Zimmer Names More Directors

9/14/2009:

P.M. UPDATE: Click here to see the resumes of Forbes, Pellegrini and Sacs – which were posted to the city website a few hours after this entry was published.

Pellegrini and Forbes named

Controversy is growing over Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s choices for top positions at City Hall. On Friday afternoon, Zimmer put out a short press release announcing the hiring of Leo Pellegrini for Health and Human Services Director and Brandy Forbes for Community Development Director.

brandy forbes leo pellegrini hired by acting mayor dawn zimmer hoboken nj - Zimmer Names More Directors

The late notice (a classic political maneuver) forced the local rags to print the propaganda verbatim with no time for follow-up. Just as 411 did when former Mayors Cammarano and Roberts named Directors, we all collectively like to take the time to get the real “story behind the story” on said choices.

To help get you that story – a formal request was made to Zimmer, her confidential Aide Dan Bryan, and the city’s two existing Public Information Officers for the resumes of the Directors Zimmer just put on the Payroll. This was the response I got from Bryan, who was working late Friday night:

“Due to the sensitive nature of the process, we won’t be able to post the directors’ resumes until the separation process is complete (some companies do not want their names to be published before an employee leaves).

All members of the City Council have received Mr. Pellegrini’s resume and Ms. Forbes’ resume for review. At the appropriate time, we will post them on the City website.”

– Dan Bryan

This response surprised me, but not the confidential sources who often weigh in with me when political news breaks.

Why hide the director resumes?

In July, Peter Cammarano posted the resumes of all his Director choices on the City website for everyone to see and consider ahead of what was scheduled to be a public vote by the City Council on July 22nd. City Council President Dawn Zimmer postponed a vote on the Directors, instead calling for a “public vetting,” including congressional hearing-style Q & A between the council and director designates. Zimmer said that would be a “more public” process. Cammarano didn’t care because State Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi had already approved their hiring and salaries.

411 to City Hall: release the resumes

In response to Bryan’s email I’ve sent the following:

“Thank you for your response. I’m afraid I find it puzzling and at odds with the concept of transparency. You wrote:

“Due to the sensitive nature of the process, we won’t be able to post the directors’ resumes until the separation process is complete (some companies do not want their names to be published before an employee leaves).”

How does this make sense when you’ve already publicly identified the current employers of Mr. Pellegrini and Ms. Forbes in your press release? You published the names of UBS (for Mr. Pellegrini) and the Township of Edison (for Ms. Forbes). I fail to see how releasing their resumes for the public to see would compromise them in any way. I also note the resumes for the former Mayor’s directors were posted on the city website before a vote was made by the City Council, so there is precedence here.

I hope you agree that keeping this information from public view will only serve to call the transparency of these appointments into question and will reconsider your decision not to provide this information immediately.

Thank you.

I’ll let you know here if I get a response from City Hall.

More to come…

In the meantime, I have been doing other checking on Pellegrini, Forbes and Parking Utility Director Designate Ian Sacs, and will be posting the results of my digging before the Council Meeting on Wednesday. Here are a couple of nuggets to chew on before you get the whole story:

  • Yes, Pellegrini is a Born and Raised Hoboken guy with long and strong ties to the Russo family. There is no dispute.
  • 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).
  • Finally, if you have a car in Hoboken – prepare to pay a lot more to keep it here under the reign of Sacs. Full details to come.

A quick shout out to the parents of the Hoboken Youth Soccer League: I will continue to take your confidential comments about Mr. Pellegrini’s management style. The more people who drop me tips the more likely I will be able to publish your information. Just email Hoboken411 today.

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Ho Broken
Ho Broken
Monday, September 14, 2009 4:32 pm

Oh No! A novice planner from Iowa for Hoboken.
Farm Fresh!

What happened to Todd Poole? He seemed to be getting up to speed quickly.

escaped68
escaped68
Reply to  Ho Broken
Monday, September 14, 2009 5:47 pm

About 10-15 years ago the town of red bank hired a parking consulant from England,it turned out to be a complete flop. Iowa and England is here a difference when it comes to parking expertise?

In response to Ho Broken who said:

Oh No! A novice planner from Iowa for Hoboken.
Farm Fresh!

What happened to Todd Poole? He seemed to be getting up to speed quickly.

CalGard
CalGard
Monday, September 14, 2009 1:22 pm

“Finally, if you have a car in Hoboken – prepare to pay a lot more to keep it here under the reign of Sacs.”

