mason held her Budget Surplus Seminar at 1200 Washington Street at 3pm to a paltry crowd of around 10 or so people some of who seemed to be political operatives. I guess people are being tired of being lied to by her continual misstatements on how large the surplus really is. And speaking of 2nd Ward Candidates: Did anyone have a Franz Paezold sighting this weekend? Share your observations in the comments below: ◦
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Greg Lincoln to Councilman Russo: Explain the Bribe from Solomon Dwek

It would appear with respect to the Russo family, the apple does indeed not fall from the tree. So much for Mike Russo's mantra that he is being punished for the sins of his father. Now he didn't take a bribe from Solomon Dwek in 2009 on behalf of Peter Cammarano, but just agreed to it but chickened out later or smartened up based on daddy's advice as the authors of "The Jersey Sting" assert. Either way, how could anyone in their right mind vote for this guy unless they are on the dole as well?

Here is Greg Lincoln's press release on the topic:

GREG LINCOLN TO COUNCILMAN RUSSO: EXPLAIN THE
BRIBE FROM SOLOMON DWEK

Two investigative reporters from the New Jersey Star-Ledger revealed that in 2009, Councilman Michael Russo agreed to accept a $5,000 bribe in a meeting with Solomon Dwek, an FBI informant. Dwek’s role was pivotal in the FBI sting that brought down former Hoboken Mayor and now convicted felon, Peter Cammarano.

In their book, “The Jersey Sting,” Pulitzer Prize recipients Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin describe the meeting between Councilman Russo and Dwek, which was recorded by the FBI. In the meeting, Councilman Russo tells Dwek he’s a “smart man” for concealing his identity in the deal, and that they will “get along fine.” At the end of their meeting, Councilman Russo is caught on tape agreeing to accept $5,000 from Dwek, with the promise of further payments.

"Peter Cammarano may be in jail for accepting bribes, but sadly, the corruption story in Hoboken is not over. Councilman Russo needs to explain why he agreed to accept a $5,000 bribe, why he refused to answer questions about the incident, and why he never reported it to the authorities," said Greg Lincoln. "This revelation raises many questions, but at least now we know why Councilman Russo refused to ask for Mayor Cammarano to resign and why he didn't want further attention on Hoboken. Councilman Russo needs to explain why he agreed to accept a bribe or remain silent and let the voters of Hoboken end this chapter of corruption once and for all."

Sources:

The Jersey Sting, by Ted Sherman, Josh Margolin, 2011 - Account of Councilman Russo’s meeting with Solomon Dwek: http://bit.ly/hXaqqW

NJ.com article by Carly Baldwin, July 28 2009 - Councilman Russo explains why he didn’t call for Peter Cammarano’s resignation: http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2009/07/mike_russo_calling_attention_t.html

Here is the passage from "The Jersey Sting" about Mike Russo in 2009:

My comment: Wonder is this story wll be picked up by self-professed credentialed journalist Perry Klaussen over at Beth Mason's smear blog at Hoboken 411? Don't hold your breath, Perry has a thing for Mama Russo and her cabal. ◦
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kids First Photos in the Park at Columbus Park Sunday 3/27/2011 Recap

On a cold blustery day, when there was a high school play about to start the  Kids First 2011 team of Jean Marie Mitchell, Steven Feinstein and Clifford Godfrey with their supporters to take their annual photo in Columbus Park with the High School as the background. Attendance was good and Mayor Dawn Zimmer showed up to show her support as well as 2nd Ward candidate Tom Greaney and 1st Ward candidate Eric Kurta. This is an annual tradition for the Kids First Slate that is bringing about reform in the Hoboken Schools.

Kids First 2011 Group Photo 3 DSC_0491

Kids First Slate 2011 with Greaney and Kurta 1


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eric Kurta First Fundraiser Recap

From the campaign of Mayor Zimmer baked 1st Ward Candidate Eric Kurta....

1st WARD COUNCIL CANDIDATE ERIC KURTA HOSTS FIRST CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISER- RECAP

Late Thursday evening, a very crowded room of supporters erupted in cheers as 1st Ward Council candidate Eric Kurta entered the room. It was the first official fundraiser for the recently confirmed candidate and energy was high.
Photo of Eric Kurta and Supporters including Mayor Dawn Zimmer - Credit Hoboken Journal
“I cannot wait to vote for Eric Kurta for council,” said long-time Hoboken resident Augusta Przygoda. “He has been fighting to make government more accountable for over a decade. He is going to be such a refreshing change of pace from culture of corruption and incompetence that have held Hoboken back for so long.” Before running for office, Kurta served as president of People for Open Government and was instrumental in fighting for campaign finance and ethics reform.

The support for Eric Kurta has been growing steadily since he announced his candidacy last month; drawing endorsements from such heavy hitters as Hoboken's Mayor, Dawn Zimmer, and Councilman-at-large Ravi Bhalla who hosted the event, along with several other prominent residents. “Eric Kurta represents the best of Hoboken – an honest, intelligent, and hardworking resident with a driving desire to improve his neighborhood. It would be an honor to work with Eric Kurta on the City Council,” said Mayor Zimmer.

