Breaking: Special Meeting Canceled!

10/5/2009:

Whoops!

That special meeting you read about in today’s Breakfast Nuggets for Council President Dawn Zimmer to review the Director appointments of Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer has suddenly been canceled. Word of the cancellation was spread through the official city Twitter feed with no further explanation on the city website. The cancellation came minutes after Councilwoman Beth Mason sent this statement to the press:

city-council-special-meeting-canceled

Mason: Cancel Tuesday Night’s Special ‘Rubber-Stamp’ Meeting, Suspend Appointments Until After Election

(Hoboken, N.J.) — Mayoral candidate and Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason today called for Acting Mayor/Council President Dawn Zimmer to cancel Tuesday’s special meeting called by Zimmer, at which the Acting Mayor plans to push ahead with two appointments to run major city departments. The acting mayor also plans on making a third director’s appointment of her choosing at Wednesday’s regularly scheduled city council meeting.

“The acting mayor should not be making lame duck appointments that will bind the city to contracts that will last for four years,” said Mason. “Tuesday’s meeting should be canceled and no further appointments should be made until the people have elected a mayor on November 3.” Mason said she is troubled, not only by Zimmer’s abuse of her dual office holding power, but also by the lack of transparency in the hiring process, which could bind the city to contracts worth more than $1.2 million.

“The lack of transparency in this hiring process has been staggering. The council was never presented with a choice of candidates and there was no public hearing on their qualifications,” said Mason. “Meanwhile, the public and the media were not given the legally mandated 48-hour notice to comply with the Open Public Meetings Act.”

Mason went on to challenge Zimmer’s position that the meeting is necessary because the potential department heads might find other employment. “The notion that these people are so highly in demand, in an economy with a 10 percent unemployment rate, is laughable,” said Mason. “The reality is that Councilwoman Zimmer is looking to reward political backers with contracts and is attempting to put her stamp on the mayoralty when she has, in fact, not been elected by the people to that office.”

“Appointments of directors should be an open, deliberative process that allows the council to consider more than one candidate for the job,” added Mason. “Where are the other applicants for these positions? Where are the other candidates’ resumes? Are these the most qualified people for the job in the entire country, or were they names pulled out of a hat?”

Dave Carty asks “Where’s the transparency Dawn?” after the jump…

(Special Council Meeting Canceled, continued…)

Mason’s campaign co-chair Dave Carty questioned the urgency of the appointments when there are so many other important issues facing the city.

“Why are these appointments being considered at a last-minute special meeting in a conference room with little notice given to the public?” asked Carty.

“As a concerned resident of Hoboken, I find the Mayor/Council President’s closed hiring practice extremely troubling,” said Carty. “Where’s the vetting process? Where’s the open government? It’s not right that the same person who has the power to nominate these people also has the power to call a special meeting, and then vote on those same appointments. This cuts straight to the heart of why it’s an extreme conflict of interest for Dawn Zimmer to be both mayor and city council president, even for a short period of time. This is why it’s wrong for her to hold both jobs – plain and simple, for everyone to see.”

“Apparently, Ms Zimmer is continuing the failed policies of the past,” added Carty. “She is not bringing transparency and openness to Hoboken as she promised.” Mason compared the hurried process of Zimmer’s hiring of directors, each of whom will earn more than $100,000 a year plus benefits, with Zimmer’s long, drawn out process to appoint volunteers to the City Housing Authority.

“To fill the housing authority’s volunteer position, Zimmer put 12 residents who were interested in helping their community through a long, arduous, public vetting process. But for important, high paid positions, she has chosen a completely closed, hurried hiring process that could leave us with political cronies of the acting mayor and council president running crucial city departments for the next four years,” said Mason. “This is another example of Dawn Zimmer’s situational ethics – transparency and open government are important to her, except when they are not.”

So if you were trying to figure out whether to go to Kim Glatt’s campaign kickoff or this Special Meeting, your choice just got easier.

What do you think of Zimmer’s properly notice the meeting and have a large room available for the crowd? How about Mason and Carty’s comments? Feel free as always to comment below…

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31 Comments on "Breaking: Special Meeting Canceled!"

What the F
Member
What the F

PJ – Beth is keeping the focus on transparency ? Why don’t you ask Beth M about her reinstatement of her salary including back pay after the last election.

PJIII
Member
PJIII

She didn’t try to hide it, so how does it go against your claim that Beth isn’t transparent?

In response to What the F who said:
PJ – Beth is keeping the focus on transparency ? Why don’t you ask Beth M about her reinstatement of her salary including back pay after the last election.

PJIII
Member
PJIII

Good for Beth in keeping the focus on transparency. The question Beth asks is “how” Dawn is going about the process (although you can’t ignore the question of “why” with a month to go before the election).

No one can question Beth’s commitment to open government. Dawn’s is now in question. If Dawn loses, her new appointments run the City while she runs the Council. Is that fair to the next Mayor if it isn’t Dawn? What if someone else were doing this now. Dawn’s hundreds of supporters would be protesting in front of that interim mayor’s house. If there are people in the job and we are not going to save money, why rush. The current directors report to Dawn, so she has control over them now.

