It is bad when one political faction takes control of city propaganda machinery and uses that machinery to attack political opposition with impunity.
An example of this occurred on Wednesday April 6, 2011 when Mayor Dawn Zimmer posted a letter to the Hoboken City Website titled “Open Letter to Hoboken Residents from Mayor Zimmer Regarding Public Trust”.
In this letter the Mayor states: “I believe there is no doubt that he - Councilman Russo - has broken the people’s trust and is incapable of maintaining his position as Finance Chair, Commissioner on the Housing Authority, or his position as 3rd Ward Councilman.”
I am against the mayor using the city web site to issue such a politically charged statement for the following reasons:
First, it is unfair to have taxpayer money support a website that houses a statement that many people in our community may either disagree with or find repulsive.
Second, this creates dangerous precedent because in the future the mayor may again use the city web site as an unfair tool to attack political opposition. In theory she could even destroy her political opposition with such a weapon.
Third, this undermines the value of the city web site. Residents rely on the city web site as a source for good, reliable and unbiased information so that they can form their own point of view about what is happening in our city.
And fourth, this breeds political belligerence because it prompts opposition Council Members or other political operatives to respond in kind. And the last thing our town needs is more political fighting.
For the record I have no problem with the mayor making such politically charged statements in a newspaper editorial, an online blog or a TV interview. I just do not want to see them on the city web site.
Resident of the 2nd Ward