Reader Mail: Thoughts on recent hires

9/14/2009:

I received an email from Hoboken411 reader Matt over the weekend, who chimed in about Acting Mayor Zimmer’s recent hires, a NY Times article from earlier in the year, and some Dilbert cartoons that seem to hit the nail on the head…

soccer-fields-are-the-new-back-rooms-in-hoboken-politics

Soccer fields – “reformer back rooms”

“Take a look at Dawn promising jobs as she pretends to play soccer! That is some successful networking!

Three formerly “unemployed and underemployed” people quoted or mentioned in the article end up with 6-figure salaries at Hoboken City Hall in less than six months! I also wonder how, since the Zimmer camp bashed other candidates for the Russo affiliation, how they will spin Leo Pellegrini – who’s closely connected to the Russo’s as well. These are the new bosses, but since they cut deals in the soccer field instead of the smoke-filled room, they are “reformers.”

Think about it! If you owned a large company, who would you let go first? Your worst performing employees, of course! Dilbert sums it up much better:”

dilbert-zimmer-1
dilbert-zimmer-2

Do you think these new hires are qualified and just “victims of the economy,” or just more dead weight at City Hall?

Leave a Reply

24 Comments on "Reader Mail: Thoughts on recent hires"

Red Haven
Member
Red Haven

Merit has yet to come into play in any of Dawn Zimmer’s decisions. Dawn Zimmer has never managed, hired or fired anyone (except perhaps domestic help) in her life. Now she’s handed the keys to a 121 million dollar budget and what does she do? Dawn hires her soccer buddies to be directors. Beyond lame.

CalGard
Member
CalGard

I believe that the process the Mayor is using to select directors is more than is required by law. The director’s jobs were publicly posted and open to anyone to apply. This is not required. The mayor is entitled to chose appointees to these jobs. These appointees must be approved by the council.

How the mayor selects which job applicants to appoint is not part of the public process. There is no obligation to share with the public the manner in which the selections are made. I don’t believe it is in Hoboken’s interests or that it is fair to the applicants (chosen or not) for this information to be made public. I’m struggling to find examples where this sort of public disclosure is made and why.

The selected appointees are those the mayor deems best qualified. The success or failure of these individuals when they carry out their jobs will be evident and is part of the mayor’s legacy. We are paying the salaries of all city employees and should be watching carefully to ensure we are getting our money’s worth.

I would really like to see a city wide system to collect and make available in some acceptable summarized format, the feedback from citizens on employee performance.