The fundraiser took place at Room 84 at 84 Washington Street from 7PM to 9PM. The hip, futuristic décor of the room seemed to contrast to the plainspoken nature and modest lifestyle of Kurta, but he was quick to explain. “The furniture might not be my style – it is very modern, but it is emblematic of this campaign. My opponent lives in the past and wants to turn the clock back 20 to 30 years. I think Hoboken has the potential to become a world-class city with the proper guidance. While she's looking backward, I'm looking forward,” said Eric Kurta.


The Vibe of Room 84 owned by host Joe Bronco before the fundraiser got started
 ◦
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Jim McGreevey to Speak at All Saints Episcopal Church Sunday March 26th

This Sunday, March 26 at All Saints Episcopal Church at the corner of 7th and Washington Streets in Hoboken former Governor Jim McGreevey, will be with the congregation in his new capacity as a man of the cloth to talk about his ministry with Integrity. He is working in the Hudson County Jail with people in a therapeutic setting so that they can transition from prison back into the community. Jim is also working on the introduction of new legislation in the State for Prison Reform to enable people.


All Saints Episcopal Church Sunday March 26th Schedule:

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with Sermon (40 minutes) with Jim McGreevey preaching
9:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist for children and their families (40 minutes)
10:15 a.m. Hospitality and Fellowship in the Parish Hall
10:20 a.m. Sunday Church School - in the Day School building
10:30 a.m. Parish Choir Rehearsal
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist with Sermon (70 minutes) with Jim McGreevey preaching
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Reader Poll: Should Ian Sacs Sue Hoboken411 for Libel?

I admit it may be too early too tell, but assuming Ian Sac's account of his side of the story holds up that he was in fact the victim of an assault (there are always two sides to a story but it usually boils down to witnesses and credibility of the parties), do you think Ian Sacs should personally sue Hoboken 411 for a blatant attempt at libel (i.e. publishing things that are knowingly false or with malicious intent trying to destroy ones personal reputation with completely unfounded or made up  information)? Or perhaps another politician who put out a defamatory press release today? Share your opinion in the poll below:


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Ian Sacs on the Record - Challenges Hoboken 411's Factually Incorrect Blog Post

Ian Sacs, who was involved in an incident yesterday at City Hall where he was attacked by a fellow City Worker according to his own account sets the record straight on confronting yet another lie filled post on Hoboken 411. Here is his complete statement. The Hoboken Journal - "keeping politics real since 2008".

Ian Sacs working at night to explain to
the citizens of Hoboken the 14th St
Viaduct plan by the County last year
Mr. Klaussen,

I am writing in a personal capacity in response to your account of events involving me that were posted on your blog page yesterday, March 24, 2011. My purpose is to clear the record, not so much for my sake, but for the sake of your readers who may be angered, incited, or enraged by information that inaccurately depicts my actions in such an unprofessional manner. When taking this job, I knew that the intense politics of Hoboken would drag my efforts through the mud, and I accepted that reality willingly. But I did not sign on to anyone deliberately distorting my work and efforts as a way to encourage hate and violence among innocent an unsuspecting residents.

I have a deep compassion for my neighbors and my employees, which is why I took this job; it is painful to see them be so cruelly misled. I am deeply concerned that your politically motivated speculations and distortions of the truth lead to more such hate and violence, as it has certainly done so already on many occasions. I wholeheartedly believe that I have done nothing wrong, the charges are false. I am confident that nothing will be learned to justify, warrant or support any of the accusations.

Yesterday, while walking to work, I encountered one of our city shuttle buses at 2nd Street and Willow Avenue illegally parked, unattended, idling, with the keys hanging from the ignition. Anyone could have stolen the bus, and it was in the crosswalk creating a pedestrian safety hazard. Moreover, it was not where it should be at that time on its route. This is all entirely unacceptable and not an appropriate way to run the community shuttle bus service, for which I am responsible. Not only could the bus have been stolen, the fare box money in the box stolen, the bus taken for a joy ride by kids, or entered and vandalized, but the bus was illegally parked in the crosswalk in such a way and on such a narrow street that it severely blocked visibility and it could have caused a collision, an injury to pedestrians, or in the worst case, a fatality. Avoiding and preventing these things is exactly what I work hard to achieve each and every day, so to find one of my own vehicles in such a position is extremely alarming.

Whatever the reason the bus was abandoned, running, with the keys in the ignition, it could not remain where it was, running or not. Since it was my understanding that city employees may operate city vehicles - so long as there are no passengers and contain fewer than 16 seats – I chose to move the bus out of the crosswalk, return it to a safe location at the municipal lot two blocks away, and then investigate why the bus was abandoned in such a precarious location. The bus was returned and parked legally in the municipal lot. Since the keys were for a municipal shuttle bus, I did not realize that personal keys were attached to the key ring.

In the lobby of City Hall, on my way to document the incident, I was physically confronted and then attacked in plain view of our on-duty security guard, an on-duty police officer, as well as several other employees and citizens waiting for court. As the security guard and police officer removed the attacker from me, I then heard him state that there were “personal” keys attached to the ring in addition to the municipal shuttle bus keys. I immediately had another individual return the personal portion of the key ring. That alone is the so-called “theft” of which I am accused.

