I am surprised by Jake Stuiver's letter of August 24 in this newspaper demeaning Michael Lenz's contributions to reform in Hoboken. As someone who also "worked proudly alongside Lenz and the united Hoboken reform movement" to elect Carol Marsh for Mayor in 2005, I cannot help but comment on the contradictions in his letter.
I don't understand why, on the one hand, Jake describes how proud he was to work with Michael Lenz and Carol Marsh and now, three years later, believes it was such an abusive volunteer experience. His descriptions are not what I saw. My volunteer efforts were guided by my belief in Carol's positions and her reform credentials.
These positions were crafted not only by Michael Lenz, but also by Carol, Beth Mason and those who ran on Carol's ticket for City Council. In fact, one of the reasons I got involved with Carol's campaign was because I was eager to join once again with Michael and many of the same individuals who had wholeheartedly worked together to pass Hoboken's first anti pay-to-play ordinance in November of 2004.
Like most campaigns, Carol's was intense. There were many volunteers but few full-time leaders to direct their efforts. Michael worked tirelessly for many months, and he did so for no pay. Serious campaigns are always stressful and tempers do fly, but if at any time a volunteer was treated the way Jake describes, Michael would be the first to apologize. His goal was to win and, despite being outspent by 7-1, Carol and her ticket received 42 percent of the vote.
Michael has gone on to contribute his extensive campaign skills to winning races by Dawn Zimmer, Peter Cunningham, Kid's First and Vote Yes for Parks, with no official title or role in those campaigns, lending his help whenever and however he could. This does not describe someone who would rather lose a race if he did not receive credit. Rather, it describes the Michael Lenz that I know and respect. Someone committed to the long term good of Hoboken.