Dawn should focus on cutting millions out of the budget (instead of the “thousands” she lists in her accomplishments) in her last month in office, not appointing people to these roles (and you can’t ignore that her appointments are all people she has a past with as opposed to her former campaign promise of scouring the state looking for the best people).

And Dawn was also unemployed before Petey went to the big house, so she could have saved us 60K by not taking the Mayor’s salary as interim mayor if she is so concerned about lowering costs.

iratevoter
Member
iratevoter
Beth is focused on Beth running for mayor. She likes to run negative campaigns based on phony issues. “Dual hats Dawn”…?? As I said before, with the city literally falling into the river, flooding and sewage problems and a mandatory reassessment coming up she comes up with “dual hats”?? WTF??!! Let’s get back to my questions that no one answered about Beth’s so-called business experience: where did she work? When? What were her titles? What did she do? When did she last have a full-time job? Time for a little transparency Beth! In response to PJIII who said: Good for Beth in keeping the focus on transparency. The question Beth asks is “how” Dawn is going about the process (although you can’t ignore the question of “why” with a month to go before the election). No one can question Beth’s commitment to open government. Dawn’s is now in question. If Dawn loses, her new appointments run the City while she runs the Council. Is that fair to the next Mayor if it isn’t Dawn? What if someone else were doing this now. Dawn’s hundreds of supporters would be protesting in front of that interim mayor’s house. If there are people in the job and we are not going to save money, why rush. The current directors report to Dawn, so she has control over them now. Dawn should focus on cutting millions out of the budget (instead of the “thousands” she lists in her accomplishments) in her last month in… Read more »
oceanbloo
Member
oceanbloo

Campaign literature in our mailbox up til now: Mason=4, Everyone Else=0.

On the plus side, while Mason’s first two flyers were negative, the last two haven’t been. Much prefer the positive ones.

Iratevoter – I totally agree with your point that the “dual hats” issue was/is a total waste of time, effort, paper, strategy, etc. Too many other important issues on which to focus – ones that many citizens actually care about.

In response to iratevoter who said:
Beth is focused on Beth running for mayor. She likes to run negative campaigns based on phony issues. “Dual hats Dawn”…?? As I said before, with the city literally falling into the river, flooding and sewage problems and a mandatory reassessment coming up she comes up with “dual hats”?? WTF??!!

Let’s get back to my questions that no one answered about Beth’s so-called business experience: where did she work? When? What were her titles? What did she do? When did she last have a full-time job?

Time for a little transparency Beth!

poed
Member
poed
Most Mayors just appoint a director. Zimmer’s problem appears to be that she tries to be too open by offering interviews with the directors. I don”t believe this was ever done before. Maybe you are right, maybe she should just follow in everyone else’s footsteps and appoint without CC interviews. Re: hiring directors, This falls under, the damned if you do damned if you don’t category. Some people are “screaming” because Zimmer is changing some directors (offering a lower salary), but the few that she hasn’t changed (left over from Camm) she is getting criticized for (Pope). We are saving money by getting new directors as Zimmer has lowered the salary for her hires. So which way do you go? New employees with lower salaries or keep Camms people in at higher salaries? If Mason or anyone else gets elected, they too, can and probably will change directors. Why would anybody put in the hours necessary to accomplish Mayoral dutes and not be paid? That’s just ridiculous. Would you work for free at your job? In response to PJIII who said: Good for Beth in keeping the focus on transparency. The question Beth asks is “how” Dawn is going about the process (although you can’t ignore the question of “why” with a month to go before the election). No one can question Beth’s commitment to open government. Dawn’s is now in question. If Dawn loses, her new appointments run the City while she runs the Council. Is that fair to… Read more »
Red Haven
Member
Red Haven
Wrong again poed. Mayors don’t “just appoint a Director” because every Director needs consent of the governing body to take the position. No Mayor can unilaterally appoint a Director. This mess was created by our fiscal monitor Judy Tripodi who inappropriately allowed Peter Cammarano’s Directors to begin work before the City Council voted to approve them. Tripodi has since repeated the mistake by allowing Zimmer to do the same. The difference is Cammarano wanted a vote on his Directors on July 22, and Zimmer balked because she wanted to drag Terry LaBruno through a show-trial in front of the council. Now Ian Sacs has been on the job for a month without a council confirmation. That’s not his fault. It’s Tripodi’s for allowing the Faulkner Act to be superseded by her abuse of power. In response to poed who said: Most Mayors just appoint a director. Zimmer’s problem appears to be that she tries to be too open by offering interviews with the directors. I don”t believe this was ever done before. Maybe you are right, maybe she should just follow in everyone else’s footsteps and appoint without CC interviews. Re: hiring directors, This falls under, the damned if you do damned if you don’t category. Some people are “screaming” because Zimmer is changing some directors (offering a lower salary), but the few that she hasn’t changed (left over from Camm) she is getting criticized for (Pope). We are saving money by getting new directors as Zimmer has lowered the… Read more »
matt_72
Member