I am admittedly no tough guy. I am no bully. I am no aggressor, and I did not initiate any violence. I maintain a light, friendly, professional rapport with my staff. I am quite successful and content using our laws and rules of employment to get the performance I expect, and all my staff know this. There was no “lighting into”, “threats”, “public berating”, or “verbal firing” as you incorrectly wrote. There was no “throwdown” or “fight” as you incorrectly wrote. I did not “poke” or say “You're finished”, as you incorrectly wrote. I was simply attacked for doing my job as a Director. You should understand that your words, Mr. Klaussen, can incite much unnecessary anger and hate when carelessly chosen.

Although I am stern to the point that I expect each employee to earn their pay (and for that I find no harm), I nonetheless treat all of my employees with respect and empathy, and I make every effort to avoid personnel actions that effect their permanent record if at all possible. It is unfair to characterize me as being “hot tempered”, or to suggest that I have a “strained” relationship with my employees, unless you think that expecting a reasonable level of performance and productivity for one's pay makes a relationship strained.

Given your track record, I am doubtful you would act in such an objective and balanced manner, but since your blog's slogan is “Keeping Hoboken Honest”, I am respectfully requesting that you post this response in its entirety, with no edits or redactions. That is what a legitimate news source would do. I will send this response to all local news sites as well so that they can choose to participate in keeping you honest. I further challenge you, in the name of “Keeping Hoboken Honest”, and in the name of the innocent people who read your blog expecting unbiased news, to keep yourself, a self-proclaimed “credentialed journalist”, honest as well.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Ian Sacs, Hoboken Resident

My Comment: This is an excellent response from Ian Sacs. We will see if the town's number one blogger of hate Perry Klaussen takes the challenge or not. ◦
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2nd Ward Council Candidate Tom Greaney Regarding the City Hall Incident

2nd Ward Council Candidate Tom Greaney sent out this repsonse today in repsonse to Beth Mason's presser sent out eralier in the day. The list of reasons why Beth Mason must be voted out of office keep piling up.....

2ND WARD TOM GREANEY  REGARDING THE CITY HALL INCIDENT

Tom Greaney - 2nd Ward City
Council Candidate

Yesterday, an unfortunate incident occurred involving a city employee and Parking Utility Director Sacs. There are many rumors circulating about precisely who did what and why. The Hoboken Police Department was involved, and the City is properly conducting a third party administrative review so it can make appropriate personnel decisions.

As an experienced Human Resource professional, I understand the sensitivity involved in personnel decisions and the urgent need for the city to conduct its own investigation to determine the facts and circumstances. Investigations of these types are best done by qualified and independent third parties. Mayor Zimmer acted quickly and appropriately in moving to refer the matter to a third party investigator.

Unfortunately, Council President Mason, my opponent in the race for Second Ward City Council, chose to put out a highly politically charged press release. By doing so, she has politicized a highly sensitive personnel matter. Quite simply, that was the opposite of how this matter should be addressed. It is imperative that our public officials act in a thoughtful and restrained fashion when dealing with personnel matters. Putting out a press release without knowing the facts is simply wrong.

Even during a political season, public officials must be willing to recognize that the duties of their offices take precedence over political machinations. This is especially true when dealing with personnel matters that can have profound impacts on careers, and the management of our city.

I am deeply disappointed and disturbed that my opponent either didn't know, or didn't care, when she chose to politicize this matter. Both the citizens of Hoboken, and the parties involved, deserve better and more responsible leadership.

Tom Greaney
Second Ward Council Candidate

For reference here is Beth Mason' Statement on the incident published earlier today:

Beth Mason Puts her personal politics above
innocent victim of assault (by his account).
“The actions taken yesterday by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City Administration in response to an altercation between a city employee and City Parking Authority Director Ian Sacs are very troubling.

To have a city director engage in a physical altercation with one of his subordinates in front of passengers and City Police is unacceptable, and Mr. Sacs physically commandeering a city vehicle and driving it without a proper commercial license is worse, but the Administration’s response was outrageous.

Police led Mr. Sacs away in handcuffs, along with the city employee, and then Mr. Sacs received legal counsel in a jail cell from two lawyers, including the City’s Corporation Counsel, while the city employee received no legal counsel.

The Corporation Counsel’s responsibility is to represent the City, not serve as Mr. Sacs’ personal attorney.

The Mayor’s decision to suspend the employee without pay, while keeping her friend, Mr. Sacs, on the payroll with free legal advice from the Corporation Counsel, goes beyond any reasonable bounds of fairness. Apparently, the Mayor has already decided that Mr. Sacs is absolutely right and the city employee is absolutely wrong. That is the role we have entrusted to our legal system for more than 200 years and I am shocked that Mayor Zimmer would so easily trounce anyone’s civil liberties.

Lastly, the Mayor has called for a “third-party investigation” into this matter. Before she spends any more tax dollars to defend Mr. Sacs, she should let the Hoboken Police conduct a thorough and objective investigation and let our courts decide where to affix responsibility for this ugly incident.”

- Beth Mason
Current 2nd Ward Councilperson and ardent opponent of the Zimmer Administration

My comment: What a difference between Greaney and Mason, like night and day? ◦
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Hairspray Hoboken High School Musical starts tonight March 25th

 One of the truly great aspects of Hoboken High School is its theater program. Regardless of you age their plays and productions are very professionally done and you can tell how positive of an experience it is for the children that participate.

