Letter to the Editor

Content Posted by Letter to the Editor

Changing City Council procedures

The Board of Directors of People for Open Government (POG) invited you, and any council colleagues you chose, to meet with us in a public forum to discuss problems with the way the City Council conducts its business. In reply, you have said that, instead of such a meeting, POG should send you a list of remedies to the problems we have identified. POG expects the City Council and city administration to be willing to meet with citizen groups on public issues. Such meetings would foster the accountable and transparent government to which POG is dedicated. Inasmuch as you are unwilling or unavailable to meet with us, this letter will inform you of our thinking.

Oscar Acevedo: Hoboken plays parking games, says unhappy motorist

Hoboken parking signs read 4-hour grace period -- how about a 20-minute disgrace?

I was ticketed $218 and booted for parking on Third and Grand just for picking up a report at Hoboken University Medical Center.

What favor is Director Sacs doing me? How out of touch is this guy with the community "doing us a favor"? It's a scam and we all know it. I wasn't puzzled, but disgusted.

How can voters tell phonies from straight-shooters?

In this political season, politicians are earning the contempt of citizen/voters, since they say only what they think constituents want to hear. For example, when I first met former Mayor Peter Cammarano, I suggested that repeated under-budgeting for employee health costs was responsible for Hoboken’s financial issues. His response: He wanted to end those benefits for the Mayor and the Council. He thought that idea would have made him seem unselfish (he was running for council at the time). Well, I know a phony when I meet one, and his remark showed only that he was not to be believed or trusted. Recently, as he was led off to the pen, his attorney announced that he had been abused as a child. As if that gave him license. As our current mayor wrote in a letter The Reporter published on Oct. 10, “the perversion of our government by unscrupulous developers and politicians did not start or end with Peter Cammarano.”

Another phony is 4th Ward councilman Michael Lenz. I first met this career politician in 2001, when he was managing Dave Roberts’ first mayoral campaign. At the time, Roberts’ predecessor was on his way to the slammer. At the campaign’s kickoff, I gave Lenz copies of Common Cause NJ’s draft ordinances to ban “pay-to-play” municipal contracts, suggesting that they serve as the basis of a squeaky-clean campaign. Lenz thanked me, but nothing happened after Roberts won, except that Lenz got a job at City Hall. When a public-spirited citizens’ group got an ordinance banning pay-to-play contracts adopted by referendum, Lenz did nothing to help the effort, but stood aside while suing the city for firing him.

‘Senator Menendez, I will never vote for you again’

Dear Senator Menendez:

I voted for you many times in the past because I believed in your principles. I thought you followed the laws of this nation. However, you seemed to have made some really bad decisions and bad turns in your career on your way up the political ladder.

Your recent comments in the Reporter are sickening to all of us U.S. citizens. You are a lawbreaker by siding with the illegal immigrants. They are breaking the law by crossing our borders ILLEGALLY!!! Do you understand??? You are breaking the law by representing these people!!!! You are not a representative of the U.S. citizens of this country, nor of the U.S. Constitution. Do you understand English???? I will never vote for you again.

Mason ’s beholden to Russo family, Zimmer’s weak, leaving Cammarano

Dear Editor:

I moved to Hoboken when Tom Vezzetti was mayor and who like all Hoboken mayors since then, called himself a reformer. While later crushed by an unfriendly City Council, his win was due to a combination of his own energy and anger against the incumbent.

“Reformer” has long been used to appeal voters who blame Hoboken’s problems on a corrupt political machine. Unfortunately, this movement has typically been better at saying “no” than persevering to creatively fix or improve a situation. Despite the best of intentions, “reformers” continue to come and go as their “causes” shrink against traditional barriers and/or challenges.

Do you really want to get rid of fire and police chiefs?

At the City Council meeting on July 2nd, Councilman Michael Russo proposed an ordinance to eliminate the position of Chiefs of Police and Fire Division. Councilman Russo cited the city will immediately save $500,000. I cannot argue with the financial savings; however, I will take issue with the statement that the Director of Public Safety can supervise the Police and Fire Departments. Did Mayor Roberts hire Superman? While the present Public Safety Director was a high-ranking member of the Fire Department several years ago, where did he get his expertise in police matters? The position of Public Safety Director is also limited by state statute and an Appellate Court ruling forbidding the Director from running the day-to-day operations of a police department.

Hoboken is embarrassing thanks to these people

Dear Editor:

Hoboken. A national embarrassment in its administration of its police department. A regional embarrassment in its administration of its finances.

So after almost two complete terms as Mayor, and over a decade on the City Council, Dave Roberts has the gall to blame Beth Mason? And to use quotes from such distinguished (Ha!) Hudson County Mayors as Joe Doria and Richard Turner to defend himself?

Did Dave Roberts follow a rabbit through a rabbit hole to some Alice-in-Wonderland place to use fellow Hudson County pols to defend his incompetence? Let's review the facts:

Tremetiedi sees only massive MONEY, not massive building

I am writing in response to Richard Tremitiedi's letter which appeared here on February 10. He summarized the controversial history of the Municipal Garage. He bemoaned that the City has opened itself to another lawsuit and has "left $4.6 million on the table" in its recent selection of a Garage site developer.

I agree at least with the early assessment in his letter. In 2005, it would be generous to describe the City's deficit-plugging sale and lease back of the garage as merely short-sighted. The resulting $120,000/month interest payment (for the past 18 months) is a testament to the wisdom of that decision. Beyond this, I cannot agree with Mr. Tremitiedi.

Garage sale/lawsuit-a costly lesson

Now, the City of Hoboken is faced with another lawsuit that will result in costly legal expenses. The Observer Highway repair garage has been a financial nightmare for the taxpayer. In 2005, it was sold to the Hudson County Improvement Authority to plug a $7.9 mil budget gap or shortfall. Around July 1, 2006, the council voted to borrow $15 mil to pay off the HCIA. All this time we have to pay interest to keep this site operating and the current cost is approximately $120,000 per month. We have yet to select a replacement location.

Where's the research for the stop-sign camera plan?

The idea that installing cameras at stop signs in the city as an effective way to prevent reckless driving as well as accidents is ludicrous. Deciding to mount the cameras at various Hoboken stop signs under the pretense of "safety" is incredibly misleading as well. These cameras are nothing but income-generating devices operating under the guise of accident prevention.

As a Hoboken resident, I would like to know why the Council decided on the measure, what statistics were used to justify the cameras, who will be watching the tapes, exactly how long will the cameras roll and what contacts or relationships the Council or Police Department has with the operators and installers of the cameras.