A new low in bad behavior (legally and financially) was reached at last week's emergency special council meeting. The 4 minority council members failed to approve a routine transfer of funds to pay our firefighters overtime and our lawyers their compensation. They offered no excuses except saying that our firefighters and lawyer's will continue to work for free.
I asked them a simple, logical question: “Has any member of the minority found this firm to be acting in an illegal, improper or unethical manner? If not why would you deny Hoboken the proper legal representation for this critical case? To do so would be childish, petulant and cause severe harm to Hoboken's financial and legal situation for no other reason than spite”.
That question was never answered. I also told them if they could find in any case a law firm did something improper, etc. I would support their actions, but they couldn't.
In every other New Jersey City Council they follow the law which states that you approve a temporary budget equal to 26.5 percent of the previous year. Legally you are also bound to rearrange funds to more accurately reflect the line items. You are not permitted to allocate $1 higher or lower than the 26.5 percent figure. With no increase in spending there is no reason not to approve the routine transfers. Not that the law means anything to Beth Mason, Michael Russo (and his family), Terry Castellano and especially “Mr. Independent” Tim Occhipinti who had the nerve to state the meeting cost money. Very little money. The meeting would never have called if they had simply done their sworn fiduciary responsibility.
No one likes to pay high legal fees, but anyone would gladly pay for the best lawyer if it was their case (assuming they could afford it). We have a pending case involving the Monarch Project. Now it appears that we can't legally advertise for legal counsel because we have no line item in our budget. I also wouldn't be surprised if one or more of the unpaid lawyers sues us! It might also be a plot to ensure that competent lawyers will simply not apply for future work, screwing the taxpayer.
Speaking of my Councilwoman, I wish to thank my friend Dave Denning for exposing her Hoboken Reporter ad about Mayor Zimmer sending 2 employees and 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. In fact Jen paid her own airfare and none attended the Super Bowl game. For a cost of a mere $4,000 (or 4 one hundreds percent of our $100 million budget), they met with the Super Bowl committee to discuss Hoboken becoming the host city for the 2014 game which will be held at Met Life (Giants/Jets) Stadium. If realized this would mean a huge payday for local businesses during these tough economic times. This obviously means that Beth Mason doesn't give a darn about our stores, bars and restaurants.