Hairspray Four performances beginning this Friday!
Wonderful Theater for the Whole Family!


Friday, March 25th - 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 26th - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sunday March 27th- 2 p.m.

All performances are in the Hoboken High School Auditorium on Clinton Street between 8th and 9th Streets!

Tracy Turnblad, a large girl with big hair and a kind heart, has only one passion and that is to to dance.

She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, "The Corny Collins Show" and is quickly transformed into a teen celebrity. She then successfully sets out to vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of the super handsome Link Larkin, and racially integrate the television show.

With book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe and music by George Stiles, your whole family will leave the auditorium humming and singing these wonderful songs.

Hoboken High's Theatre Program- a long commitment to excellence and education.

The student cast and crew at the Hoboken
St. Patrick's Day Parade, March 2011.
Since its beginnings in the mid-90s, the Hoboken Theatre Arts Program has been committed to education through the study of theatre arts and play performances by high school students. Among the many production are:

Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Ragtime, Once on this Island, Dreamgirls and West Side Story. For an in-depth look  at this program and its storied history, visit the Hoboken Backstage Blogspot, by clicking below: http://hobokenbackstage.blogspot.com/

Paula Ohaus, the program's longtime director, has once again guided the Hoboken students to create another memorable experience for themselves and their audience. Many of the students have appeared in the program's productions since grade school, and that experience has created a Broadway-style polish rarely seen in high school theatre productions. Ms. Ohaus was recognized in 2009 with The Jimmy Award for an Outstanding Arts Education Program. The National High School's Musical Theater Award website gave this description of the award named for longtime Broadway producer James Nederlander:

The award was created to honor a high school teacher or administrator who demonstrated an enduring commitment to quality performing arts education. Ms. Ohaus is an example of the consummate artist/educator. She proactively seeks opportunities for her students to see live theater and to learn about the creative process and business.

Hairspray Ticket Information:
$10 general admission; $7 college students with ID,
$5 K-12 students and $2 senior citizens.


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Photo of The Day- Kim Glatt T-shirt for Sale in Jersey City

Todays' photo of the day is that of a t-shirt for Kim Glatt who finished 4th place in 2009's Mayoral race in November that was spotted by a reader in a Jersey City thrift store. The price tag is $3.99. Is $3.99 a bargain for a 4th place finisher in a Hoboken election, especially for a buyer in Jeresey City? Perhaps the price isn't right. Just for fun on Friday.

Kim Glatt t-shirt for sale in Jersey City thrift store.

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Jen Giattino needs your help for 6th Ward Hoboken City Council

Here is a quick note from Jen Giattino who is running against Nino Giacchi for 6th Ward Hoboken City Council on May 10th. Nino may like to call himself the "voice of reason" but I believe Jen Giattino will provide the "votes of reason". Jen is running because she cares about the coummunity and
not to someday hope to weasel into a judgeship as a political favor for his loyalty like Nino Giacchi.


It's Official!

The petitions are in and we now have to really get to work.

I need everyone's help... so please go to my website and sign up to Volunteer or Donate.

For all of you that have been already helping me, I cannot thank you enough. Your support confirms to me that I have made the right choice in running.

SAVE THE DATE: ELECTION DAY - MAY 10th!

In order to win this election I am going to need every person I know in Hoboken to come out and
volunteer for me on Election Day.

Window Signs are here. Let's get them up.

Please email me if you would like one for your window.

Thank you all in advance for your support,

Jennifer Giattino
JenGiattino@jenforcitycouncil.com
201.780.6779 ◦
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Peter Cunningham Launches Campaign Website

A note from Peter Cunningham on the launch of his campaign website for re-election as 5th Ward City Council. Peter isthe only candidate considered to be an ally of Mayor Dawn Zimmer that is in th 5th Ward Race.

Peter's new campaign website
- cause for celebration!
Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors,

Our official website is now up and running. Please take a minute and check out http://www.cunninghamforhoboken.com/ and read about Lower taxes, Quality of Life and Economic Development. These are three of the most important issues we face in Hoboken today. This will be a hard fought race, and you can never have enough volunteers, so we will need your help to be successful.

In the 5th ward, I will have three opponents squarely aligned with political powers with access to special interest money and independently wealthy individuals. All three of my opponents supported the 4th Ward outcome in November 2010, and the other day one candidate went so far to tell me that 700 absentee ballots was "Ok" and that I didn't understand Hoboken elections. Hmmm...with that comment alone, we should be concerned that voter fraud could be wide spread - again this May and June.

Beware! They are not independent as they will claim to be.

Please join our team for fiscal stability and lower taxes, good honest government and continued focus on quality of life issues. We have so much more to accomplish, and hope you agree that we are moving Hoboken forward. As always, please pass around, and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thanks,
Peter Cunningham 5th Ward City Councilman
201-562-7071
http://www.facebook.com/peter5thward
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hoboken Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman Responds to Hoboken 411's Lies

In response to the utter piece of non-factual garbage that was posted on Hoboken411 today, Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman has the following response and felt compelled to set the record straight after being the target of yet another Beth Mason hit piece.

