Beth Mason

Second Ward

Councilwoman Beth Mason

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Hoboken University Hospital chief executive received $600K severance package weeks before bankruptcy filing

Less than three weeks before the operator of the city-owned Hoboken University Hospital filed for bankruptcy — putting millions of dollars in taxpayer money and union pension funds at risk — the hospital’s chief executive received a six-figure payout, records show.

Spiros Hatiras, 46, stepped down as chief executive on July 16 after two years on the job with a severance package that includes:

  • $600,000 in compensation,
  • full medical benefits for a year,
  • and stipulated that the hospital authority will pay all of Hatiras’s legal expenses stemming from the agreement.

Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason calls for transparency in sale of University Medical Center, criticizes $600,000 severance package for resigned hospital CEO

Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason spoke out about the $600,000 severance package the former CEO of the Hoboken University Medical Center received after resigning.

"This morning the Star Ledger and Jersey Journal began to shine a light on what is really going behind the scenes as the sale of our hospital moves forward," Mason wrote.

"Financial records reveal that the hospital's former CEO was awarded a $600,000 severance package shortly before the hospital's management company filed for bankruptcy. This golden parachute was approved by Mayor Zimmer and the members of the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority...The parachute is an absolute disgrace and should be terminated immediately," she wrote.

Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason's former campaign manager criticizes her in a letter

Last year, Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason took on then-Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer in a mayoral election. After Mason lost, Mason remained one of the only publicly critical residents speaking out against Zimmer. Most recently, she has sent out e-mails expressing her concerns about the possibility that the administration may move the city's public works garage to a residential neighborhood.

In one recent letter sent to various news outlets, Mason said that two Zimmer administration representatives had said publicly that strong consideration was being given to moving the garage to 8th and Hudson streets -- even though this was not the case (the area was on a list of several possible destinations). The garage issue has aroused the ire of residents. and Mason and Councilman Michael Russo have taken up the residents' concerns. Some say they raised the issue only to gain political favor, and others say they are protecting the wards they represent.

Mason felt comfortable in front of Gov. Christie rather than backing him

Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason, Democrat, made her points at Gov. Christie's "town meeting."

At yesterday's "invitation only" session with Gov. Chris Christie at the Hoboken Catholic Academy, most of the City Council members were on stage with the governor and Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Missing from the stage was Councilwoman Beth Mason who chose to stay in the audience. Christie is a Republican and Mason is a Democrat. Although almost all city officials on stage are Democrats, Mason thought it was inappropriate to join the others because it was tantamount to endorsing the governor's state budget and fiscal proposals.

Mason asks for back-pay, salary and benefits

What is Beth thinking?

Councilwoman Beth Mason, less than a month after her candidacy for mayor failed, has asked the city to reimburse her council salary going back to January and to reinstate her salary and medical benefits going forward.

City officials confirmed yesterday that Mason requested backpay totaling $8,816, a reestablishment of her council salary - roughly $22,000 per year - and council health benefits going forward.

Mason confirmed the request after the City Council meeting on Wednesday, and said that she finally listened to all the supporters who told her she earned her salary and should take it.

3rd-place finish stuns Mason

A day later, the shock still hadn't worn off in the Beth Mason camp.

The councilwoman, who expected to win the Hoboken mayoral race, or at least qualify for a runoff election, finished a distant third to fellow council members Peter Cammarano and Dawn Zimmer.

"We were completely blindsided," Mason's campaign manager, Jake Stuiver, said of the 1,000-vote loss to the two candidates who will vie for City Hall in the June 9 runoff. "We had polling as late as over the weekend that still had (Mason) as the frontrunner by a significant margin, so I can't tell you how much we were taken by surprise."

Stuiver attributed Mason's loss to two things: Not building up her base and not getting Mason's message across to voters.

"This election clearly demonstrates that those are two things we didn't do well enough," said Stuiver. "And as campaign manager that's something for which I have to take responsibility."

Mason ’s beholden to Russo family, Zimmer’s weak, leaving Cammarano

Dear Editor:

I moved to Hoboken when Tom Vezzetti was mayor and who like all Hoboken mayors since then, called himself a reformer. While later crushed by an unfriendly City Council, his win was due to a combination of his own energy and anger against the incumbent.

“Reformer” has long been used to appeal voters who blame Hoboken’s problems on a corrupt political machine. Unfortunately, this movement has typically been better at saying “no” than persevering to creatively fix or improve a situation. Despite the best of intentions, “reformers” continue to come and go as their “causes” shrink against traditional barriers and/or challenges.

Zimmer, Mason divided over uptown redevelopment

2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason

Wednesday night, the council voted to approve a redevelopment study for the now-19 block area near the Burlington Coat Factory, where a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Group has been buying land. The area now under review by the Planning Board was expanded westward to the Palisade cliffs, including the land occupied by the Academy Bus Company.

If a city declares an area a redevelopment zone, the city can change the zoning, seek developers with plans that conform to the new guidelines, take over certain property by eminent domain if necessary, and possibly offer a tax abatement agreement.

Mason said, “If [Hoboken] stops building, it will die. It will die. You have to continue to grow to some extent. You cannot stop.”

Mason will get cell phone records, including police

City must pay $10K for lawyers in lawsuit settlement

A lawsuit by Councilwoman Beth Mason seeking information about city cell phone records was settled two weeks ago after two court appearances.

Now, Mason will get to comb through a year's worth of city cell phone records from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005.

The agreement even includes the phone records of police officers, with the only exception being any calls placed in connection with ongoing criminal investigations.

According to the settlement, the city is not required to provide the phone numbers of the cell phones in use.

However, the city must provide the names of the cell phone users unless it offers a detailed explanation as to why they cannot. They are also allowed by law to withhold the incoming and outgoing numbers.

Mason requests more transparency from the DCA

Councilwoman Beth Mason

Mason requests more transparency from the DCA

July 12, 2008,

2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason is requesting more transparency from the state of New Jersey as they review Hoboken's budget.

Mason says the DCA is only talking about Hoboken's financial health with the mayor -- she wants the City Council in on the conversation, too.

After the jump, read a copy of a letter Mason sent to Susan Jacobucci, Director of Local Government Services for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, this past Thursday. Mason is basically asking the DCA to keep the City Council in the loop regarding their financial takeover of Hoboken.

Mason: Kleinman's letter was out of line

During the "new business" portion of tonight's council meeting, Councilwoman Beth Mason read a multi-page statement in response to a letter Corporation Counsel Steven Kleinman wrote to the Hoboken Reporter two weeks ago criticizing Mason.

Beth Mason, reading her letter.  At one point she suggested Kleinman resign or barring that, that the council should hire its own attorney.  Kleinman responded that the letter was "factually accurate" and that he wrote it on his own time.

Mason loses court case to get city records. Other appeals still pending by activist-turned-councilwoman

2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason

Hoboken’s Corporation Counsel Steven Kleinman was pleased with the court’s recent decision to knock down 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason's appeal of a case against the city to get information on the city's park plan.

Before Beth Mason became the city's 2nd Ward councilwoman last summer, she had filed a number of lawsuits to force the town to give her various records.

But last week, she suffered a legal setback when she learned that a year and a half after losing one of her suits against the city in the Hudson County Superior Court, three judges from the court's appellate division reaffirmed the previous decision, knocking down her appeal.