If resident permit rates are increased it will be the elected members of the city council who mandate it. Sacs will have nothing to do with that if he is doing his job as we all expect him to do.

CalGard
CalGard
Monday, September 14, 2009 1:20 pm

Hoboken administration: “some companies do not want their names to be published before an employee leaves”

411: “I’m afraid I find it puzzling and at odds with the concept of transparency.”

Perhaps 411 believes it is in Hoboken’s interest to disrespect the wishes of companies who currently employee individuals who are not yet employed by Hoboken. I do favor release of the resumes once the individuals have left their previous positions.

jman01
jman01
Reply to  CalGard
Monday, September 14, 2009 2:08 pm

Zimmer already had the company names published in other media outlets last week so she’s contradicting herself.

Dan Bryan and Ian Sacs were both unemployed when hired by Zimmer so why aren’t their resumes posted?

In response to CalGard who said:

Hoboken administration: “some companies do not want their names to be published before an employee leaves”

411: “I’m afraid I find it puzzling and at odds with the concept of transparency.”

Perhaps 411 believes it is in Hoboken’s interest to disrespect the wishes of companies who currently employee individuals who are not yet employed by Hoboken. I do favor release of the resumes once the individuals have left their previous positions.

davidd
davidd
Monday, September 14, 2009 2:11 pm

Has it occured to anyone that $15 parking permits are a regressive tax on the poor. Wealthy people are far more likely to own a car than those making less yet the parking permit doesn’t come near covering parking spot maintainence cost. Shouldn’t the permit cost at least equal that?

Off the top of my head, fewer than one quarter people making $100K. I think the maintainence cost is $360 a year.

Someone can probably take that and figure out how much that means a person making $50K subsidizes the car owner making $100K annually in municipal and county taxes. I’d bet its over $100.

strand tramp
strand tramp
Reply to  davidd
Monday, September 14, 2009 2:36 pm

“the person making $50k subsidizes the car owner making $100k annually in municipal and county taxes.”
WTF are you talking about? and where on earth do you get $360 year maintainence(sic) cost? for each parking permit? for each parking spot? WTF are you talking about?
by the way dave, ever note that consumption taxes aren’t progressive either? i mean, some mega-rich guy making $100k per year gets to pay the EXACT same tax on a pizza as a person making $50k. it’s a f’ng crime right? why shouldn’t the rich guy pay more right? he can afford it obviously! he’s got more, so he should pay more! he should be forced by the government to pay more….until…he…has…the…same…as…everyone….else. right dave?

In response to davidd who said:

Has it occured to anyone that $15 parking permits are a regressive tax on the poor. Wealthy people are far more likely to own a car than those making less yet the parking permit doesn’t come near covering parking spot maintainence cost. Shouldn’t the permit cost at least equal that?

Off the top of my head, fewer than one quarter people making $100K. I think the maintainence cost is $360 a year.

Someone can probably take that and figure out how much that means a person making $50K subsidizes the car owner making $100K annually in municipal and county taxes. I’d bet its over $100.

davidd
davidd
Reply to  strand tramp
Monday, September 14, 2009 3:30 pm

Strand, The $360 figure comes from the study I posted a few minutes back. It sounds high to me too, but then again re-doing a road every few years is expensive, cleaning, and plowing cost too. Rather than thinking of higher fees as being liberal, I tend to think of as a conservative idea, along the lines of usage fees. Pay for what you use if its not a common good, like say policing. In this case, lower incomes are paying for something they don’t use. This make the sales tax,not a good analogy. Even here the idea of progressive taxation applies somewhat. The tax doesn’t apply to necessities like groceries and usually clothes below a certain price. I think that is because the system recognizes the differences between a necessity like bread and luxury like a slice from Tudino’s. In response to strand tramp who said: “the person making $50k subsidizes the car owner making $100k annually in municipal and county taxes.” WTF are you talking about? and where on earth do you get $360 year maintainence(sic) cost? for each parking permit? for each parking spot? WTF are you talking about? by the way dave, ever note that consumption taxes aren’t progressive either? i mean, some mega-rich guy making $100k per year gets to pay the EXACT same tax on a pizza as a person making $50k. it’s a f’ng crime right? why shouldn’t the rich guy pay more right? he can afford it obviously! he’s got more, so… Read more »

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