Campaign Fact Check – Part II

11/2/2009:

Two Views of the Zimmer Record, continued

First we looked at a Kim Glatt mailer, now let’s look at one of Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s pieces of literature. Like all of Zimmer’s mailers, this one attempts to make the case that “In just a few short weeks” she has a growing list of “accomplishments.” Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

zimmer-campaign-accomplishments-challenged-hoboken-nj

  • Established fiscal responsibility benchmarks to restore local control

Zimmer doesn’t list the actual benchmarks in her literature because not even one of them is anything more than what was already required by state law. There is no new ground here. See for yourself:

  • Adoption of a fully funded budget (well, duh!)
  • Completion of a certified audit (has to be done every year)
  • Preparation, adoption and implementation of a Corrective Action Plan addressing any issues arising in the Certified Audit (standard operating procedure)
  • Hiring of a qualified Business Administrator (will it be Lenz or Tripodi?)

All four are required by law with or without Zimmer’s buzzwords. On to the next one…

  • Cut Mayor’s and Director’s salaries by 10%

Well, strictly speaking she hasn’t done this because after four months of trying as Council President Zimmer still can’t get the wording correct on the Salary Ordinance. By the way, this Acting Mayor and all three of her new directors got raises over what their last jobs paid them courtesy of the city taxpayers. Some bargain.

  • Won approval of the critical Southeastern Flood pump

This is false. The only movement on Zimmer’s watch was a simple easement approval from Hudson County that was requested by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority. The flood pump plan was the proposal of Zimmer’s opponents back in 2007. Just watch this video of the pump announcement from that time to see who was originally pushing for the pumps.

Here’s a hint: it wasn’t Dawn Zimmer.

  • Instituted safeguards to limit political influence over zoning decisions

Yeah, so now instead of one guy appointing campaign contributors to the Zoning Board we have a five person council majority led by Zimmer making the call after wasting hours of time pretending they didn’t have their minds made up before the meeting started. They bumped their political ally Tony Soares to a permanent position and picked $3,000 donation giver James Aibel to replace Soares as an alternate. Business as usual.

  • Made high quality appointments through an open application process

This should read “hired my unemployed, underemployed, and soon-to-be unemployed friends and soccer playing buddies to be my directors.” The open application process was a farce, and no public vetting was done of Zimmer’s directors. Zimmer promised council hearings, which never happened.

  • Restored cross-town bus service through a new, more cost effective approach

Work to restore the cross-town bus was accomplished by holdover Director Terry LaBruno, not Zimmer. Note the bold part of the line. That was put in there to try and appease people like matt_72, who think the bus is a waste of money that shouldn’t have been brought back. Not that matt_72 would ever vote for anyone but Zimmer of course.

  • Ended longevity pay for Directors

And wasn’t that the major reform everybody was screaming for after all? Oh, you say it wasn’t, and you don’t even know what this means? Well, it doesn’t mean much. Zimmer’s under-qualified Directors aren’t even eligible for longevity pay as new employees, and are still overpaid without it.

  • Won public commitment to fix state legislation that would have allowed NJ Transit to go forward with their plan to build skyscrapers over the South Hoboken rail yards.

Hey! What happened? Zimmer originally claimed she had HALTED the legislation. That got the powerful State Senate sponsor so angry he re-doubled his efforts to get this thing passed during the lame duck session of the legislature. Hardly what Zimmer intended, but she is a bit of a neophyte after all.

Here’s the bottom line

It’s clear today that a majority of Hoboken voters do not want Dawn Zimmer to be Mayor. The question now, is whether the majority of anti-Zimmer voters can agree on one candidate to beat her in this winner-take-all election.

Get out and vote tomorrow!

(And don’t forget to stay on topic please!)

Leave a Reply

29 Comments on "Campaign Fact Check – Part II"

hobposer
Member
hobposer

Hey P! Can you stop making categories about politics, it is a little overkill, can you please make tops like baking pies and cookies, hay rides and things not associated with politics.

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob

and YES almost 50%, as I’m giving you credit for some of those “found” absentee ballots.

KenOn10
Member
KenOn10

any word on absentee ballots in yesterday’s race? I kept hearing rumors about a certain candidate having a thousand in hand.

one might argue that these “in hand” absentee ballots don’t have much correlation to preferred candidate. More like which candidate is waving a few bucks or wanting me to return a favor.

In response to whineanddineinhob who said:
and YES almost 50%, as I’m giving you credit for some of those “found” absentee ballots.

akak
Member
akak

Good call on “the majority of Hoboken voters clearly do not want Zimmer to be mayor.”

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob

It doesn’t necessarily mean the voters “wanted” Zimmer for mayor. She just happened to be a better choice considering the other candidates. Let’s get real here, someone HAD to be elected.

In response to akak who said:
Good call on “the majority of Hoboken voters clearly do not want Zimmer to be mayor.”

