Hoboken411 isn’t productive

3/7/2007 Update:

Hoboken411 no longer blocked

Below is a letter from Mayor Roberts forwarded to Hoboken411 via his Assistant. The site is no longer being blocked at City Hall, and the ACLU attack dogs can be called off.

I truly appreciate the fact that Mr. Roberts recognizes the value Hoboken411 provides to the community. But whether it’s some kind of event, environmental issue, political figure, or Fortune 500 Company, you will always have people that disagree with something you’re doing. That’s the beauty of living in America. But you can never please them all!

Mr. Roberts, I couldn’t resist, but I’d really check the spelling of all correspondence coming out of your office. ESPECIALLY your own name! It’s City Hall, not some website riddled with mistakes!

david roberts letter - Hoboken411 isn't productive

3/2/2007 Update:

Here’s the News 12 NJ audio stream from the interview with City Hall. They didn’t attempt to contact me in any way shape or form. And what exactly is “downgrading” people? From “Buddy” to “Pal”?

All of a sudden when an open community website appears they “notice” excessive use? No one used the internet for personal use prior? Just another typical political spin.

I also gave notice that any council candidate (including incumbents from City Hall) can send me their press releases and campaign platforms. No takers except one.

I’d consider reading what residents have to say more of an online council meeting, rather than “spending taxpayer time”. I guess they should block that giant rabbit hole they hide in as well.

As a follow up to the Blocking of websites article, from NJ.com:


City Hall ban on popular Web site
Thursday, March 01, 2007

411 blocked animated - Hoboken411 isn't productiveHOBOKEN – City Hall employees will have to go somewhere else for the 411.

City Hall has banned its employees from viewing a popular Web site – hoboken411.com – that has brought attention to a host of controversial issues in the city, along with providing a daily dose of the goings on around the city, such as new store openings or an upcoming volunteer fund drive.

City spokesman Bill Campbell said the ban has nothing to do with the site’s content, but with productivity in City Hall.

“We don’t think it’s appropriate for employees to spend taxpayer time reading the site,” said Campbell, adding that the prohibition came from Business Administrator Richard England.

The site’s owner, who requested anonymity and wanted to be referred to as a “citizen-journalist,” found the whole thing perplexing.

“What message is City Hall trying to send? That everything in Hoboken is just perfect and all that needs to be known is what’s printed in the newspapers? This is one of the rare times in Hoboken that you can listen to a very large number of your constituents, voters and people you are serving,” he wrote in an e-mail.

The city has not extended the ban to a number of other sites that focus on the city, which may raise questions about its legality.

Jersey City attempted a similar ban of a Web site – getnj.com – that was highly critical of Mayor Jerramiah Healy last year.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey protested, arguing the city must extend the ban to a host of sites instead of restricting access to the one particular site. The city later created a policy and expanded its list of Web sites it blocks employees from viewing.

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[quote comment=”16007″][quote comment=”16006″]I don’t believe this letter to be authentic. However, I could be wrong. Please visit the website below to see a signature from Mayor David Roberts at the bottom of the following website:


Though clearly the sigs are a bit different, the most telling detail is in the vowels. The signature on the website I mentioned has vowels which are disconnected at the top, whereas the letter submitted by H411 has a signature where the vowels are definately connected.[/quote]

Check out the big brain on Brad!!! What do they call a quarter pounder in France? :lol:[/quote]

Wow, break out the tinfoil hats, it’s all a sham! 😯

Seriously though, all of the gestures of his pen stroke are there, and that’s hard to mimic.

Different pen, such as a sharpee instead of a ballpoint pen, and different paper all make a difference.

It’s his signature.


Government employee computers also get blocked because the powers that be are afraid that someone will post an asinine anonymous comment that the website owner will trace back to the government IP address and it will be on thesmokinggun.com or Fox 5 News.


i know from the way my IT department acts (and being in an IT profession), that it’s common for sites to get blocked based on the frequency of visits. if a bunch of employees were circulating the site one day, and clicking through it a lot, it would appear on the firewall quite frequently.

now, of course, there are other websites that this probably happens with, like espn.com, or maybe people.com, but even those are segemented (espn is mostly for men – and the women that like sports – people is more for gossipy crews) while hoboken411 is for everyone.

it’s possible they did just block it because of excessive use.


Maybe this Mayor Robert is Roberts’ doppleganger.