Top 5: Hoboken Politics

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Here's my Top 5 take on Hoboken Politics after living here for 13 years...

1. There is a strong sense of cronyism (Favoritism shown to old friends without regard for their qualifications, as in in political appointments to office.) Hoboken.

2. With such a small town, there are many families who hold various offices. For example, Terry LaBruno is the head of the city council. Her husband is the Hoboken Fire Department Battalion Chief, Joseph LaBruno. Terry's uncle was Steve Cappiello, served the city of Hoboken from 1963-1991 both as a city councilman and three-term mayor. Theresa Castellano is a councilwoman, her husband Robert, is a member of the Hoboken Detective Bureau. Then there is Michael Russo, a council person and his father, Anthony, was also mayor of Hoboken and was incarcerated for corruption.

3. I have had my own experiences with City Hall, and the people that work there. My own personal opinion is that the "newcomers" (i.e. those who aren't Born and Raised in Hoboken) are mostly held in contempt for their opinions. We don't count because we haven't lived here our whole lives. But the same Born and Raised people are more than happy to collect our taxes and rent money. Hey, I have only been here 13 years, what do I know? Also there is a strong sense of: "If you speak out against ANYONE in Hoboken city council, they will retaliate against you."

4. There are a lot of people who I call "entrenched". They are fortified in the city government or are city workers and they can't see past their paycheck. You talk about balancing the budget or reducing taxes and they are horrified at the prospect of losing money. They will rally their friends, family, everyone they know to protest the loss of their pay over the idea that Hoboken should reduce the overblown spending.

5. Getting an honest answer to an honest question is nearly impossible. Try it. Next time you see Mayor Roberts please ask: "How we can have the Chief of the Hoboken police department paid MORE than the Chief of the NYC police department? How are you, Mayor Roberts, paid $25,000 more than the mayor of Jersey City?"

With that being said, I fully hope everyone gets out for the elections on May 8th. I hope all our residents take the time to visit Hoboken411 to read about their candidates, and pick the one which best represents them.

Voting in the first ward, i'd choose Ron Rosenberg for first ward council. I have had the chance, in the past, to speak personally to Ron about the issues I have about Hoboken, and he is the progressive, independent choice for a way that the residents can clean house in city council. He has lived in the first ward for 25 years, and helped create "People For Open Government", which is a grass roots citizen group that fights for government reform.

I mean if you ask me, look at the council people in there: Castellano, Russo, LaBruno - it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that they are basically a family-based coalition running this town into the ground. Pay police officers MORE money? No problem! Keep open a failing hospital! No problem! Screw the taxpayers! No problem!

Look, if you are for the "Rubber Stamp Council" of Hoboken, then vote for the other guys. If you want change, I can wholeheartedly endorse Bill Noonan (Great Today, Better Tomorrow) in the 6th Ward, Ron Rosenberg (Our Clear Choice For Change!) in the 1st Ward and Frank Raia in the 3rd Ward.

Oh, and spare me the mud-slinging in the comments.


Coming from California, I really do not have the place to comment but an outside perspective from a twice a year frequent visitor for the last 6 years can put in their half cent. When I visit, I read the local newspaper and you do get a sense that Hoboken is run by a select few from the deicions made. And now that you said it's all family makes sense. When you look around you can tell it's run for self-interest motives (or in this case: family motives) and not for the people. I hope to see the people of Hoboken unite and change through the power of voting. It's a beautiful city that I admire.

Thank you so much Sean for your post. I created a whole typekey account to comment here! I have lived in Hoboken for a mere year and a half, but have been haunting it since college. I'm a social worker and try to pay attention to politics, elected officials and how they address the issues in their communities. I've been feeling sad that I'm not registered to vote here and really feel so disconnected from the players. I know that I feel locally like many Americans do nationally. Also, I have no interest in researching candidates that I know will do nothing to improve my quality of life, in my wee little section (11th and Wash) of town. The corruption and the crookedness are here to stay. I really appreciate your views and how clearly and passionately you shared them. I applaud you for being invested in your community and in your candidates. It's really nice to see someone that cares about this dynamic city enough to post about its politics.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on May 1, 2007 12:03 AM.

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