Hoboken City Council Meeting: 1/5/2011


See video archives after the jump!

City Council: Under New Management

The first order of business on the agenda for the Hoboken City Council tonight is the selection of a new President and Vice President. Carol Marsh and Ravi Bhalla resigned those positions rather than face a vote of No Confidence. 2nd ward Councilwoman Beth Mason and 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo are the longest serving members of the board who have yet to be elected to leadership roles.

That drought is likely to end tonight as a new President and Vice President is elected. The Council President is a heartbeat (or disgraced resignation) away from the Mayor’s office.

Zimmer wants $30+ Million in Temporary Appropriations

The third order of business is a request from the Mayor for $30.5 million dollars in Temporary Appropriations to start the year. That would fund operations for three or four months while Dawn Zimmer tries to get her budget together. Back when Dave Roberts was in charge the people who now support Zimmer would have argued that giving such a large “Blank Check” to the Mayor at the start of the new budget year is unwise. They used to claim a much smaller amount is fiscally responsible. They’ll be sure to be singing a different tune tonight. Flip flop for friends!

More money for politically connected lawyers

Zimmer wants to keep the gravy train rolling for the politically connected law firms she’s put on the payroll, especially McManimon and Scotland, which handled her defense of the voter fraud lawsuit she faced following the 2007 Fourth Ward City Council race.

Zimmer’s move to give them a city contract raised eyebrows after they represented her personally in the past. Now she wants to give them another $80,000 for 2011. Maraziti, Falcon and Healey is also up for another $80k, and $75k for Scarinci and Hollenbeck.

Outsourcing mechanics getting costlier every day

Zimmer’s Municipal Garage outsourcing experiment continues to cost more than the experienced mechanics who were laid off. Zimmer wants Dave’s Auto Parts to be awarded a contract for $65 an hour labor plus a 20% markup on all parts used to repair city vehicles they work on.

Willow Sunoco made a similar bid that came in at $75 an hour, but it was rejected. The contract has a $75,000 “not to exceed” amount included, but if recent history is any gauge that will very likely be exceeded. Also, you can ask a City Employee to work overtime and odd hours during emergency situations. The city has no such power over a private contractor’s garage.

Heat will likely be on after snow cleanup FAIL

Zimmer’s failure to oversee proper snow removal after the post-holiday blizzard will also come up, as it’s become obvious nobody was in charge of the city during that mess. Zimmer was out of state and her Environmental Services Director Jennifer Wenson Maier wasn’t here either. She lives out in Rahway, where she’s also a politically active City Councilwoman. That might as well be New Hampshire during a storm like we just saw.

According to City Hall sources, Maier should watch her back as Zimmer looks for someone to blame, and others close to Zimmer make suggestions about who they’d like to see replace her in the six-figure job.

Study the agenda and resolution pack to keep pace with the circus. Happy new year!

See video archives after the jump!

1/5/2011 Council Meeting Part 1 (audio only)

1/5/2011 Council Meeting Part 2

1/5/2011 Council Meeting Part 3

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1 Comment on "Hoboken City Council Meeting: 1/5/2011"

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Over the last year and a half, it has become so sad to watch the council’s attempt to clean up Mayor Zimmer’s constant screw-ups.

I thought Dave Roberts was bad, but now he’s looking pretty good compared to Zimmer. We have Bullwinkle running this town into the ground.