Where Do We Go From Here?

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Well, the news is buzzing about Cammarano.

What's there to say that really hasn't already been suggested? A mere two weeks ago Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner Hector Claveria was arrested for taking bribes. Cammarano said:

"This Administration has a clear-cut, zero tolerance policy against any violation of the public trust and I am calling for Housing Authority Commissioner Claveria to resign his position with the Hoboken Housing Authority immediately. Should he refuse to resign, I am demanding that the City Council President immediately begin proceedings for his removal pursuant to New Jersey State statute 40A:12A-17."

Fair enough. Even before Claveria had his day in court, Cammarano was crowing for him to step down. I can only hope that Cammarano talks the talk and walks the walk. He needs to step down.

Ok, then what?

City council would vote for the interim mayor.

That interim mayor would run things until we have another vote in 2009 to determine a new mayor.

Ok, so fast forward to Nov 2009. We have a new mayor. Where do we go from here?

Well, if you watched the press conference from yesterday, you will see that the FBI eluded to "changes that we can make" to make corruption more difficult.

U.S. Attorney, FBI hold press conference on corruption arrests

OK. I'm not an expert, but shouldn't we reach out to the FBI and ask them to advise the City of Hoboken on what laws we can pass to make it harder for corruption to occur. I think I can speak for the average citizen when I say that we are sick of the way that our town has a double standard. And i'm not just talking about politicians. There's a double standard that seems to exist in every part of city government. That needs to be stamped out, immediately.

If you sit on the sidelines and make snippy comments and don't get involved -- you are part of the problem. If you don't vote -- you are part of the problem. If you are apathetic -- you are part of the problem.

Where we need to go from here is keeping the public informed. Revamping the city hall website for better open government. Taking away the mayor's authority to appoint members to the Zoning Board would be a good step. Think about what happened with the corruption probe.

The FBI used an informant -- the "CW," or cooperating witness, in April 2009 to approach Michael Shaffer (a North Hudson Utilities Authority commissioner) and mayoral candidate Cammarano:

The CW told Cammarano he would give Shaffer $10,000 if the mayor could "expedite" his development plans.

From the complaint:

Defendant Cammarano explained that "[i]t can go on the agenda just as soon as there's a sponsor for it . . . That happens like that."

The CW inquired, "So, if you sponsor it, boom?"

Defendant Cammarano replied, "Yeah."

When the CW stated "make sure you get my stuff expedited," defendant Cammarano assured the CW that "I promise you . . . you're gonna be, you're gonna be treated like a
friend."

Shaffer said later:
"When we get elected, we put our friends on the boards so we know we get the - don't listen to those morons who say put this environmentalist on, but they're - they're all f*cking kooks."

According to the criminal complaint, Shaffer acted as a middle man for the money.

So they put their friends on the boards. That's what Shaffer said. Only a few days ago, Cammarano revealed who such "friends" are when he revealed his cabinet. I recognize that Hoboken is a small town, but we have 45,000 people to choose from. Why are we putting an ex-algebra teacher into a position like the Director of Health and Human services? The same person who shouted down constitutents who "dared" suggest that we trim the pay of the fire department. This is the best we can get?

This city won't be fixed overnight. But I think our first best step is getting people into city hall positions who aren't "connected" one way or another to people in other departments - which can be hard with a city our size.

We need to get the budget under control. We need to take a hard look at streamlining our city departments, and asking questions comparing how Hoboken does things and comparing that to other cities. Find out what works and how we can keep our taxes low and our salaries competitive, but keeping in-line with state wide averages, for all public safety departments.

That's where our new mayor & city council should focus their efforts.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on July 24, 2009 12:15 AM.

So Long Mayor! Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat! was the previous entry in this blog.

Protest 7/25 @6pm City Hall is the next entry in this blog.

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