Another factually challenged hit piece from the bowels of Lane Bajardi and Hoboken 411 was published today. Big Surpise. Lane is filled with hate for Ann since she no longer supports his "Dear Leader" Beth Mason.

Hoboken Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman Responds to Hoboken 411's Lies

The 411 piece this morning would actually be funny if it were not so blatantly false. Only those who are in the wrong would say that politics played any role in my actions, unless, of course, it’s your opinion that politician should get a pass. I, on the other hand, feel they should be held to the same standard as anyone else who violations the zoning ordinance.

Meanwhile, this whole thing is running cover for Mason who had neither a Zoning Compliance Certificate nor a CCO for her office which she opened last weekend, despite the fact that I sent Mason an email earlier in the week reminding her the paperwork needed to be filed, and then follow up by stopping by her office on Friday to remind them to get it done. No application was filed with my office or documentation provided until the following Monday afternoon.

I was advised Monday morning that an attempt to end-run my office was made by former Corporation Counsel Steve Kleinman (who should know better), on the Thursday after I emailed Mason. He called the Construction Office, demanding they come do an inspection even though no Zoning Certificate had been issued. It is my understanding that the Construction Office did accommodate them and the inspection was done. However, no CCO was issued until the Construction Office was in position of the Zoning Compliance Certificate on Monday.

In the “no good deed goes unpunished” column; I emailed Mason to give her an opportunity to file her paperwork, and avoid being in violation. Her response - she sends her attack attorney’s to “deal” with City Hall. In her paranoia, my professionalism and proactive communication was construed as an attempt at political retribution; for what? Now, her attack dogs are going to come after me on Hoboken411 for doing my job. I find it sad that she and her team really think everyone is out to get them.

FACT CHECK:

  • My position is a Civil Service position, not a political appointment. I was hired by Director Forbes, not the Mayor, after a publicly noticed search was conducted and numerous candidates were interviewed. I believe the Mayor may have signed off on my hiring, but I did not meet with nor was I interviewed by the Mayor.
  • The Kurta/Pinchevsky office was issued a Zoning Compliance Certificate four (4) days prior to their opening, as such they were operating within the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance which I administer. I am not responsible for administering Construction Code. The document that was later issued by the Construction Office was a Certificate of Continued Occupancy, not a Certificate of Occupancy. No CO is required for the use of an existing commercial location unless significant alterations are made which would require the issuance of construction permits.
  • The Kurta/Pinchevsky office was never ordered to close.
  • Mr. Occhipinti’s election was on November 2nd. By ordinance the signs should have been removed immediately following the election. By December 6th, a full month later, they still had not been removed, and I sent him a notice to remove them. 
  • Occhipinti was issued a ticket by my office only after he had been noticed three (3) times. The first notice was made by both mail and email. The second notice was delivered in person via a one-on-one conversation. Mr. Occhipinti was noticed a third time via email the week prior to the ticket being issued on December 20th. 
  • A day or two after the ticket was issued and mailed, a city employee friend of Mr. Occhipinti came by my office to let me know that it would be taken down by the end of the week. Not until the ticket had been issued did they make any effort to take action. 
  • It is the judge’s prerogative to issue a change of venue whenever he/she feels there may be the appearance of conflict. Because Mr. Occhipinti is a sitting council person, the judge referred the case to Secaucus. 
  • My appearance in Secaucus court, at taxpayer expense, was required as the issuing officer. If Mr. Occhipinti had complied when noticed to do so, neither he nor I would have had to appear.
Ann Holtzman
Resident of Hoboken ◦
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Statement From Mayor Zimmer on Ian Sacs and Employee Alleged Incident

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ZIMMER ON EARLIER INCIDENT TODAY

According to several eye witness accounts, Director Sacs was attacked today by a City employee inside City Hall. Witnesses included a Police officer and a retired Police officer.

“While I believe Director Sacs is the victim of workplace violence, I am calling for an independent 3rd party to thoroughly review this matter,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Workplace violence is an extremely serious matter and cannot be condoned. My Administration has zero tolerance for such conduct, and I urge the Council to support this internal review and codify the Ethics ordinance which seeks to address this issue.”

A claim and counterclaim have been filed by the parties, and the case will proceed through a municipal court outside of Hoboken in addition to the 3rd party independent review which will begin as soon as possible. The alleged attacker has been suspended without pay pending further investigation.

My comment: A third party investgation on top of the normal police procedures is the right way to go with this for both sides sake. The facts will come out. Both the Director and the employee have a right to due process. ◦
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Ian Sacs Involved in Alleged Altercation with City Employee Today

Parking Director Ian Sacs according to Hoboken Patch was involved in an alleged altercation with a City Employee this morning on the steps of City Hall. Since Hoboken Patch broke the story, I will simply provide a link to the story:

http://hoboken.patch.com/articles/sources-city-director-allegedly-assaulted-in-front-of-city-hall
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tim Occhipinti Violates Zoning Law - Pays Fine

From the campaign of Rami Pinchevsky Hoboken 4th Ward City Council Candidate....

