Last two endorsement letters


Endorsement wrap-up!

As I happily wind down “endorsement season” on Hoboken411 – here are two final letters that, along with Ines Garcia-Keim, continue to add to Peter Cammarano’s list of “non-establishment” supporters.

First we have a letter from Hank Forrest, who was instrumental in the creation of the Hoboken Master Plan that is often cited in development discussions. Hank has also been an outspoken critic of the oversized Ursa/Tarragon plan for the Western Edge Redevelopment Zone. Next, we have Lane Bajardi, who is an outspoken critic of the FXFowle/LCOR plan and the NJTransit rail yards. Neither is born and raised or part of the Hoboken political establishment – and both have been credited with fighting for sane development.

Here’s what Hank has to say:

Cammarano prepared to lead

“The Hoboken 2009 mayoral election is providing a good picture of where the city is these days and the local side of last fall’s national election. Hoboken also has two very different candidates but owing to Hoboken’s strong Democratic Party tradition the two choices exhibit the split of the Democratic Party versus the traditional two party system of the national scene.


In Hoboken, everyone is generally either a Democrat or disenchanted Democrat (i.e. “reformer”). “Core Democrat” Peter Cammarano has the support of both the “status quo” voters and many of the more pragmatic, moderate Obama supporters. “Reformer” Dawn Zimmer has the support of the “throw out the old and bring in the new” voters who feel the status quo is exactly what Hoboken’s problem is.

Cammarano has been demonized because of both his earlier political connection to Mayor Roberts and as a perceived sellout because of the broad support he has sought and received around town. It has been interesting to see Mayor Roberts become political poison to many as former Mayors Cappiello, Pasculli and Russo became at the end of their respective terms. While all these mayors were VERY different, they all experienced a similar reaction from disenfranchised or simply disappointed voters.

In 2001, Mayor Roberts was elected by those united against Anthony Russo and saw David as the antithesis of Russo, agreeable, laid back, not threatening, the nice guy who loved the city he grew up in. Russo was the bad guy who loved the city he grew up in. During the campaign, Dave became all things to all people. Inevitably many became disillusioned and angry since he was not mayoral material except that he was the only one with the courage to run against Russo and he represented change. To criticize Cammarano for supporting Roberts is disingenuous since most people did at one point including Beth Mason who got her political start from Roberts.

Interestingly enough, neither of the current candidates lived in Hoboken when Roberts was elected. Perhaps this is why much of the Zimmer campaign is a shallow repeat of past “reformer” campaigns spouting how problem-ridden Hoboken is and how great the town COULD be. Cammarano on the other hand has done his homework and educated himself on Hoboken’s diverse constituency and government and has actual ideas and plans to address what needs to be done.


(Final endorsements, continued…)

Hoboken (like most municipalities) absolutely has a litany of unresolved problems and issues. How could it not after perhaps two effective years of actual leadership in the Mayor’s office over the past 25 years? On top of that, ALL municipalities are currently struggling against a wave of financial turmoil seen nationally and worldwide. Weighty problems of employee benefits, health care and crumbling infrastructure are rampant and not particular to Hoboken and require the ability to negotiate with county and state officials.

What is unique in Hoboken is our desirable location and numerous other positive qualities and resources versus most towns. Watching any of the recent mayoral forums makes clear that while some may not like Cammarano’s confident style, or some of the people supporting him, he is far more prepared and capable of managing and leading the City than Zimmer who consistently dodges questions, shows little understanding of most issues and whose main plan is to get community input.

Peter Cammarano is prepared to lead by making well thought out hard decisions, not simply be a community organizer. This is why he is attracting support from all parts of the community.

Hank Forrest

A vote for competent, thoughtful leadership

The second letter comes from someone who actually helped talk Dawn Zimmer into running against Chris Campos, but doesn’t believe she is in any way qualified or prepared to be Mayor. Bajardi has also been known to take the mic at City Council meetings to verbally spar with Cammarano from time to time, which gives his endorsement more credibility than some of the others we’ve seen:

“I was proud to support Beth Mason’s inclusive campaign for Mayor, and believe strongly she was the best choice to bring us accountable and productive government. Though I’m disappointed Beth won’t be on the ballot Tuesday, I’m pleased Vinny Addeo and Raul Morales II continue to keep the Mason Team for One Hoboken’s agenda alive. They deserve to serve with Beth on the City Council.


