City Council – 12/3/2008

12/4/2008 recap:

Seeing that I was otherwise pre-occupied to attend tonight’s city council meeting – a faithful Hoboken411 reader was kind enough to synopsize some of the key points that took place at the rather tepid gathering of city officials:

What happened at the City Council Meeting tonight?

ccm-small-12308.jpg“Dear Hoboken411:

What follows is my very lame re-take of some of the happenings at the Hoboken council meeting of December 3, 2008:

For starters, resident turnout was quite low, which isn’t surprising in the month of December. But with the general “transient” nature of Hoboken – it’s still nice to see even a couple people show up.

First thing I noticed was that 3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo asked Hoboken’s Community Affairs Director Fred “Umm” Bado for reports about Hoboken’s controversial PILOTS program (Payments in Lieu of Taxes)… Bado said that he is attempting to find all the PILOT agreements, and is having somewhat of a difficult time finding them. He later said that he has only 80% of the estimated 35 PILOT programs in town.

Later on, $1 per year advisor Mo DeGennaro said he was surprised that the city cannot even keep track of it’s own PILOT programs. “Who’s in charge of keeping all these records?” Gennaro said during the public portion. Councilwoman Beth Mason added that developers MUST provide the PILOTS within a month of the request or face a stiff fine. Later, Councilman Nino Giacchi said “Before we pass a resolution and become a threatening body – how about we just ask?” Afterward, the rest of the Council went on to determine that it’s best to draft a letter, asking the developers to provide Hoboken with a copy of all the PILOTS.

Fairly ridiculous in my opinion! Why must the city go ahead and ask for such rudimentary paperwork? Is that the sole purpose of this council? To make “procedures?”

Further into the meeting – 3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo again spoke out, inquiring about the City’s individual health benefits, saying “My understanding is that we have over 90 insured people who should not be getting insurance, people who left the city or spouses of employees that died. That adds up to over a million dollars every year for people getting their health insurance for free.” Russo later added “I hope I’m wrong, but it seems we have a problem here.”

[Hoboken411 received information that indicated MORE than 90 individuals were receiving free health care inappropriately] City Counsel Steve Kleinman thought otherwise. “The number of people receiving health benefits is way, way less” than the 90 Russo suggested. Or so he says. Kleinman later deferred Russo’s question to Judy Tripodi, Hoboken’s fiscal monitor.

Further into the meeting, anger over the much contested Hoboken Housing Authority Appointment re-appeared tonight. During the public portion of the meeting, ousted HHA director Angel Alicea addressed the council. He thanked the Council members who supported him as he tried to hold on to his spot, then he lashed out at Dawn Zimmer, who backed Alicea’s opponent Hector Claveria.



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(Hoboken City Council – 12/3/2008, continued…)

“Angel said Zimmer made “two direct attacks” on him, which he said were incorrect. Zimmer had previously criticized the HHA for not changing locks and not filling vacant apartments. Angel said Zimmer was incorrect in her criticism and advised her to “get the facts first.” Zimmer eventually apologized, but said, “We clearly have security issues. We need to get locks fixed and change the locks on those vacant apartments.”

In a moment of City Council Meeting comedy, Hoboken $1 per year advisor Maurice DeGennaro stumbled up and demanded accountability from the City on a number of problems — Dave Roberts’ salary, three paid city spokespeople, the council’s salary, the high tax hike, and more.

He lambasted Hoboken’s city attorney Steve Kleinman: “What’re they doing up there?!” But Kleinman wasn’t paying attention… and was clearly distracted with a device in his lap.

DeGennaro accused Kleinman of not even listening and “typing on his blueberry.”

While essentially everyone and his brother’s unborn child knew what he was referring to, it still got a chuckle out of some folks.

Other than that – the council meeting was quite boring!!!”

12/3/2008 Update:

Spoke with Councilwoman Terry LaBruno – and she said that the parking permit increase was pulled from the agenda tonight – because it has to go before committee first.


Here’s a quick overview of what’s happening at the Hoboken City Council meeting tonight at 7pm.

For one, the budget hearing was pushed back to December 17th – and guess what? Your residential Parking Permits are going up YET AGAIN!

Why stick it to the residents? Make those damn “temporary permits” that get abused DAILY more expensive. Like $25 PER DAY! C’mon City Hall!

See the condensed agenda here and the resolution pack here.


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Saturday, December 6, 2008 6:53 pm

Matt somehow that statement #53 makes me sad because a homegrown worker cares more for their city ( don’t use Hoboken patronage and nepotism mill as an example tho)and should have housing to accommodate them. I guess a more socialistic approach.

Stay tuned for the Hoboken Manifesto 😛

Saturday, December 6, 2008 3:32 pm

Major issues should be addressed during the campaign and reasoned decisions made on who to vote for. However, the major point is that after the election, the public must to see to it that our elected officials provide the proper management…don’t fall asleep, keep informed, continue to go to meetings and meet with your leaders. We all have to have a fiscal eye, all the way ❗ 😛

Saturday, December 6, 2008 3:16 pm

[quote comment=”121967″]FYI-Marine View Plaza built 1975.
Words cannot explain my thoughts. Other than hiring all his friend$$$. Can someone explain to me what a mayor of hoboken actually does.[/quote]

Outsource work to companies so his friends on the city payroll don’t have to work…….

Saturday, December 6, 2008 3:05 pm

[quote comment=”122002″][quote comment=”121989″]At the City Council Meeting on Nov 17, Councilman Russo suggested: * Firing all employees who live outside of Hoboken * Firing all recently hired provisional employees * Eliminating seasonal employee positions * Unspecified demotions However, it is just possible that the majority of this group are among the best employees the city has. [/quote] Again the idea is to fire the employees who won’t be part of a second generation Russo political machine because they and their friends and families can’t vote, and to protect the more senior higher paid jobs while getting rid of the cheapest people. Yes the residency law must be changed immediately not ignored, and in general the council has to start *now*, changing other rules to allow more efficient govt, insofar as possible. And that’s what we have to elect in May, people who will change those inefficient rules. If state laws or contracts limit that in other cases, so be it, but there’s no NJ law saying Hoboken workers have to live here. Hoboken is an expensive place now, not really suitable for many people in public sector work, but it should be up to them where they live. It’s also not reasonable to have any city spending, direct or indirect (affordable housing set asides for city workers, who do you think pays for that in the end, developers? that’s a laugh, taxpayers do) to subsidize people who could just live elsewhere. The golden goose that supports the Hoboken city govt… Read more »

Saturday, December 6, 2008 2:50 pm

With city elections in May, the planks of the candidates platforms must SPECIFICALLY address issues that face all Hoboken residents. This includes having the best possible employees in key city jobs, an equitable valuation of property assessments and a fresh look at existing and potential PILOT agreements that have shortchanged city revenues at the expense of many unhappy renters who live in those buildings. With old ‘newcomers’, new ‘newcomers’ and voters who believe that ‘Change’ is possible in our government we have an extraordinary chance for a better future. I agree with OldNewComer’s ideas:

[quote comment=”122002″]
Again the idea is to fire the employees who won’t be part of a second generation Russo political machine because they and their friends and families can’t vote, and to protect the more senior higher paid jobs while getting rid of the cheapest people.

Yes the residency law must be changed immediately not ignored, and in general the council has to start *now*, …..[/quote]

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