COUNCILMAN TIM OCCHIPINTI VIOLATES ZONING LAW – PAYS FINE

Fourth Ward Councilman and Chair of the City Council’s Zoning and Development Subcommittee, Timothy Occhipinti, plead guilty yesterday to violating local zoning laws. Occhipinti failed to remove campaign signs from his headquarters after last year's special election in the Fourth Ward in a timely manner and missed his original court date.

Fourth Ward City Council candidate, Rami Pinchevsky, said "Mr. Occhipinti owes Fourth Ward residents an explanation as to why he refused to take down campaign signs after receiving a warning from the city that he was in violation of the law."

"As head of the Zoning and Development Committee for the City Council, it is inexcusable that Mr Occhipinti would disregard the law in such a manner. His brazen behavior shows an utter disrespect to city residents and the law he has duly sworn to uphold. Mr. Occhipinti should publicly apologize for his behavior," said Rami.

Prior to yesterday’s court date, public records show that Occhipinti received a written notice to remove campaign signs from the windows of his campaign office, following this past November’s election. After his failure to comply with the warning, a citation with a mandatory court appearance was issued to him. Occhipinti failed to appear in court for the first hearing last month, but did appear in court for the rescheduled hearing this week.

Video is here:



My Comment: Is this Tim Occhipinti thinking he was above the law or just dropping the ball on a mandatory court appearance on the first notice? Why is Tim laughing? Is he that arrogant or just punch drunk stupid? We have perhaps seen this arrogance before in Peter Cammarano who essentially ruined his life for a $25K bribe. I do realize that this is just a minor zoning violation but to me the ticket isn't the issue, it is his attitude of the whole process. Share your thoughts in the comments below..... ◦
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City of Hoboken Budget Workshops are Tonight March 23rd at 7PM

The Final Round of City of Hoboken Budget Workshops are tonight in a special City Council meeting starting at 7PM. There will be no live blog since only a handful of people watch this. Feel free to come back at 7PM to watch if the live stream is on from the City.


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Update: NJDWSC Commissioner Michael Cricco from Hoboken resigns post

Update 3/23/2011: Politicker NJ is reporting that former Hoboken 5th Ward Councilman Michael Cricco and ardent Tim Occhipiniti supporter has stepped down from his NJDWSC Sewerage post.

Cricco said on his resignation in a letter to colleagues:

"Of late, questions have been raised about my tenure on the commission," Cricco said in a letter to his colleagues. "I have not engaged in any wrongdoing, and at all times, I have acted in the best interests of the commission and my public responsibilities.

"Nevertheless, I understand the right of the Governor to have Commissioners of his choosing," Cricco added. "I believe he is doing what he feels is in the best interests of New Jersey and I respect that. I do not want my individual situation to be a distraction from your public duties. Thus, my admiration for the Commission and the people it serves regretfully compels me to submit my resignation from the office of Commissioner, effective immediately, to avoid any further disruption of the Commission's important work."


Link to full article: http://www.politickernj.com/46068/breaking-cricco-resigns-njdwsc

Feel free to comment below on whether or not you feel this was an appropriate action by Governor Christie....

Original Post 3/17/2011:

Gov. Christie demands resignation of NJDWSC Commissioner Michael Cricco of Hoboken

Michael Cricco with Peter Cammarano
who he endorsed in 2009.
The website http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/ had an article of interest about a local resident and former 5th Ward City Councilman Michael Cricco who is under fire from Governor Chrisie for purportedly skipping out on his duties with the Schools Development Authority to attend meetings instead at the Wanaque-based North Jersey District Water Supply Commission. Read more on this purported case of double dipping, which seems to be a fairly common practice in New Jersey that Governor Christie seems resolute on stopping, heaven, hell or Hoboken. It should be noted Michael Cricco was a supporter of Tim Occhipinti in the last campaign.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

“The Legislature has a clear choice on this issue – stand up for the public who demand that public money be used in an appropriate, efficient and responsible manner or side with the political appointees and entrenched interests who abuse the public trust to enrich themselves and their cohorts,” Christie said

.............................................

In pressing for additional oversight, the governor cited action taken Wednesday by his office to police these entities with the commencement of removal proceedings against two members of the Wanaque-based North Jersey District Water Supply Commission.


In letters issued Wednesday, Christie notified NJDWSC Commissioners Albert Manzo and Michael Cricco, that he will immediately commence removal proceedings for cause. In addition, the governor also took the necessary steps to suspend the commissioners without pay pending the resolution of the removal proceedings.

............................................

Christie wrote Cricco that he attended commission meetings on at least 20 occasions when he should have been at his paid job with the state Schools Development Authority. The governor wrote that he understands Cricco continued the practice even after SDA officials told him to stop it.



Link: http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/gov-christie-demands-resignations-of-njdwsc-commissioners-albert-manzo-and-michael-cricco
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Eric Kurta Fundraiser Room 84 March 24th 7-9 PM

1st Ward Candidate Eric Kurta is having a kick-off this Thursday March 24th at Room 84 at Washington Street in Hoboken, NJ from 7-9PM.

