Hoboken is embarrassing thanks to these people

Hoboken is embarrassing thanks to these people

07/06/08  Letter to Editor

Dear Editor:

Hoboken. A national embarrassment in its administration of its police department. A regional embarrassment in its administration of its finances.

So after almost two complete terms as Mayor, and over a decade on the City Council, Dave Roberts has the gall to blame Beth Mason? And to use quotes from such distinguished (Ha!) Hudson County Mayors as Joe Doria and Richard Turner to defend himself?

Did Dave Roberts follow a rabbit through a rabbit hole to some Alice-in-Wonderland place to use fellow Hudson County pols to defend his incompetence? Let's review the facts:

1. After a tsunami of development and new tax dollars, Dave added millions to the budget. He defended himself in the last election as getting rid of the Russo overspending over a few years, and never raising taxes.

2. In his seventh year in office, and only due to the election of three reformers on the City Council (Beth Mason, Dawn Zimmer and Pete Cunningham) who refused to go along with business as usual, it is now clear that Dave could only balance the budget by not paying bills! Shades of the Russo administration.

3. The members of the City Council who once ran with Dave Roberts now are running from him as fast as they can - but their support of this dysfunctional government and their incompetence in their primary responsibility makes them similarly ill suited for public office (yes, that means you, Councilpeople Cammarano, LaBruno, Ramos, Giacchi, Castellano, and Russo). These City Council non-reformers are so absent from their Council jobs they never noticed that municipal worker health insurance wasn't being paid, or that their rubber stamping of the administration's personnel policies and spending burned through all the new tax revenues.

To the great benefit of Hoboken taxpayers, the three reformers have caused big problems for the go-along get-along Hoboken City administration. This may be painful to fellow Hudson mayors like Turner and Doria (a former mayor) but it is a long time coming. The reformers have prevented the capital budgeting of operating expenses. Their budget hearings forced the Administration to come clean on its spending practices. If Hoboken were a corporation, its Board of Directors and management would have already been removed. There would be civil and criminal charges for not being upfront about finances, violating laws (the state budget cap, for instance), and they would be held up as an example, like the executives of Adelphia or Tyco.

Since it is unlikely that Joe Doria's Department of Community Affairs will ever discipline a fellow Hudson mayor, I can only hope that the voters will do so in 10 months - not just for Dave Roberts but for the incumbents up for reelection (and double dipping, Ruben).

James Weinstein

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