Castellano: How did we get here?

11/11/2008:

First Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano sent Hoboken411 the following letter:

Lies, Deception & Deceit

theresa-castellano-hoboken-nj-new-jersey.jpgHow did we get here? Regarding City finances, the short version is through lies, deception and deceit on the part of the Mayor and Business Administrator.

2001
David Roberts elected, inherits a $52 million dollar budget, a $5 million dollar surplus and declares “$52 million is an obscene figure to run the City.”

2005
Roberts is running for re-election, but four council member close the city for four days because the budget is too high. Mayor claims politics and his three running mates confirm it’s politics.

2008
Roberts increases budget to a soaring $120 million dollars. Administrator admits to deferring the over-expenditures along with the Mayor, but was also hiding it from the Council with the under funded budget.

Understand, under the Faulkner Act, only the Mayor and Business Administrator devise the budget. They alone conspired the deceptions. NOT the Council, Finance Committee or the CFO.

What Now?

The Council is totally committed to working with the state monitor with the real numbers and put the City on the road to financial recovery. Amendments to the budget have been recommended at this last meeting and I am sure there will be more in future meetings to alleviate this hardship.

There is so much more to this saga, with the disregard to the taxpayers’ money.

I am very proud of my minority status under this administration. I have been a strong advocate for spending reform while Roberts enjoyed is solid block of six YES votes to support his agendas, which he no longer enjoys.

I would value the opportunity to answer questions on this issue. Please contact me at 201-656-9559 or 201-233-3915

Sincerely,
Theresa Castellano

(FYI – since I typed this faxed copy of the letter in myself – here is the original for your to review)

Leave a Reply

70 Comments on "Castellano: How did we get here?"

HHoney
Member
HHoney
[quote comment=”118306″][quote comment=”118304″][quote comment=”118292″][quote comment=”118276″]Looking at the budget we can definitely get some cuts in the Fire and Police services. $15m (for each) excluding the pension fund cost is obscene for a town a mile square. We don’t need 3 fire houses running round the clock. Plus sanitation costs are high but not as high as I was expecting. You can look at the big numbers on the budget but the truth is all the $50/100k’s are the numbers to watch. Put a stop to all the community spending for 6-12 months or cancel some of the projects altogether. And we need more explanation about the numerous “Other Expenses”…what are they, expensive meals for meetings and luxuries that we can’t afford? Also well done to those two guys who were at the council meeting last week (the last two). Hopefully they made the council members feel a little uncomfortable[/quote] As shown on 411 in March 08, Rich Tremitiedi in the role as advisor to the Mayor advised that an audit be performed for the police and fire depts. He suggested that the DCA, Dept. of Local Gov’t Services be called in. Mayor Roberts did NOT take this advice. However, due to the state supervision, this audit has been started. It will be given to Judy Tripodi, Fiscal Control Officer. We all should ask that the completed report be open and transparent since it is in the public’s interest and paid for by distressed cities funding and the taxpayer is paying… Read more »
truth1
Member
truth1

Check on 11-18-08 Budget hearing.It’s not official yet. Call city clerk to confirm 201-420-2070.

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob

[quote comment=”118370″]3 (or is it 4 or 5?) firehouses in a square mile vacinity is ridiculous. They all do a great job when called upon but some of the firehouses should be cut to part time and if it leads to job losses or relocations then so be it. People outside of this town manage to deal with less. We’re not nyc in that we don’t have that many high rise buildings (>5 floors).[/quote]
Have you noticed the building going on in this town? Take another look around. What is being torn down is being replaced with building up, and up and up. We have a hotel over 20 stories on the waterfront, and if developers have their way, there are more higher buildings to come on Observer. Once these firehouses are gone, and the property sold, THEY DO NOT COME BACK !!! There are many ways this city will find for cuts without risking peoples lives. I’m giving them at least that much credit.

truth1
Member
truth1
[quote comment=”118343″][quote comment=”118325″]The DCA, Div. of Local Goc’t Services has serviced Edison, Livingston, Paterson, Harrison, Irvington among others. The professional assigned to assess the Hoboken Fire Dept. is an experienced well-respected expert known around the state. Let’s not jump to conclusions regarding closing fire stations. The same goes for the Police Dept. Remember, no acts before facts…no knee-jerk reactions…Good advice for the Mayor, Fiscal Monitor, City Council and us, the voters :idea:[/quote] We need immediate cuts. Are we going to wait until the next FY to make a decision to cut the $223k we’re giving to “Save the Youth” or the $50k to the Jubilee center? We’re not expecting to totally shelve some of these, just don’t put the bells and whistles on. I think it was mentioned at the council meeting that a large proportion of the budget is probably spent already for this year – and you can be sure if it’s not that the Directors are telling their workforce to spend it before it’s cut. In this case I think action is required not talking[/quote] True, a large % is spent,but remember, it took 7 years for this to happen. Sadly, the corrective action has to be planned and it can’t all be done in one year because the city has a duty to provide service. Yes, this should be provided in a cost-effective manner. That’s why you need PROMPT PLANNING AND ACTION. It will PROBABLY take at least two years of hurt to right this ship,… Read more »
willowres
Member
willowres

[quote comment=”118325″]The DCA, Div. of Local Goc’t Services has serviced Edison, Livingston, Paterson, Harrison, Irvington among others. The professional assigned to assess the Hoboken Fire Dept. is an experienced well-respected expert known around the state. Let’s not jump to conclusions regarding closing fire stations. The same goes for the Police Dept. Remember, no acts before facts…no knee-jerk reactions…Good advice for the Mayor, Fiscal Monitor, City Council and us, the voters :idea:[/quote]

We need immediate cuts. Are we going to wait until the next FY to make a decision to cut the $223k we’re giving to “Save the Youth” or the $50k to the Jubilee center? We’re not expecting to totally shelve some of these, just don’t put the bells and whistles on.

I think it was mentioned at the council meeting that a large proportion of the budget is probably spent already for this year – and you can be sure if it’s not that the Directors are telling their workforce to spend it before it’s cut.

In this case I think action is required not talking

wpDiscuz