Dear friend,

Having been involved in various reform efforts since the early nineties, I have long worked for positive change in Hoboken. I now feel that the time has come for me to seek elected office so that I might accomplish that which I cannot do as a private citizen. I hope to build upon the efforts of those who have already accomplished so much toward improving our community. I want to bring fresh ideas and positive solutions to the City Council and to help keep Hoboken moving forward. To succeed in this effort, we must mount an aggressive campaign. My opponent is a four-term incumbent with a solid base of support. Our campaign will require – and has been building – an organized grassroots organization. Our campaign consists almost entirely of volunteers and will do as much as it can with a limited budget. Any help that you can provide will amplify our message by enabling us to create the mailers, flyers, and signs needed to get the word out to the First Ward voters.

Please join us at a fundraiser in support of my campaign for the First Ward Council seat.

- Eric Kurta
1st Ward City Councilman Candidate

Where: Room 84 - 84 Washington Street
Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011
Time: 7:00pm–9:00pm
Minimum Contribution: $50
Special Guests: Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Councilman Ravinder Bhalla
Event Committee: Ms. Ann Graham, Mr. Joseph Branco and Mr. Jahn Andersen

Open Bar and Hors d'oeuvres

RSVP: frances.jennings@gmail.com
Website: http://www.kurtaforcouncil.com/

Paid for by Eric Kurta for City Council, 214 Garden Street, Apt 4, Hoboken, NJ 07030
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Tim Occhipiniti HQ Kickoff this Saturday March 26th at 56 Monroe Street

From Tim Occhipinti current 4th Ward Councilman who claims to be independent yet has consistently voted against every Major Zimmer initiative expect for the recent Park Bond Ordinance passed 9-0. That is a fact and it is not at all divisive to point that out when a cynical candidate tries to mislead the public like in the language of the press release below. With respect to the park vote election cycles do funny things to obstructionists. Anyway here is his kickoff announcement for this Saturday March 26th.

Please Join Us for the Grand Opening of 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti's Campaign HQ
Saturday March 26, 2011 at 56 Monroe Street (corner of Observer Highway and Monroe St)
From 1 pm to 3 pm

Dear Neighbor,

I hope you will join us for the Grand Opening of our campaign headquarters at 56 Monroe Street
Saturday, March 26, 1 p.m.

We are excited to get the campaign going and hope you can be there with us as we kick things off.

Five months ago, you helped deliver a stunning victory for the 4th ward. Before that victory, nobody gave us a chance. Well, we not only survived one of the most negative campaigns in the history of the 4th ward, we changed the entire course of the debate.

Before this campaign, nobody in Hoboken was talking about a dangerous gas Pipeline. We brought that issue to the council and got unanimous support to go on record against the gas pipeline.

This campaign made the surplus an issue. While they were trying to keep taxpayer money, I was fighting to give it back. Now, everyone's talking about the surplus.

Before our campaign, hope for a 4th ward park was at an all-time low. Today, a 4th ward park sits at the top of the city's agenda. We said: NO to a $20 million bond ordinance until a 4th ward park became a top priority. And now it is!

We led the charge to get $1.6 million in repairs to the parks we already have, including Mama Johnson Field, the Boys and Girls Club Park and Jackson Street Park, all in the 4th ward. We also got the city and the Housing Authority together for a new playing surface for Mama Johnson Field, so our kids can have a safe and enjoyable place to play.

This campaign brought attention to dangerous traffic conditions in the 4th ward. We promised to get action on these, and we delivered. We got buses rerouted. We got intersections painted. Stop signs installed. We got potholes filled, street lights repaired, and we put community service back in style.

And that's just five months of work. Imagine what we're going to be able to do with four whole years.

We need your help, though. We need volunteers to stuff envelopes, make phone calls, and knock on doors.

Make no mistake. We are in for a fight. Our opponent will follow the same playbook from November's election.

They will be negative. They'll be divisive, and will tell any lie to hide the truth.

We will be positive, We will be inclusive. And we will always put our neighborhood first.

We said the 4th ward needed new energy and a new direction. Well, the energy is you and the direction is forward.

Fourth Ward First!

See you Saturday,
Tim Occhipinti
4th Ward Councilman


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Hoboken City Auditor Clarifies Surplus Issues

A statement from  the Mayor's office to hopefully clarify how much budget surplus is actually available for Hoboken's Municipal Budget for 2011:

CITY AUDITOR CLARIFIES SURPLUS ISSUES

Due to confusion that was created by Council President Mason’s letter to constituents, the City asked for clarification from the City’s auditor regarding the budget surplus.

The letter speaks for itself, and in the interest of ensuring a full understanding of this issue, the public is strongly urged to read the auditor’s letter in its entirety to understand the full facts regarding Hoboken’s surplus and the manner it is legally permitted and fiscally appropriate to be used.



The letter also can be viewed on the City website: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/businessadmin/auditor-letter-3-23-11.pdf

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/city-auditor-clarifies-surplus-issues/
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City of Hoboken Launches "Temporary No Parking" Map and Text Service

Here is the latest in innovation from the City of Hoboken.....

HOBOKEN LAUNCHES LIVE “TEMPORARY NO PARKING” MAP AND TEXT SERVICE

Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced the beta launch of new software that will allow residents the ability to check online or on their cell phones to see if they are parked in a temporary no parking area. The software is still undergoing additional testing.
City of Hoboken's No Parking Service (in Beta)

“We're zeroing in on a solution to one of the most frustrating aspects of parking in Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “By posting active and upcoming Temporary No Parking signs online in real-time, we’re moving towards ending the days of returning to your car only to discover it's been towed.”

