Haunted House Tombstone Tussle

11/15/2010:

The backstory behind the Mello meltdown

People are still talking about a bizarre exchange of words during the last City Council meeting.

Councilman-at-Large Dave Mello took offense to his name being placed on a fake Tombstone at the Russo Haunted House, and wanted everyone to know it. For two decades the Russo Civic Association has put on a Haunted House event, including a fake graveyard with every member of the City Council (and the Mayor) included.

The tombstones include the kind of rhymes found in old Halloween tales, are meant in fun. Some of the harshest rhymes are saved for the Russo’s closest allies. For instance, 1st ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano is generally portrayed as a witch. Take a look at some of the tombstones from the past three years, as well as a view of the old “graveyard” before the Haunted House move to the Church of the Holy Innocents:

Questionable motives

Most people find the satire relatively tame. You’re mileage may vary, but few (if any) have had the reaction that Councilman-at-Large Dave Mello decided to go public with at the last meeting.

Mello used the “New Business” part of the agenda to describe how “offended” he was at being one of dozens of fellow council members from over the decades who have been parodied in the Haunted House display.

Take a look:

What any of this has to do with “New Business” of the council is a mystery. “New Business” is for members to update the council and public on legislative issues and concerns such as committee meetings, future resolutions and ordinances. Mello’s speech included none of the above. The exchange that followed (and continued beyond the video clip above) showed that less than 24 hours after they took a bruising 60% to 40% beating in the 4th ward election, Zimmer’s allies are more focused on beginning the divisive rhetoric of the next election than getting the business of government done.

Mello’s grave was also featured in 2009, with no reaction whatsoever – which supports the idea that this year’s outburst was politically motivated. Either that, or Mello just isn’t enjoying his role as a public servant anymore.

What’s your reaction to this exchange? Comment below.

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whineanddineinhob
whineanddineinhob
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 12:44 pm

LMAO. Here’s Mello, a school teacher, who didn’t have the common sense to teach his own child the meaning of a mock tombstone. They should show him hung in effigy at the next haunted house.

wiskeytango1
wiskeytango1
Reply to  whineanddineinhob
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 12:51 pm

whine and dine/now you can witness the motley crew queen Zelda assembled..Had not the ticket been split these marx bros less one would not be up there..funny to watch the two attorneys on the right (skip and flip) going duhhh ..acadamy award nominations for the marx bros votes dial 311 duhh on your cell phone theres a 99cent charge. 😯 [quote comment=”200022″]LMAO. Here’s Mello, a school teacher, who didn’t have the common sense to teach his own child the meaning of a mock tombstone. They should show him hung in effigy at the next haunted house.[/quote]

bornandrazedinhobo
bornandrazedinhobo
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:02 am

This Mello claims that he is afraid his daughter will see the “cardboard” tombstone and believe that her father is really dead? HUH?

If Mello’s daughter can’t tell the difference from a real cemetery and a staged plastic and cardboard one on Halloween no less at a playful Haunted House when everyone is having fun and not mourning, (considering the fact that according to Mello’s comments about death she already understands what it is) then she has serious underlying cognitive psychological issues that need to be addressed asap or she’ll be riding the special bus for a long time!

4th Ward Guardian
4th Ward Guardian
Monday, November 15, 2010 3:54 pm

Earth to Dave Mello… Earth to Dave Mello… GET OVER YOURSELF!

BarbaraR56
BarbaraR56
Monday, November 15, 2010 11:29 am

I would hope that an elected official would possess the intelligence and sense of humor to take this gesture in the manner in which it was intended. The Haunted House is one of the most carefully planned and successful events in Hoboken. This event is held every year and open to ALL residents no matter what their political affiliation. This year’s event hosted about 2300 people. Mr. Mello’s reaction is harsh and IMHO very immature. With all of this City’s problems, the Haunted House is a respite from the financial problems facing us today. Maybe Mr. Mello should rethink seeking re-election in the future. 😥

jc5201
jc5201
Monday, November 15, 2010 9:44 am

Mello definitely overreacted. I remember seeing an article about this last year where he said it was all in good fun. It was sour grapes because his BFF lost and in bad taste. Hopefully he’ll be more active now that the handcuffs are off.

camel2
camel2
Reply to  jc5201
Monday, November 15, 2010 10:22 am

The handcuffs aren’t off, the puppet strings just got longer.[quote comment=”199976″]Mello definitely overreacted. I remember seeing an article about this last year where he said it was all in good fun. It was sour grapes because his BFF lost and in bad taste. Hopefully he’ll be more active now that the handcuffs are off.[/quote]

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