Finance Department



In 2005, Hoboken contracted with an outside accounting firm to manage the City's financial records at a cost of $325,000 per year. During the past three years, the City has spent almost a million dollars for outside accounting services which were previously the responsibility of the CFO and Finance Department employees.

The outside firm was brought in to enhance the overall efficiency of the City's accounting system and, if all went well, the City would move to privatize Finance Department after a one year trail period.

But the promise of readily available financial data, the competence to make decisions, and the ability to detect and correct problems throughout the budget year all fell apart when the recent audit found a serious lack of cash controls and the failure of the City's daily accounting system to detect millions of dollars in declining anticipated cash collections.

Watch this short video as Hoboken 4th Ward Councilwomen Dawn Zimmer questions City CFO George Destefano about his daily duties in the Hoboken Finance Department as he worked along side the private accounting firm.




Ex-Hoboken finance aide pleads guilty to stealing 10G from nonprofit bank account

Kathryn Kinney

Kathryn Kinney, who was employed by Bayonne accounting firm Donohue, Gironda & Doria and assigned "full-time" to the Hoboken Finance Department as a financial specialist, pleaded guilty in Monmouth County Superior Court for stealing more than $10,000 from a nonprofit organization.

Before working for Hoboken, Kinney, 42, was working as the executive director of the Poricy Park Conservancy in Middletown.

Theft allegation hits ex-Hoboken finance aide

A woman who worked as a financial specialist for a firm the city used was arrested this week for allegedly stealing more than $10,000 from a nonprofit she worked for in Monmouth County.

Before she worked in Hoboken, Kathryn Kinney, 42, was working as the executive director of the Poricy Park Conservancy in Middletown.

She is charged with stealing $10,219 from the nonprofit organization, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. Kinney allegedly took the money to stall foreclosure proceedings on her home in Bridgewater.

Kinney, 42, is charged with third-degree theft and third-degree misapplication of entrusted property.

Tale of the tape - DCA transcripts from when Hoboken was taken over by the state

Councilwoman Beth Mason filmed meeting, but refuses to release the video

Why was Hoboken taken over by the state? For not adopting a 2008 budget by June 6, 2008. We know, we know, the state takeover of Hoboken was a while ago. But we figured everybody should be able to read the following transcripts from when several Hoboken City Council people went down to Trenton last June to speak with the Department of Community Affairs regarding Hoboken's budget mess.

Shakeup at City Hall

The city’s financial firm of the past three years is out, as is controversial Tax Collector Louis Picardo.

Due partly to the mile-square city’s precarious financial situation and to scheduled retirements, several top Hoboken officials and consultants retired or were replaced in the past few weeks.

The city’s state-appointed fiscal monitor, Judy Tripodi, has hired a new full-time financial director, Nick Trasente, at $125,000 per year. She hopes he can help lead the mile-square city out of its financial difficulties, which led to a 47 percent overall tax hike this year.

The financial firm of Donohue, Gironda, and Doria was under contract to handle city finances for the past three years, but their contract recently expired and was not renewed by the city.

Hoboken has 3 choices for a state monitor -- Really???

Former Local Finance Board official Judy Tripodi appears to be the DCA's choice for Hoboken"s monitor.

The state was supposed to give Hoboken three candidates to choose from for the "monitor" who will be overseeing the city's finances as part of the city's punishment of state "supervision" imposed after Hoboken failed to pass a budget.

And the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs did give Hoboken three choices, one who would charge $130,000 a year and two that would charge $500,000 a year. Hmm, I wonder who the DCA is backing?

State takes over Hoboken's finances

The state Local Finance Board voted unanimously today to take control of the fiscal affairs of the deficit-ridden Hoboken government where the mayor and council have been entangled in political bickering for the past year and have failed to act on a new budget.

The government will be under the strict supervision of the state Division of Local Government Services for one year and while Mayor David Roberts and the city council will continue to have the power to vote on municipal issues, Susan Jacobucci, the division director, said she will have final approval on all decisions involving fiscal matters, union contracts and the hiring and firing of employees.

"In my opinion, there is no reason why Hoboken should be here today,'' Jacobucci told Roberts and three council members. "Hoboken is and should be a vibrant city. This is because of the inaction of local officials. To come to this point today it is a sad state of affairs for a city like Hoboken not to pass a budget.''

Hoboken Titanic hits a financial iceberg, standby as the Administration and City Council rearrange the deck chairs

At the February 20, 2008 City Council Meeting, Hoboken resident/former Hoboken CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Michael Lenz addressed the City Council about the present CFO's duties/responsibilities in comparison to a few years ago when Lenz was the CFO.

Lenz said that in today's Finance Department, much of the financial workload has been contracted out to a private accounting firm.  This has resulted in less work for the present CFO.  The cost of the yearly accounting contract increased this year from $ 300,000.00 to $ 324,000.00 per year to cover the additional cost of managing the Hoboken Parking Utility finances.
In response to Lenz's statements, Hoboken Council President Councilwoman Theresa Castellano made it quite clear that.......  

Hoboken Residents Pay Again

City Council resolutions now have Hoboken residents paying more money for parking permit fees and in daily and monthly parking garage rates

Many years ago, former Councilman/Assemblyman Robert Ranieri said at a Council Meeting…."In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King."

The Hoboken Finance Department has a responsibility to record every dollar that comes into and leaves the city's coffers. But something went seriously wrong when a Council member asked why anticipated cash revenues from the Hoboken Parking Utility "parking meters" decreased by over ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

As a point of reference, on November 14, 2005 the Hoboken City Council passed Resolution No. 05-179 approving a $300,000 one year contract with Donohue, Gironda & Doria - a Bayonne firm that specializes in municipal accounting - to privatize the city's Finance Department. The City recently entered into the third one-year contract with the accounting company that has been working alongside the city's chief financial officer to manage the city's books.


Finance Department to be privatized. Council hopes for more efficient, cheaper bookkeeping

For years, Hoboken's Finance Department has received substandard reviews on city audits, especially for not adequately maintaining the city's books.

In an effort maintain better municipal records and save money, the council approved a $300,000 contract with Donahue, Gironda, and Doria - a Bayonne firm that specializes in municipal accounting - to privatize the city's Finance Department. The Doria in the firm is not related to Bayonne Mayor and State Senator Joseph Doria. The $300,000 contract, according to officials, is roughly the amount of payroll for the whole department.