jc5201
Member
jc5201
As a reformer achieving the top spot in our city albeit temporarily, doing more than what is “required by law” is not good enough. Having inexperienced or little experienced directors making top dollar is not good enough. It amazes me that her supporters, most of whom consider themselves reformers, can allow blatant monetary irresponsibility. It amazes me that so many people have settled for “good enough.” In response to CalGard who said: I believe that the process the Mayor is using to select directors is more than is required by law. The director’s jobs were publicly posted and open to anyone to apply. This is not required. The mayor is entitled to chose appointees to these jobs. These appointees must be approved by the council. How the mayor selects which job applicants to appoint is not part of the public process. There is no obligation to share with the public the manner in which the selections are made. I don’t believe it is in Hoboken’s interests or that it is fair to the applicants (chosen or not) for this information to be made public. I’m struggling to find examples where this sort of public disclosure is made and why. The selected appointees are those the mayor deems best qualified. The success or failure of these individuals when they carry out their jobs will be evident and is part of the mayor’s legacy. We are paying the salaries of all city employees and should be watching carefully to ensure we are… Read more »
matt_72
Member
Here is the problem, you are assuming that merit isn’t how she is making decisions. I can only guess that you just don’t like that she is hiring lots of folks with “the wrong DNA” and that is the only qualification you care about. But you have no idea of what her decision making process is. You don’t know who’s resumes she read, why she discarded those applicants or who she interviewed. You don’t even know for sure who applied for what job (formally or informally). And given the fact that she probably knows most these people personally, you also forget that maybe she doesn’t need to interview many b/c she just doesn’t think they share her vision of things and that she can’t work w/ them (that is probably the #1 qualification that matters after work experience). If I were doing the hiring, I wouldn’t waste my time interviewing people I know I can’t work with either. And I sure wouldn’t ask the opinions the gasbags that show up at the CC meetings to opine on who I should be working with if I were mayor. What I think is funniest, is nobody is clearly panning her candidates on their qualifications or inability to do their jobs. What a change vs. the last mayor. She could do better, but then again I won’t be happy until she hires folks w/ a reputation for slashing costs and cuts the city payroll by a good 30-40% and I don’t know that… Read more »
Watchmaker
Member
Watchmaker
I missed this “gem”. Listen matty boy, I am not assuming anything, I am looking at the facts: she has not considered ANYONE other than Sacs. She even said so (“he has been working with me so no need”). And the word on the street is that he was bragging about getting the job way back when Cammarano got arrested. How do you justify, in this economy, not looking at a larger pool of candidates? I know how: by assuming that Dawn is good just by not being born and raised in Hoboken. matt_72 also said: “nobody is clearly panning her candidates on their qualifications…” Are you joking? A ton of people complained that Sacs has never been a manager and has never done in parking. In fact Dawn and her Council even had to change the department name to give him more credibility. Dawn just fell for his “boyish looks” – she obviously has no clue about engineering. And BTW, I don’t support the gravy train at all: I’m a newcomer myself and work in the city. I don’t have any reason to prefer B/Rs or yuppies for that matter. I just see a lot of Sarah Palin in Dawn Zimmer (without the looks that is :-)): many empty slogans which resonate with yuppies, but nothing of substance. I guess I will agree with you when I see the cost slashing you always talk about. But so far she has actually INCREASED the budget and the city employees seem… Read more »
Colin
Member
Loved the last line! Very true In response to matt_72 who said: Here is the problem, you are assuming that merit isn’t how she is making decisions. I can only guess that you just don’t like that she is hiring lots of folks with “the wrong DNA” and that is the only qualification you care about. But you have no idea of what her decision making process is. You don’t know who’s resumes she read, why she discarded those applicants or who she interviewed. You don’t even know for sure who applied for what job (formally or informally). And given the fact that she probably knows most these people personally, you also forget that maybe she doesn’t need to interview many b/c she just doesn’t think they share her vision of things and that she can’t work w/ them (that is probably the #1 qualification that matters after work experience). If I were doing the hiring, I wouldn’t waste my time interviewing people I know I can’t work with either. And I sure wouldn’t ask the opinions the gasbags that show up at the CC meetings to opine on who I should be working with if I were mayor. What I think is funniest, is nobody is clearly panning her candidates on their qualifications or inability to do their jobs. What a change vs. the last mayor. She could do better, but then again I won’t be happy until she hires folks w/ a reputation for slashing costs and cuts… Read more »
matt_72
Member

Why does she need to even show you the resume? She is hiring the person, not you. She has to work w/ the person, not you. And she is the judge of the person’s qualifications, not you. Half the folks you vote for I consider completely unqualified to do more than make license plates, but you still vote for them b/c you like their qualifications. Qualifications are in the eye of the beholder and that isn’t you when it comes to filling these jobs, that is Zimmer.

The process seems pretty transparent to me. Zimmer is hiring who she wants, just like any mayor does. And some of them I like, others not so much. But it is transparent. What do you want her to do, put together some useless committee that will spend the next 2 years picking names out of a hat?

escaped68
Member

I agree with you on her hiring people she wants but I would like to add she hired people she can trust. And as far as nepotism it easier to fire someone that isn’t related.

In response to matt_72 who said:
Why does she need to even show you the resume? She is hiring the person, not you. She has to work w/ the person, not you. And she is the judge of the person’s qualifications, not you. Half the folks you vote for I consider completely unqualified to do more than make license plates, but you still vote for them b/c you like their qualifications. Qualifications are in the eye of the beholder and that isn’t you when it comes to filling these jobs, that is Zimmer.

