Hoboken: July 2009 Archives

Protest 7/25 @6pm City Hall

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Life is a series of events, if you think about it.

We certainly are defined by our day-to-day mundane events, but life is about putting together those "moments of definition".

It could be a life living abroad. It could be enjoying life in the wine country of Italy with your family. It could be a day you lost someone special.

These are the moments that define you. There are hundreds of these in a lifetime.

Tonight is one of those moments. It's easy to sit on the sidelines when events like this happen, but to take action says more than anything. It doesn't matter who you voted for in the last election, I think we can all agree that we do not want to stand for corruption in our city.

Peter may be innocent. He may be guilty. It is not like he was caught by a local blogger on tape admitting to taking bribes -- he was recorded by the FBI. They don't accuse seated mayors unless the evidence is fairly conclusive, and i'm sure you have read the complaint, which details what was said.

Mayor Cammarano's ability to govern has been compromised, even before a trial has started. What he needs to do is step down, face the charges he is accused of, and let the courts decide if he is guilty or not. To have this circus going on, for the next couple of years, and for him to try to push forth an agenda is ludicrous. Who is going to trust anything he says? Who is going to trust anyone he nominates in his cabinet?

Until we find out the truth here, Hoboken will never progress. I highly encourage everyone to show up at City Hall tonight at 6pm to peacefully protest. It will only take 20 minutes of your life to define who you are...someone who stands up against corruption.

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.

Thanks to Jesse for whipping this up so fast...

Don't Be Stupid If You Live Here

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071709a.jpg

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I'm walking into work and on the corner of Newark and Willow, I see a smashed window on a car. I personally see this about every few months, and often reported on Hoboken411.com.

Do not leave anything in your car. Sure, there are idiot kids who smash or key cars for fun on the street. But if you look at the box in the picture above - that's what the guy was looking for. Most of these people are homeless, and look for something they can sell, like CDs or GPS systems.

As much as part of me feels sympathy for the car owner, another just shakes my head. The trunk area was just too cluttered with items.

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I'm planning on going to this. If supporting artists and the community is something you like, I encourage you to attend, also.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Hoboken category from July 2009.

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