As a familiar face at council meetings I’ve gotten to know the remaining candidates for Mayor well. Channel 78 viewers know I’ve often taken the opportunity to let them know when I disagree. Which of the remaining candidates is best prepared to take the reigns of our city’s government during one of the most challenging and exciting times in its history? After watching the debates, campaign, and speaking with people I respect I’ve come to a clear conclusion: Peter Cammarano.

This is not a position I’ve come to lightly. At times I’ve probably been among Peter’s most public critics, but our disagreements have never been disagreeable. I’ve also known Peter to be a straight shooter who will be honest whether we agree or disagree, and he will not sic a band of internet attack dogs on me if I’m not in lock step with him. Peter was the only candidate to reach out for my support and counsel after the May election. As he’s done many times before, Peter listened to my opinions and offered a constructive dialogue, not just a nodding head.

Living in close proximity to the NJ Transit Redevelopment, Neumann Leather and Southwest Redevelopment are big concerns. At the POG/OLG debate, Peter clearly stated no structure on the waterfront should be taller than the W Hotel and buildings on the south side of Observer shouldn’t rise taller than those already built to the north. In the Cablevision debate, Peter showed he would be engaged in the effort to save the historic buildings, businesses and artists in the Neumann complex. He also shares my frustration that the effort to build a Southwest Park has been stymied by a lack of leadership. Peter understands the longer we wait, the less likely it will happen.

When Mayor Roberts wanted to condemn businesses to make way for more Northwest Redevelopment condos, Peter said no. At the time the Mayor had an ironclad majority (or so he thought). Peter showed his independence (and enraged his benefactors) when he stood up against eminent domain abuse and led the slimmest of majorities to defeat it. When I argued Hoboken shouldn’t fall into the Municipal Garage trap again by selling the Police Station before building a new one, Peter listened and opposed the Mayor’s proposal to turn the 100 block of Hudson Street into a redevelopment zone.

Though Hoboken has many challenges, it also has great opportunities. More than ever we need competent and thoughtful leadership.

That’s why I’ll be voting for Vinny Addeo, Raul Morales II and Peter Cammarano.

Thank you,
Lane Bajardi

Leave a Reply

13 Comments on "Last two endorsement letters"

Sort by:   newest | oldest

File under “Eat my words”?


Actually Hank Forrest had very little to do with the Master Plan -It was Beth Mason and Carol Marsh.
Hank always asks lots of good questions during a planning board meeting and then votes opposite to the logical conclusion.
Yes to every project
I.E. Hank- Will this project create more traffic in an already F rated traffic are?
Traffic planner- Why yes it will but it will only be an added 100 cars during rush hour traffic.
Hank -I vote yes for the project then

Red Haven
Red Haven

poed, I don’t deny the rumors you mention may be out there, just saying I haven’t heard them myself. I was also noting supporters of both candidates are equally guilty of spreading false info. Zimmer’s people are just as guilty of it culpable.

Welcome to the start of Election Day #2, by the way.


Wow RH,and this is not meant to be snarky,Iam surprised you didn’t hear about 1, 2 and 3, those are commonly known, as well as the baseball/soccer fields,recreation activities, senior housing/activities,etc… Maybe, you aren’t involved with or know the different circles of people who can be intimidated. But many of those who are, know BS when they hear it.


Being realistic, the endorsements of Cammarano by Lane Bjardi, Ines Garcia-Keim, Ira Karasick and his father, Chris Carbine (the independent republican) show broad based local support. Remember unions are part of America as well as those on Wall Street. Peter will be selected on the basis of his competence and qualifications which the debates made clear to all that he is the best choice to lead Hoboken and his team of council running-mates.


Beg pardon…I forgot Hank Forest (another non-establishment supporter) endorsement for Cammarano.

In response to truth1 who said:

Being realistic, the endorsements of Cammarano by Lane Bjardi, Ines Garcia-Keim, Ira Karasick and his father, Chris Carbine (the independent republican) show broad based local support. Remember unions are part of America as well as those on Wall Street. Peter will be selected on the basis of his competence and qualifications which the debates made clear to all that he is the best choice to lead Hoboken and his team of council running-mates.