The process seems pretty transparent to me. Zimmer is hiring who she wants, just like any mayor does. And some of them I like, others not so much. But it is transparent. What do you want her to do, put together some useless committee that will spend the next 2 years picking names out of a hat?

jman01
Member
jman01
Zimmer was the one who said she will conduct an open public process and she will provide transparency. Yes, it’s a joke. Zimmer is a sham and a LIAR. The only thing that’s transparent is her intentions to make the status quo work for her and not for the public good. Of course the public has to work with these people. Haven’t you been to any city meetings? At least a dozen times a year they ask for public input on community projects, and that’s where residents (like you, if you attended) work directly with the Directors. The public pays the Directors’ salaries so we should have access to their resumes. In response to matt_72 who said: Why does she need to even show you the resume? She is hiring the person, not you. She has to work w/ the person, not you. And she is the judge of the person’s qualifications, not you. Half the folks you vote for I consider completely unqualified to do more than make license plates, but you still vote for them b/c you like their qualifications. Qualifications are in the eye of the beholder and that isn’t you when it comes to filling these jobs, that is Zimmer. The process seems pretty transparent to me. Zimmer is hiring who she wants, just like any mayor does. And some of them I like, others not so much. But it is transparent. What do you want her to do, put together some useless committee that will… Read more »
strand tramp
Member
strand tramp

do you feel the same about obama’s “czars”? after all the czars in the white house are in fact a violation of the US Constitution.

In response to jman01 who said:
Zimmer was the one who said she will conduct an open public process and she will provide transparency. Yes, it’s a joke. Zimmer is a sham and a LIAR. The only thing that’s transparent is her intentions to make the status quo work for her and not for the public good.

Of course the public has to work with these people. Haven’t you been to any city meetings? At least a dozen times a year they ask for public input on community projects, and that’s where residents (like you, if you attended) work directly with the Directors.

The public pays the Directors’ salaries so we should have access to their resumes.

Watchmaker
Member
Watchmaker

I thought the definition of “open process” is that she is not the only judge, but the public at large.

Do you not realize how irrational your argument is? Then again, you are so in love with your new mayor, you can’t open your eyes and see how similar she is to the one she replaced. But, I have to give you credit: at least you’re honest. 🙂

In response to matt_72 who said:
Why does she need to even show you the resume? She is hiring the person, not you. She has to work w/ the person, not you. And she is the judge of the person’s qualifications, not you. Half the folks you vote for I consider completely unqualified to do more than make license plates, but you still vote for them b/c you like their qualifications. Qualifications are in the eye of the beholder and that isn’t you when it comes to filling these jobs, that is Zimmer.

The process seems pretty transparent to me. Zimmer is hiring who she wants, just like any mayor does. And some of them I like, others not so much. But it is transparent. What do you want her to do, put together some useless committee that will spend the next 2 years picking names out of a hat?

oceanbloo
Member
oceanbloo

It’s common knowledge that the private sector pays more than the public sector. What’s happening is that due to layoffs, there are more qualified people available to choose from and willing to work for less pay than they might otherwise.

Having a larger pool of applicants to choose from is a good thing for Hoboken. It makes me laugh that people are making this into a bad thing.

Watchmaker
Member
Watchmaker

The point is precisely that Zimmer IS NOT looking into a larger pool, but instead is hiring her friends. Which is sort of what caused the over-bloated budget in the first place: nepotism.

matt_72: how exactly do you know that these guys are better AT ALL then the existing ones? Because Dawn said so? They were not born in Hoboken? Or do you play “recession soccer” too?

CalGard: you make a valid point about benefits of the competition for jobs. But, then why don’t you criticize Dawn Zimmer for not interviewing other qualified people? Seems like only her buddies get hired: we are replacing one nepotism with another, based on Dawn Zimmer’s political ego.

In response to oceanbloo who said:
It’s common knowledge that the private sector pays more than the public sector. What’s happening is that due to layoffs, there are more qualified people available to choose from and willing to work for less pay than they might otherwise.