Watchmaker
Member
Watchmaker

Sorry whineanddineinhob, but it kinda does mean that the voters wanted Zimmer: she had about the same number of votes as Raia and Mason combined. Clearcut victory – you might as well admit a defeat. Of course, voters also wanted Bush in 2004 and look how well that turned out. I think the comedy is about to begin tonight at the Council meeting with the 4th ward appointee. I guess good news for 411 – there’ll be plenty to write about. 🙂

In response to whineanddineinhob who said:
It doesn’t necessarily mean the voters “wanted” Zimmer for mayor. She just happened to be a better choice considering the other candidates. Let’s get real here, someone HAD to be elected.

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob

There are different ways you can look at it. When the run-off was between only 2 candidates (Zimmer and Cammarano), almost 50% didn’t want her.

In response to Watchmaker who said:
Sorry whineanddineinhob, but it kinda does mean that the voters wanted Zimmer: she had about the same number of votes as Raia and Mason combined. Clearcut victory – you might as well admit a defeat. Of course, voters also wanted Bush in 2004 and look how well that turned out. I think the comedy is about to begin tonight at the Council meeting with the 4th ward appointee. I guess good news for 411 – there’ll be plenty to write about. 🙂

Watchmaker
Member
Watchmaker

Almost 50%? More than 50% didn’t want her – that’s why she lost. But, that was then, this is now. Given the low turnout it seems likely that only those who wanted their candidate voted this time around and she is a clearcut winner.

In response to whineanddineinhob who said:
There are different ways you can look at it. When the run-off was between only 2 candidates (Zimmer and Cammarano), almost 50% didn’t want her.

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob

Exactly my point. You’d have to consider the different candidtates. I haven’t challenged her anywhere NOT being a clearcut winner or not accepting defeat. I WILL state that I did not vote for her.

In response to Watchmaker who said:
Almost 50%? More than 50% didn’t want her – that’s why she lost. But, that was then, this is now. Given the low turnout it seems likely that only those who wanted their candidate voted this time around and she is a clearcut winner.

hobokenj
Member
hobokenj

On the fact checking issue can someone explain the real tax increase/decrease the candidates are campaigning on. Seems like they are ALL playing with the numbers and context of how they are presented.

We had a 47% increase that was only supposed to be for 2 quartres. So when a candidate says he/she will reduce 25%. Do they mean 25% from what my taxes were before or after the 47% increase?

Same goes for the 15% increase. IS that 15% on top of the 47% or 15% higher prior to the 47% increase.

Hope this makes sense. Gets confusing.

Watchmaker
Member
Watchmaker

The candidates aren’t being – candid. 🙂

The 25% decrease is AFTER the original 47% tax hike and would have happened regardless of who the mayor was.

The 15% increase is AFTER the 25% decrease, presumably for the increase in union wages (yes, that’s what Tripodi indicated) and some one-time expenses. Tripodi still claims that all Council people KNOW what is in the budget proposal so I would say that Mason is probably going by the worst case scenario when claiming the 15% increase.

All of this is, of course, provided there isn’t additional spending to fix the Sinatra park, and/or to keep the hospital afloat. But we can’t say this for sure until someone releases the budget and Zimmer refuses to do so.

In response to hobokenj who said:
On the fact checking issue can someone explain the real tax increase/decrease the candidates are campaigning on. Seems like they are ALL playing with the numbers and context of how they are presented.

We had a 47% increase that was only supposed to be for 2 quartres. So when a candidate says he/she will reduce 25%. Do they mean 25% from what my taxes were before or after the 47% increase?

Same goes for the 15% increase. IS that 15% on top of the 47% or 15% higher prior to the 47% increase.

Hope this makes sense. Gets confusing.

hobokenj
Member
hobokenj

So all in all Mason or Zimmer we are looking at some where between 25-40% increase in taxes from a year or so ago. SO NO candidate is lowering taxes. No one is going to look into why the budget needed to go from 52 to 100+. Just hit you with 47% and turn that 47 a little lower and say look at me Im great. Pathetic.

thanks its what I thought, that they are all being deceptive when they say lower 25%.

In response to Watchmaker who said:
The candidates aren’t being – candid. 🙂

The 25% decrease is AFTER the original 47% tax hike and would have happened regardless of who the mayor was.

The 15% increase is AFTER the 25% decrease, presumably for the increase in union wages (yes, that’s what Tripodi indicated) and some one-time expenses. Tripodi still claims that all Council people KNOW what is in the budget proposal so I would say that Mason is probably going by the worst case scenario when claiming the 15% increase.

All of this is, of course, provided there isn’t additional spending to fix the Sinatra park, and/or to keep the hospital afloat. But we can’t say this for sure until someone releases the budget and Zimmer refuses to do so.

plaintruthiness
Member
plaintruthiness

While I appreciated Campaign Facts Check Parts I and II, I am disappointed there wasn’t time for at least Parts III and IV, meaning fact checking Mason & Raia’s campaign literature. Both of them appeared to heavily outspent Zimmer on mailers & online/newspaper ads, and got them out about a week before I received Zimmer’s first mailer. And both had pretty blatant falsehoods and accusations against Zimmer and each other.

All this will be over tomorrow thank gawd (is this our 5th or 6th trip to the polls this year?…I lost count, what a total waste of taxpayer money), and we won’t have to hear about elections until at least January.

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