Abuse of power? You do get that ever since Judy arrived, the city council has had essentially no authority when it comes to spending money. They can vote for or against just about anything and Judy can still do just what she wants. I don’t like that, but then again I liked the alternative (an illegally underfunded budget, Roberts still able to spend like a drunken sailor & a completely incompetent finance team that had no clue where the city was financially) even less. They city council’s votes on hiring/firing/budget/etc… are purely symbolic right now. I said that during the last election when folks blasted Mason & Zimmer for how they voted on the last budget & that hasn’t changed in the last few months. Judy runs the city finances and everything the mayor wants to spend money on has to be approved by Judy (remember, she decides not the CC), and with luck once she gets the city’s finances at least under control she will be gone and the CC can resume actually having a say in city finances. But until then, the CC is powerless. The “mistake” was letting the inmates run the asylum in this town for the last few decades and until the voters of Hoboken realize that and vote for people who plan on shaking up things, this mistake will never get fixed.

Determined
Member
Determined
Red Haven what’s wrong is your continued use of bold type to shout at all of us…. that bold type doesn’t improve your opinions it just makes you the loudest. Are you now saying Zimmer has control of Tripodi? Or Tripodi is abusing power? When was it announced that Zimmer’s directors would not be brought to City Council for confirmation? And when exactly was this show trial of Labruno? In response to matt_72 who said: Abuse of power? You do get that ever since Judy arrived, the city council has had essentially no authority when it comes to spending money. They can vote for or against just about anything and Judy can still do just what she wants. I don’t like that, but then again I liked the alternative (an illegally underfunded budget, Roberts still able to spend like a drunken sailor & a completely incompetent finance team that had no clue where the city was financially) even less. They city council’s votes on hiring/firing/budget/etc… are purely symbolic right now. I said that during the last election when folks blasted Mason & Zimmer for how they voted on the last budget & that hasn’t changed in the last few months. Judy runs the city finances and everything the mayor wants to spend money on has to be approved by Judy (remember, she decides not the CC), and with luck once she gets the city’s finances at least under control she will be gone and the CC can resume actually having… Read more »
elvisroberts
Member

there is one of those “State Law Yield to Peds” signs recently installed in the Street at Garden and 5th next to Church Square Park. I had complained to my Councilman years ago about that dangerous crossing, with speeding cars zooming up to Washington St. I don’t think he did anything about it but I’m glad, years later, someone has.

patssoxrevscelts
Member
patssoxrevscelts

I was walking across Washington and 9th on the north side yesterday about 1/3 of the way across the street and some jack*ss peeled out of 9th street, cutting in the oncoming lane, to take the left to go uptown and was within inches of us. After I yelled at him he proceeded to tell me I shouldn’t “get in the way of him when he has the green light”. I think this man truly didn’t think he had to yield to pedestrians properly in the crosswalk. Amazing.

In response to elvisroberts who said:
there is one of those “State Law Yield to Peds” signs recently installed in the Street at Garden and 5th next to Church Square Park. I had complained to my Councilman years ago about that dangerous crossing, with speeding cars zooming up to Washington St. I don’t think he did anything about it but I’m glad, years later, someone has.

realstuff
Member
realstuff

Let’s be fair, Ian has not been in there long…give him a chance. Also, realize that he is still not official. I have talked to him on several occasions and he seems OK. Of course, I did talk to any others that may have been considered for the position. The jury is still out on Sacs.

Litteredboken
Member
Litteredboken
Hmm. From my perspective, I have not seen any improvement in parking recently; in fact, I have noticed MORE violators getting away with illegal parking. Now, I will say- to be fair- maybe I am just noticing it more. But he has made approximately $10,000 since being in office the past month. Disregaring taxes being taken out, $2500 a week, $700 a day, so that’s an hourly wage of about $100/hour. For what? What parking improvements have other people seen that I am missing? Have you seen his webpage on the city website? I know you are not his apologist, realstuff, but since you have spoken, to him, maybe you can offer insight (since he isn’t offering any himself) on these claims. (Quoting the webpage) – he is supposedly “bringing a host of innovative ideas to the community.” Like…? – he is “developing internal protocols to create a formal investigation process regarding resident complaints about parking and transportation issues”- Can we get an example of a successful investigation? If I call to complain about the abundance of parking issues, what will happen and how will I know it’s being addressed? Details would be nice. – his office is “Enabling the Utility’s parking enforcement officers with a broader responsibility to protect pedestrian safety via “zero tolerance” parking enforcement at dangerous locations.” What are these “dangerous” locations? Aren’t all locations potentially dangerous? How are these officers being “enabled” and how are their responsibilities being “broadened”? Do we REALLY need to point out… Read more »
Litteredboken
Member
Litteredboken

This do-nothing-so-far, double-talk Transportation and Parking Authority guy Ian Sacs is one of these special appointees, right?

Not that any of the other candidates have a better candidate or parking solutions in mind. At least, if they do, they aren’t giving us details.

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