Having a larger pool of applicants to choose from is a good thing for Hoboken. It makes me laugh that people are making this into a bad thing.

matt_72
Member
A. I play “no trading going” on web surfing B. She doesn’t need to interview everyone, just folks she doesn’t know but might have the qualifications to merit an interview (did you interview everywhere you sent a resume to?). If you know a person well enough, an interview isn’t necessary b/c you already have a sense of the person from your past interactions w/ them (that is the purpose of an interview after all) C. given the state of the city it is clear it was run by morons for years (and not just Roberts, he didn’t do it alone) so unless these folks are brain dead, they are an improvement D. not everyone born in Hoboken is an idiot, just like not all non-BNRs are smart or honest (Petey was a dumb crook and he isn’t a BNR – I hated him despite his non-BNR status b/c it was clear he was a crook from the get go) E. nepotism? who is she related to that she hired? how do you know any are close friends of hers? and how do you know they got preferrential treatment? I know tons of folks in my field and would hire many if given the opportunity, but wouldn’t call the hiring of them as nepotism as I don’t consider them friends (but I know they are darn smart). In response to Watchmaker who said: The point is precisely that Zimmer IS NOT looking into a larger pool, but instead is hiring her… Read more »
Watchmaker
Member
Watchmaker
Man, you act like a baby when you’re caught in a contradiction. 🙂 Here’s a definition I got on the internet(s): “nepotism [(nep-uh-tiz-uhm)] Favoritism granted to relatives or close friends, without regard to their merit.” Seems to me she’s only hired close supporters (at least that’s what she called Sacs at the CC) without regard to their merit: otherwise she would have interviewed someone else. It is not about having to interview everyone, this is more like consider ANYONE not her friend. And LISTEN to the public: otherwise it’s pretty arrogant of her, without any management qualifications, deciding on her own. BTW, how do you defend her hiring of Sacs for over 100k when he was willing to join Cammarano for 80k? This is just bad business. And what about the Russo man Pellegrini? Man you guys are going to eat your own words soon enough. 🙂 In response to matt_72 who said: A. I play “no trading going” on web surfing B. She doesn’t need to interview everyone, just folks she doesn’t know but might have the qualifications to merit an interview (did you interview everywhere you sent a resume to?). If you know a person well enough, an interview isn’t necessary b/c you already have a sense of the person from your past interactions w/ them (that is the purpose of an interview after all) C. given the state of the city it is clear it was run by morons for years (and not just Roberts, he didn’t… Read more »
jman01
Member
jman01

oceanbloo-

Guess you didn’t read the previous 411 article.

Zimmer isn’t looking at the pool of applicants. She’s zeroing in on her less qualified friends.

“No, Forbes does not appear to be anywhere near as qualified as Todd Poole, or (gasp) even Fred Bado – and Zimmer passed over at least one more highly qualified person who actually lives in Hoboken (Forbes does not).”

These are not isolated cases, there are several highly qualified people who have applied for the jobs and the appointments. Zimmer isn’t interviewing a pool of people, she isn’t showing us resumes, there is nothing transparent about this process.

Several who applied for non-paying appointments didn’t even get notification about the council reviews. Why? Because Dawn already had her person selected long ago and wasn’t going to bother with process.

In response to oceanbloo who said:
It’s common knowledge that the private sector pays more than the public sector. What’s happening is that due to layoffs, there are more qualified people available to choose from and willing to work for less pay than they might otherwise.

Having a larger pool of applicants to choose from is a good thing for Hoboken. It makes me laugh that people are making this into a bad thing.

oceanbloo
Member
oceanbloo
You’re right, I didn’t read the article. I should have before commenting, but thought I was making a fairly generic statement. Anyway, if it is true that Dawn is not being transparent, then she’s not going to get my vote. I’m going to throw my hands up right now and say that I am lost in all of this mess. At least Cammarano was an easy-to-spot crook. I’m not sure I can ever forget Mason’s alignment with the Russos and horrific Church Towers vote. People I trust aren’t saying good things about Zimmer, and I’m disappointed with her lack of preparedness (though still feel that she means well for Hoboken). It’s looking more and more like I may sit out this election, like Margaret. Never thought I’d be saying that, but I guess that is what it has come to. In response to jman01 who said: oceanbloo- Guess you didn’t read the previous 411 article. Zimmer isn’t looking at the pool of applicants. She’s zeroing in on her less qualified friends. “No, Forbes does not appear to be anywhere near as qualified as Todd Poole, or (gasp) even Fred Bado – and Zimmer passed over at least one more highly qualified person who actually lives in Hoboken (Forbes does not).” Zimmer Names More Directors These are not isolated cases, there are several highly qualified people who have applied for the jobs and the appointments. Zimmer isn’t interviewing a pool of people, she isn’t showing us resumes, there is nothing transparent… Read more »
wpDiscuz