I am utterly horrified that since January 2010, Hoboken has been operating under the review of the State Comptroller’s Office insofar as our process for hiring and contracting with professional service providers. I am equally horrified that the State Comptroller has decided that, because the manner in which the city hired professionals has not been “fair and open” and lacked “accountability and transparency,” the state has asked Mayor Dawn Zimmer to create a plan to address its deficiencies in contracting for professional services.
The mayor has known about this, but she failed to inform the council of the scrutiny. What’s more, while this scrutiny continued, the mayor went right on blithely approving professional service contracts. Every one of those contracts may or may not be valid. And when, on Feb. 1, she received a letter informing her of the state’s intentions, she didn’t tell the council. She didn’t tell the city’s taxpayers. All she did was order city employees not to speak to the press. At best this behavior is baffling. (I won’t even speculate about what it says at worst about the administration’s ethical standards, commitment to transparency, and just plain common sense.)
As I candidate for council in the Fifth Ward, I am horrified by the fact of this investigation, I am angry about the secrecy surrounding it. That’s not the way it works. And it certainly won’t be the way it works should the voters of the Fifth Ward elect me.