Beth Mason had long been considered a leading reformer in Hoboken, dedicating time, energy and money to transparency and change in City Hall. That’s why many of us who have known her for a long time are asking each other, “What’s happened to Beth?” Since announcing her candidacy for mayor, Beth seems to be committed only to maintaining the status quo in Hoboken in order to reach her goal of becoming mayor at any and all cost.
Let’s start by looking at her slate for City Council. Anthony Pasquale is the former chairman of the Hoboken Housing Authority under Mayor Anthony Russo. Vincent Addeo served for a brief time on the City Council about ten years ago and voted for an expensive bond refinancing and three huge PILOTS with no reasonable givebacks to the City. Raul Morales Jr. is the son of the senior vice president at Applied Housing, a major developer here in Hoboken. Not exactly mavericks or change agents, by any means. All clearly represent the old power structure of Hoboken.
Now let’s look at some of Beth’s recent actions. The Church Towers PILOT extension was a very big surprise to many of us. By voting to extend the PILOT for ten years without any apparent assurance that Church Towers will be maintained as affordable housing, Beth has potentially jeopardized the homes of the truly deserving, to curry favor with the old political power brokers who live in Church Towers.
Hoboken Revolt, of which I am a founding member, was created by the citizens of Hoboken as a direct result of the lack of appropriate response by our elected officials to the fiscal mismanagement of our City. Beth’s Second Ward was hard-hit by the steep tax increases, but she kept silent as she prepared her mayoral campaign.
Beth could not even find enough intestinal fortitude to support the Kids First slate in the school board elections. Her claim that she did not want to politicize the event is specious. The Board of Education election is political! The overwhelming victory of Kids First was much needed, but was achieved without the endorsement of the Mason ticket. Only Dawn Zimmer took this stand.
How does the Mason slate represent change? It doesn’t. How will her recent positions improve Hoboken? They won’t. But, if elected, Beth will have reached the next rung on her ladder of ambition. What happens to Hoboken when Beth sets her sights on the next elected office – perhaps State senator? Vote for Dawn Zimmer, Carol Marsh, Ravi Bhalla and Dave Mello for Change that Works.