The live Temporary No Parking map is available on the City website at http://www.hobokennj.org/tnp

In addition, the new system will allow residents to text "parking" followed by a Hoboken address (e.g.: parking 505 grand st) to 41411 to instantly receive notifications of temporary no parking rules scheduled or in effect for the immediate area.

The software, designed to be useful to all residents, was developed by fivepm technology (formerly named ParkingMapper), the same company that developed the GPS tracking software for the City's Hop shuttle system (http://www.hobokennj.org/thehop).

“This map is a live link to our database, so residents can now see the location of Temporary No Parking signs days before they're actually posted on-street,” said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs. “We’re asking residents to help us out by participating in the beta evaluation of the system as we tackle a very challenging project.”

Bug reports can be submitted to parking@hobokennj.org. The software works best with Firefox and Safari web browsers. Residents are reminded that the information in this beta version is not guaranteed to be accurate, should be considered approximate only, and that they are still responsible for observing all posted signs and obeying all parking rules and regulations.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-launches-live-temporary-no-parking-map-and-text-service/
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Reminder- Community Meeting Tonight at Rue School for Newark Street Safety

REMINDER CITY TO HOLD COMMUNITY MEETING ON
NEWARK STREET SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS

Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs will host a community meeting on Wednesday March 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Rue School gymnasium, 301 Garden Street, to involve residents in the process of improving safety along Newark Street.

The City of Hoboken has $240,000 in federal funding for improving safety along Newark Street between River Street and Washington Street. The funding, which was secured by Senator Robert Menendez, was awarded in 2009, and due to the time-sensitive nature of the funds, community input is critical to moving forward with the project.

On July 19, 2010, the City held the first community meeting to get initial public input.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/city-to-hold-community-meeting-on-newark-street-safety-improvements/
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3rd Ward Candidate Greg Lincoln Calls on Mason to Remove Mike Russo as Finance Chair

A press release from Greg Lincoln, 3rd Ward Candidate running against Mike Russo who sent an open letter to Council President Beth Mason....

LINCOLN CALLS ON MASON TO REMOVE RUSSO AS
CHAIR OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE

Dear Council President Mason,

Last week Mayor Zimmer released audit findings revealing that former Mayor and convicted felon Anthony Russo was receiving city health benefits that he was not qualified to receive following his conviction and imprisonment for taking bribes and illegal cash payments. In response to questions, Councilman Russo has not denied prior knowledge of his father's benefits; nor has Russo denied covering up his father's benefits during an investigation he personally conducted in 2008 into former employees illegally receiving city benefits. Instead of addressing these allegations, Russo has attempted to shift blame to the business administrator and Mayor Zimmer for conducting an audit that saves the city money.

Russo’s evasiveness in this matter speaks volumes about the manner in which he conducts city business and manages our tax dollars. Russo’s actions show he is incapable of conducting himself with the objectivity and impartiality that the position of Chair of the Finance Committee demands. The residents and taxpayers of Hoboken expect the Chair of the Finance Committee to act first and foremost in the best interests of the city, to be beyond reproach, and to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

In view of Russo's questionable behavior and the considerable indebtedness of the Russo family to the city, there is a blatant conflict of interest to have Councilman Russo remain as Chair of the Finance Committee.

It is incumbent upon you as Council President to immediately remove Russo as Chair of the Finance Committee until the issue of his family's health benefits and his father's court ordered restitution debts to the city are resolved. To allow Councilman Russo to remain as Chair of Finance Committee is an affront to open and honest government, and will erode the confidence of the public in the City Council's ability to conduct the business of the city.

Sincerely,
Greg Lincoln
3rd Ward City Council Candidate

Sources:

Russo Response to Lincoln Questions in the Hudson Reporter: http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/12372838/article--In-Hoboken--Councilman-Russo-responds-to-opponent-s-press-release-

http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/12379061/article--Mayor-Zimmer--Health-benefits-for-Russo-were-discovered-last-fall-

Press Release: Lincoln Demands Answers From Russo on Illegal Health Benefits: http://lincolnforcouncil.com/index.php?page=pressrelease&content=extended&id=2

Mayor Zimmer’s letter to City Council, March 11, 2011, stating termination of former Mayor Russo’s health benefits, in “Ethics Ordinance” on page 2 of: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/respack11/respac-3-16-11.pdf

Video of Dec. 3, 2008 Hoboken City Council meeting where Councilman Russo claims to have uncovered evidence of employees illegally receiving health benefits:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps4CmBwRuGE

Hudson Reporter article, March 2, 2006, by Tom Jennemann, stating former
Mayor Russo’s termination of health benefits: http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_stories_home/2408422/article-Russo-s-pension-cut-in-half-Jailed-former-mayor-receives-no-credit-for-time-spent-as-chief-executive

Hudson Reporter article, January 25, 2009, by Tim Carroll, explaining Councilman Russo’s confusion over the number of employees illegally receiving health benefits: http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/1821809/article-City--It-was-a-mistake-Five-not-qualified-but-receiving-city-benefits--two-others-under-review- ◦
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